In a pair of press releases from June 22nd and 23rd, Norton Sound Health Corporation stated that it has identified a total of seven new cases of COVID-19 in Koyuk. NSHC has determined that all seven are the result of community spread.

All of the latest patients are safely isolating, and their close contacts have been notified. Due to the risk of additional community spread, NSHC is recommending that Koyuk residents “hunker down” for the time being, according to Reba Lean, NSHC’s Public Relations Manager.

“We are asking people to avoid each other’s households, and avoid socializing with people outside of your household for these two weeks.”

– Reba Lean

Lean emphasized that non-vaccinated individuals should be especially careful.

“If you do have vaccinated members of your family, it’d be great if you designated those folks to do the shopping for you, checking the post office and any other errands that need to be run in the public.”

In response to the new cases, the Ruth Qumiiggan Henry Memorial Clinic in Koyuk will be open only for testing, vaccinations, and emergencies, June 23–25.

“So all unvaccinated people in Koyuk, we’re asking you to try to get down to the clinic and get tested this week. And while you’re there, if you’re of age, if you’re 12 years and older, get vaccinated, because that is the thing that is going to protect you the most.”

Those experiencing symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat, cough, fever, body aches, or diarrhea are especially encouraged to get tested for COVID-19. Koyuk residents can schedule an appointment at the clinic by calling (907) 963-3311.

In addition to the seven cases in Koyuk, NSHC has identified one additional case somewhere within the region. That patient has asked that their home community be withheld, but they are safely isolating and their close contacts have been notified. Unlike the Koyuk patients, however, NSHC has determined that this is a travel-related case.

These latest eight patients are the only currently active COVID-19 cases in the region. NSHC has identified a total of 394 positive cases of COVID-19 in the Norton Sound region since the beginning of the pandemic last year. Of those, only eight have resulted in hospitalizations, with zero deaths.

Image at top: The COVID-19 Virus. Photo by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.