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First COVID-19 hospitalization and death in the YK Delta

Over the weekend, YKHC saw its first hospitalization and medevac of a COVID-positive individual. YKHC was previously aware of the individual’s COVID-19 infection, as they were identified through testing in Bethel. The individual remained in self-isolation throughout duration of their infection and YKHC made daily calls to monitor symptoms and condition.

When the individual’s condition worsened, they arrived at the emergency room, where it was determined they would be transported to Anchorage for advanced care. It is with deep sadness that YKHC reports the individual died from complications related to COVID-19 while in Anchorage. The next of kin has been notified.

While the State has relaxed statewide health mandates, as YKHC has been stating for several weeks, the pandemic and the public health risks it poses is not over. Because COVID-19 is a novel virus, hospitals do not have access to vaccines that can prevent transmission or medical treatments that can treat serious infections.

Since we can never know when a COVID-19 will result in serious illness or death, we urge all YK Delta residents to remain vigilant and practice all known protective measures against COVID-19. Protective measures include: avoid all non-essential travel, opt for free COVID-19 testing upon arrival at the Bethel, St. Mary’s, and Aniak airports when arriving from out-of-region, practice regular handwashing, remain physically distant (more than six feet) from anyone who does not reside in your same household, wear a mask when in public, and frequently disinfect high-touch surfaces in your home.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include a fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, diarrhea, and diminished sense of taste or smell. If you have these symptoms, do not go to your village clinic or to the emergency room in Bethel. Instead, call your village clinic or in Bethel call 543-6949 so a health care provider can assist you.

Get the latest information on COVID-19 from YKHC at www.ykhc.org/covid-19.

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COVID-19: Call Before Seeking Care

If you have symptoms like a fever, cough or shortness of breath, do not go to your village clinic and do not go to the Emergency Room in Bethel. Instead, call your village clinic, or in Bethel, call 543-6949.