To protect confidentiality, YKHC adheres to a longstanding corporate policy of not naming communities affected by medical emergencies. While YKHC cannot control other media sources that may confirm location of COVID-19 cases in the YK Delta, YKHC has been consistent in upholding this longstanding policy throughout response of this global pandemic and when confirming positive cases in the region.
Following consultation with the Alaska Section of Epidemiology and with the approval of Napaskiak Tribal Chief Stephen Maxie, Tribal Administrator Sharon Williams, and Mayor Joe Amik, on June 25 the three organizations issued a joint statement about the strong likelihood of sporadic community spread of COVID-19 in the village. As discussed with community leaders that day, YKHC believes it is our duty to ensure the village of Napaskiak and surrounding region are aware of the public health conditions so they can be best equipped to protect vulnerable populations in the community from spread of a potentially deadly virus, in an area where medical resources are finite and widespread. Furthermore, the June 25 joint release would not have been issued without the community’s expressed support.
Knowing early detection and isolation of this virus is one of the few tools the global medical community has to combat spread, YKHC has implemented comprehensive testing and employee health protocols to protect the health and safety of our customers and colleagues. Because we do not know when someone will have a serious reaction to a COVID-19 infection that requires hospitalization or could lead to death, YKHC has put these protocols in place for employees throughout the region.
We commend the leadership in Napaskiak for encouraging members of their community to get tested for the novel coronavirus. YKHC looks forward to continuing a positive working relationship with the Napaskiak Tribal Council and City of Napaskiak, as we work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the YK Delta.