No active COVID cases in Nome and region
By Peter Loewi
Alaska saw a spike in COVID-19 infections last week, with the June 22 data summary from the Department of Health and Social Services reporting 3,016 new cases, an almost 25 percent increase over the previous week. The number of cases in Alaska residents is rising, but an increasing percentage of the cases being reported to DHSS are non-residents.
In the region, Norton Sound Health Corporation in a Monday release said that there are no active cases in Nome or the region.
An analysis of the weekly reports since April, when DHSS began limiting reports to weekly dispatches, shows that the percentage of cases in non-residents has risen from 1-2 percent at the beginning of April to 30 percent last week.
Of the 3,016 cases announced by DHSS on June 22, 893 are in non-residents. The weekly summary says that the purpose of many of those visits to Alaska is still under investigation, but at least 611 of the cases are defined as “purpose tourism.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend testing before domestic travel, but daily new cases in the United States remain around 100,000, where they have hovered for more than a month.
There are currently 67 people hospitalized across the state of Alaska due to COVID-19, the most since late February.
Nome’s poor weather last week preventing planes from landing may have helped prevent the spread of the virus.
The City of Nome is offering free adult and child size face masks and home test kits at three locations: City Hall, the Nome Recreation Center and the Richard Foster Building at the Kegoayah Kozga Public Library.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have both been approved and recommended for use in children ages six months to five years old. Norton Sound Health Corporation began vaccinating these ages on Monday, June 27.
To schedule a vaccination for a child in Nome, call Primary Care at 907-443-3333 and request to schedule a “nurse-only” pediatric COVID-19 vaccination appointment. In regional villages, contact the local clinic to schedule an appointment or be added to the waitlist.
The week in numbers:
On Tuesday, June 21, Norton Sound Health Corporation identified three new cases of COVID-19 in the region. Two of the cases were in Nome and one was in Diomede.
There were 14 active cases in the region as of this date, with seven in Nome, six in Unalakleet and one in Diomede.
On Wednesday, June 22, NSHC identified one new case in Nome. Active cases in the region dropped to six, with five in Nome and one in Diomede.
No new cases were reported on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday. As of Tuesday, June 28, there are no active cases in the region.
Since the start of the pandemic:
The United States of America has had 87,110,120 officially reported cases of COVID-19 and 1,016,244 associated deaths.
The State of Alaska has had 259,390 officially reported cases of COVID-19, 3,772 hospitalizations, and 1,252 associated deaths. There are currently 67 people hospitalized due to COVID-19.
Nome, the Norton Sound and Bering Strait region has had at least 6,059 cases, 46 hospitalizations and six deaths.