Norton Sound Health Corporation (NSHC) announced today that the Bering Strait Region has its first confirmed case of COVID-19. UPDATE: As of 11:15am Wednesday, the State Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) confirmed that the individual case is in Nome.

ORIGINAL: According to public relations manager Reba Lean, NSHC is not sharing information on which community the person with the disease is from at this time. However, the individual is reportedly self-isolating and is in contact with the State’s Section of Epidemiology.

Lean would go on to say that the regional hospital has been preparing for this situation for weeks and their existing policies and regulations will remain in place to keep the coronavirus contained.

During a press conference Tuesday night Dr. Anne Zink stated that the investigation into the confirmed case and their contacts was still ongoing.

“So this is still an undecided case, we don’t have a clear answer for where this case came from and (we’re) looking through that area. As mentioned previously from a statewide area, as well as a regional, how it shows up is important. So, if this was a travel-related case, versus a community acquired case, versus a contact with a known positive, those change sort of our risk assessments.”

NSHC encourages everyone to continue following the local and state health mandates which includes wearing face coverings when going out in public. The latest mandate issued by Governor Mike Dunleavy allows the state to utilize non-congregate shelters for housing specific groups of people.

The Department of Health and Social Services is expected to release more information on the Bering Strait Region’s first case within the next 24 hours.

Image at top: Particles from the coronavirus. Photo in the public domain via Creative Commons.