Nome now has nine active cases of COVID-19 after two more residents tested positive on Tuesday.
Norton Sound Health Corporation says neither case is travel-related but instead one is considered community spread and the other is a close contact of a previously confirmed case. Prior to this announcement, the majority of new COVID-19 cases in Nome recently were travel related without any community spread.
The State Section of Epidemiology and Public Health Nursing have been notified of the two latest cases.
In an ongoing effort to reach herd immunity, or vaccinating 70% of the region’s total population, NSHC has also expanded its vaccination program. Anyone 50 years and older in Nome, two groups of essential workers, and those who are 16 to 49 years old with at least two “high risk medical conditions,” are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. This change comes a week after the regional health corporation halted giving out first doses of the Pfizer vaccine due to “a very limited supply.”
It is unclear how many Pfizer vaccine doses NSHC currently has available. A spokesperson for NSHC did not respond to KNOM’s request for comment before the publishing of this story.
So far during the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been 297 confirmed positive cases in the Norton Sound with 288 of those considered recovered.
Image at top: Particles from the coronavirus. Photo in the public domain via Creative Commons