On June 30th, Norton Sound Health Corporation identified two more positive COVID-19 cases. Both patients are residents of Koyuk and the source of the virus is community spread.

Currently, there are 13 active cases in the region. Koyuk’s village leadership has not updated the village’s COVID-19 restrictions since its January 22nd ordinance. Restrictions in place are limited interstate travel to essential workers, returning students, and community members with a critical need to travel; as well as requiring all community gatherings to keep at 50% capacity. More recently, the NSHC recommended that the community of Koyuk limit non-essential comings and goings for the next two weeks.

NSHC and village leadership are encouraging residents in general to sanitize their hands, wear face masks, and practice social distancing. Shishmaref still has a mask mandate in effect, in addition to limiting inbound travel to individuals with ties in the community and essential workers. Brevig Mission’s mask mandate also continues. There is a curfew in effect in White Mountain.

The NSHC states that if you are vaccinated, you can go without a mask in public and can gather in groups. If you are eligible and not yet vaccinated, NSHC encourages you to receive your vaccination by contacting your local clinic.

Currently, anyone in the Norton Sound region who is 12 years old or older is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination by calling NSHC or your local village clinic.

While COVID-related travel requirements are no longer mandatory in Nome, travelers to regional villages must have vaccination cards or show proof of negative tests to fly with Bering Air.

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