Over the weekend, three new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the Norton Sound region, but none of them were found in Nome.

The first was identified by Norton Sound Health Corporation late Friday night. NSHC announced the following morning that a person located in White Mountain tested positive for the virus. This case is believed to be travel related.

Then on Sunday, an individual tested positive in Savoonga. NSHC did not identify this patient as a resident but said they would be isolating in the St. Lawrence Island community. The regional health corporation has not yet determined the cause of the spread in this case.

And thirdly, the latest patient is a resident of Diomede who came into close contact with one of the two travel-related cases announced last week. NSHC said those original cases were both Norton Sound Health Corporation employees based in Nome who had recently returned from travel.

This would mark the fourth individual to contract the virus after coming into contact with the two NSHC employee cases from earlier.

All three new cases of COVID-19 from this weekend are self-isolating. NSHC says the state’s Section of Epidemiology has been notified of all three and investigation into their close contacts, as well as the spread of the virus, is underway.

According to the regional health corporation, the Norton Sound region is now up to 33 confirmed total cases of the virus. NSHC’s patient count includes non-residents who tested positive while in the Norton Sound region, and residents who tested positive while outside of the region.

Image at top: The COVID-19 testing drive-thru tent outside the Norton Sound Regional Hospital. Photo from Reba Lean, NSHC (2020).