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New Cluster of COVID Cases Appears in Norton Sound Region, Total Almost to 50

Seven cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed by Norton Sound Health Corporation within the last few days. Two of them are Norton Sound residents who were outside of the region, while the rest are currently based in the region.

NSHC said in a statement Saturday, that one health corporation employee in Nome and two residents of Unalakleet tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday. The method of transmission in these cases is currently unknown, but any possible connection is being investigated by the state Section of Epidemiology and Public Health Nursing.

Unalakleet’s community leaders have been notified. They encourage all residents to get tested starting today and be mindful of the local mandate requiring face masks be worn in public spaces.

Separately, two more cases were identified last night as close contacts of a previously confirmed patient. NSHC did not disclose which community these newest cases were from, only that their local village’s leadership has been contacted. All individuals determined to be close contacts by Public Health will be tested in the coming days.

NSHC reminds the region that those who test positive for the virus can experience a range of symptoms or none at all. There are now 49 total patients who have had COVID-19 in Norton Sound with eight currently active.

According to NSHC, when a patient is recovered from the virus, they do not need to be tested again for an active infection for a period of 90 days. Patients should still adhere to social distancing and hygiene guidelines and any federal, state or local mandates regarding COVID-19.

NSHC’s walk-in testing tent site outside of the Norton Sound Regional Hospital in Nome. Photo from JoJo Phillips, KNOM (2020)

If you are experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus or want to be tested, you can stop by the walk-in testing tent in Nome, Monday through Friday 8am to 11am and 1-5pm, or call your local village clinic.

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

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