Norton Sound Health Corporation announced that a fourth case of COVID-19 has been found in Teller. NSHC released a statement on the latest case yesterday, the same day the Teller resident tested positive.
This brings the total number of cases in the Norton Sound region to 20, with four currently active. NSHC reported yesterday that 16 patients who had the virus have since recovered.
According to NSHC, it has not been determined if this new case was caused by community spread. However, Teller has already documented previous COVID-19 cases of community spread, which led the regional health corporation to declare a possible outbreak in the village last week.
The State’s Section of Epidemiology and Public Health Nursing staff are currently determining how the disease was acquired and conducting contact tracing.
Teller’s response to this latest positive case is to discourage its residents from traveling to nearby communities, like Nome, by road or water unless it is essential. But, community leaders have not gone so far as to close their own borders.
NSHC says they are working with Teller’s leaders to try to test 100% of the local population, which was around 240 residents in 2018 according to the state. The regional health corporation has said to all Norton Sound regional residents, “non-essential travel can be risky at this time.”
If you have any questions about Teller’s travel restrictions, contact the city at (907) 642-3401.
Image at top: The community of Teller is in the foreground, with Brevig Mission faintly visible across the water. Photo: KNOM File.