After a lack of testing on Tuesday, due to inclement weather conditions in Nome, Norton Sound Health Corporation confirmed sixteen new positive cases of COVID-19 yesterday.

According to NSHC, all but two patients are considered close contacts of a previously confirmed case in Nome. NSHC says Nome now has 54 active cases of COVID-19.

One patient is a non-resident of the Norton Sound and their case is considered travel-related. The origin of the 16th case is still under investigation.

This latest count includes ten NSHC employees, two of whom work at Quyanna Care Center (QCC). According to the regional health corporation, despite these two individuals working closely with a vulnerable population, none of the residents of QCC nor other NSHC patients were exposed due to the employee cases.

NSHC says all residents and guardians at QCC were notified and tested yesterday, which so far has shown no additional positive COVID-19 test results.

Since the local outbreak in Nome began around two weeks ago, 70 total positive cases have been confirmed. 16 of those individuals are NSHC employees.

In addition, NSHC says 250 residents in Nome have been instructed to quarantine since November 16th.

With the latest 16 cases, Norton Sound now has a total of 248 positive COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began. At least 59 are currently active with 54 of those located in Nome. At least 189 are considered recovered. The exact number of active and recovered cases is unknown at this time as NSHC is not publicizing that information on a daily basis.

Image at top: The COVID-19 testing drive-thru tent outside the Norton Sound Regional Hospital. *Note that local COVID-19 testing now takes place in the NSHC Operations Building. Photo from Reba Lean, NSHC (2020).

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