A non-resident of the Norton Sound region tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, on their way to Unalakleet. The reason for the patient’s trip to the region is unknown at this time.
However, the City of Unalakleet’s latest travel restrictions prohibit anyone from outside of the community to travel into Unalakleet, unless they are considered a critical or essential worker.
According to a statement from Norton Sound Health Corporation, they learned of the newest positive case Saturday evening after the individual had already traveled into the region. NSHC says the patient is currently self-isolating in Unalakleet and all of their close contacts have been instructed to do the same.
This is the first publicly confirmed case of COVID-19 in Unalakleet since the virus first appeared in Western Alaska back in April.
Community leaders from Unalakleet request through NSHC’s statement that, “the community show appropriate compassion toward the infected individual and their contacts.”
The regional health corporation plans to provide COVID-19 testing in Unalakleet for any individuals who had contact with the newest positive case. NSHC is still encouraging residents of the Norton Sound to only travel for essential needs.
The State of Alaska’s Section of Epidemiology and Public Health Nursing department have been notified of the region’s newest positive case.
That brings the total to 21 cases of COVID-19 in the Norton Sound region, with 19 of them considered recovered.
Image at top: A sunny day in Unalakleet. Photo from Maddie Winchester, KNOM (2016).