On Thursday, June 25, YKHC was notified of an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 in Anchorage and subsequently traveled to Bethel. The individual was not notified about the positive test result until after travel occurred. The individual is not a resident of Bethel, and therefore per State reporting protocols, will not be counted in the YK Delta positive case count
The individual is currently self-isolating and YKHC is working with the State of Alaska Section of Epidemiology to conduct contact tracing, follow-up testing, and ensure precautions are taken to protect people the individual may have been in close contact with. All close contacts have been identified and provided instructions for follow-up testing and precautions to take.
While known close contacts of the positive case are minimal and YKHC is highly confident this is a travel-related case, we will offer public testing to Bethel residents who are concerned about potential exposure. COVID-19 testing will be offered, without an appointment, at the YKHC drive-through testing site on Wednesday, July 1, from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Although the State of Alaska has eased restrictions on travel and moved to reopen Alaska’s economy, the pandemic and the public health risks it poses is not over. This additional case emphasizes the importance of the public continuing the practice of all known protective measures. These measures help to prevent spread of the novel coronavirus. Protective measures include: avoiding all non-essential travel, practicing regular handwashing, remaining physically distant (more than six feet) from anyone who does not reside in your same household, wearing a mask when in public, and frequently disinfecting 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.