One resident of the Norton Sound region and one non-resident have tested positive for COVID-19. Norton Sound Health Corporation says one case is due to community spread, but the other source is unknown.

NSHC announced the two new positive cases last night. The regional resident, who’s home community has not been released, tested positive on Sunday while the non-resident case was identified yesterday. NSHC says the source of the virus in that case is under investigation.

Both patients are safely isolating and their close contacts have been notified. With these two latest positive tests, there are now six currently active COVID-19 in the Norton Sound. By NSHC’s latest update of their data dashboard Monday morning, there were 399 total positive cases in the region with eight hospitalizations and zero deaths.

When asked about whether the latest cases of COVID-19 were vaccinated individuals or not, NSHC’s Medical Director Mark Peterson told KNOM that information could not be shared. Dr. Peterson cited HIPAA laws as the reason why the regional health corporation won’t release vaccination status for individual cases.

In general, Peterson was able to share that in the Norton Sound region, less than 1% of positive COVID-19 cases are occurring in vaccinated individuals.

NSHC continues to advocate for higher vaccination rates to reach their herd immunity goal of 70% vaccinated in the region and to combat the New Delta Variant of the coronavirus, which has been documented in Alaska at this point.

Dr. Peterson also highlighted the data showing this latest variant is 60% more infectious than the UK variant, which was already significantly more infectious than the original COVID-19 virus.

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