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Evidence of Sporadic Community Spread of COVID-19 Continues in Bethel

YKHC would like to remind the public that sporadic community spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, is continuing to occur in Bethel. We have now identified a total of 5 cases of COVID-19 that cannot be linked to either travel or a known COVID-19 case, making the source of these cases most likely community-based spread. Some case investigations are on-going.

 This advisory is issued by YKHC, out of an abundance of caution, to warn the public so individuals can take appropriate measures to reduce exposure to or spread of the virus. The occurrence of sporadic community spread of COVID-19 is not unexpected given the recent spike in travel-related cases in the YK Delta.

YKHC has been urging the public for months that the pandemic and the public health risks it poses are not over. The medical community has no way of knowing when someone will have a serious reaction to a COVID-19 infection, that requires hospitalization or could lead to death. Further, there are no widespread, well-established medical treatments for individuals experiencing a serious infection of COVID-19.

Now, more than ever, it is essential the public practice protective measures, which include: wear a mask when in public, keep social circles very small and remain physically distant (more than six feet) from anyone who does not reside in your household, 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, and frequently disinfect high-touch surfaces in your home. It takes a collective effort, as a community, to stop the transmission of this highly contagious virus.

YKHC continues to offer free COVID-19 testing, without an appointment, at the Bethel drive-thru testing site every Wednesday from noon to 4 p.m. Testing also continues by appointment at the Bethel drive-thru testing site on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, by calling 543-6949.

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.