Nome LEPC continues weekly updates
The Nome Local Emergency Planning Commission met Tuesday morning with most members calling in.
Deanna Stang of Public Health Nursing reported Alaska has 119 confirmed cases with none in Nome or the Norton Sound Region. Testing supplies are still low nationally and health care providers need to confine testing to specific groups.
The Governor of Alaska has issued 12 health mandates. Most recently Health Mandate 12, issued on March 28, prohibits personal travel between communities, unless it’s considered ‘essential’. It limits travel to those people working for critical infrastructure needs or for those having critical personal needs. The State of Alaska website has all information on the health mandates.
Norton Sound Health Corporation’s Reba Lean reports NSHC has tested 15 patients so far. Eight tests have returned negative and results for the remaining seven have not been received. They have over 500 test kits in the region, which includes in the villages.
Nome Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Departments Chief Jim West Jr. said all cargo flights are continuing as normal.
Jamie Burgess, Superintendent of Nome Public Schools, reports the schools are regularly feeding about 200 children. They have submitted a request to revise the waiver to the State Department of Education to allow the distribution to all children up to the age of 18. The original waiver is for kindergarten through age 12. The district is also doing some home delivery. Only essential personnel are reporting to work at school sites. Everyone else is working from home. “Our key word when it comes to instruction right now is ‘flexibility,’” said Burgess. “We understand that what we’ve provided to start may be overwhelming for some of our families. We understand that and we will adjust. Other families feel that they want more for their children and we will adjust to that as well.” She predicts it’s highly likely school will be cancelled for the rest of the school year.
Nome Community Center has five essential programs still operating, reports NCC Executive Director Rhonda Schneider. They are the Children’s Home, the Food Bank, XYZ Senior Center, NEST, and family support services. “We’re averaging 35 a night,” she responded to a question about how many guests are using NEST.
Sandra Martinson, superintendent of Anvil Mountain Correctional Center reports the facility has reduced all staff and inmate activities down to a one-on-one. “We’re asking Nome Police and AST to send all remand paperwork in advance,” said Martinson. “We will begin an inmate mask sewing project with the assistance of Nome Eskimo Community and the Department of Corrections.” New remands are separated from longer term inmates to minimize exposure there.
The acting Nome chief of police was asked whether there was an uptick in domestic violence. Mike Heintzelman responded that they are seeing an increase of almost 25 percent in calls for service overall. The officers who normally work two weeks on and two weeks off are remaining in town. During evening hours there are two officers per shift.
The next LEPC meeting is scheduled for April 6 at 10 a.m.