Face masks stacks on top of one another on a table.

The State Department of Health and Social Services on Oct. 2 activated the crisis standards of care for Norton Sound Health Corporation along with 19 other state health care facilities.

Crisis standards of care are a set of guidelines developed to ensure the most effective use of limited resources during a disaster or public health emergency. 

“They guide health care providers and systems to triage patients and resources to do the most amount of good for the most people,” according to NSHC.

Nome’s rising COVID-19 case count prompted City Manager Glenn Steckman to issue an emergency order mandating masks in all indoor public spaces. The emergency order went into effect this Oct. 2 and will remain through Oct. 15.

As of the latest update from NSHC, there are currently 42 active cases of COVID-19 in Nome. Outside the city, there are 18 cases in Brevig Mission, 11 in Koyuk, two in Gambell and one in Shaktoolik, for a total of 74 active cases in the Norton Sound and Bering Strait region as a whole.

Image at top: COVID-19 cloth face masks produced by FabLabs in the Bering Strait School District. Photo from Chase Ervin, BSSD, used with permission (2020).