Region has 23 active COVID cases
By Peter Loewi
Alaska remains the state with the highest case rate in the country, an unfortunate distinction since late May. A large portion of the cases are in non-resident tourists who continue to spread the virus in communities they visit. Cases in resident Alaskans also rose 11 percent over the week before, according to a weekly report from the Alaska Department of Health.
KTOO in Juneau reported last week that tourists in Skagway who had tested positive and were prevented from boarding their cruise ship, were instead booked home on the state ferry and Alaska Airlines. While a company spokesperson for the cruiseline Holland America claimed that wasn’t the company policy, the article said that after only one day of isolation, the tourist said that it took only one phone call to Holland America’s scheduling phone number and “they did their magic in less than ten minutes.” The guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is to isolate for at least five days and to not travel until a full 10 days after symptoms started or the date a positive test was taken if no one had no symptoms.
Cases in this region have spread in Nome and six villages simultaneously, the most since April.
Norton Sound Health Corporation also reported this week that the number of hospitalizations in the region had increased by two in the last two weeks.
The week in numbers
On Tuesday, August 2, NSHC identified three new cases in the region. Two were in Gambell and one was in Nome. This made for 19 active cases in the region. Ten of the cases were in Nome, three were in Elim, two in both Gambell and Wales, and one in Golovin and Unalakleet.
On Wednesday, August 3, NSHC identified nine new cases across the region. Three of the cases were in Brevig Mission, three were in Nome, two in Gambell and one was in Golovin. This made for 18 active cases in the region. Ten of the cases remained in Nome, Brevig Mission and Gambell both that three, and Elim and Unalakleet both had one.
On Thursday, August 4, NSHC identified four new cases in the region, three in Gambell and one in Brevig, but active cases in the region jumped the next day to 23, with 10 in Nome, six in Gambell, four in Brevig, and one in each of Elim, Teller and Unalakleet.
On Friday, August 5, NSHC identified three new cases, one each in Elim, Gambell, and Nome.
On Saturday, August 6, NSHC identified four more new cases, with two in Nome and one in Golovin and White Mountain.
One Sunday, August 7, two new cases were identified in Nome.
The weekend brought active cases down to 14, with 12 in Nome and one each in Elim and Golovin.
On Monday, August 8, NSHC identified 13 new cases across the region. Four of the cases were in Gambell, three were in Teller, two in each of Elim and Nome, and one in both Koyuk and Unalakleet.
As of Tuesday, August 9, there are 23 active cases in the region: 10 in Nome, four in Gambell, three in Elim, three in Elim, one in Golovin, one in Koyuk and one in Unalakleet.
Since the start of the pandemic the United States of America has had 92,266,002 officially reported cases of COVID-19 and 1,035,175 associated deaths.
Alaska has had at least 273,674 cases, 3,830 hospitalizations, and 1,275 deaths. There are currently 74 people hospitalized due to COVID-19 in the state of Alaska.
Nome, Norton Sound and the Bering Strait region has had at least 6,273 cases, 48 hospitalizations and six deaths.