Today, Tuesday, May 26, YKHC identified a third positive COVID-19 case in the YK Delta. The positive was identified through rapid testing conducted in Bethel today. The individual was tested a second time, using a test that will beprocessed and confirmed by the State Public Health lab. The individual resides in a YKHC service area village, but was in Bethel at the time of testing. To protect patient privacy, YKHC is not releasing the name of the village the person resides in.
The individual is currently self-isolating and YKHC is working with the State of Alaska Section of Epidemiology and local government officials to ensure precautions are taken to protect people they may have been in close contact with.
Prior to this notification going out, clinic staff in the affected village notified community members of the case. Long before any COVID-19 cases were identified in the YK Delta, YKHC developed a plan to respond to any positive cases within service area villages. A response team is traveling to the village today to provide screening and rapid testing.
YKHC has been operating under an Incident Command System (ICS) since March 18. The ICS is a management system designed to enable effective and efficient company-wide incident management by integrating a combination of personnel, procedures, resources, and communications operating within a common organizational structure. The ICS is making all decisions related to COVID-19 response and it will be active until further notice.
This additional case highlights the importance of continuing to practice known protective measures against the novel coronavirus, including regular handwashing, universal masking, physical distancing from anyone not in your same household, and disinfecting high-touch surfaces in your home.
YKHC is hosting a biweekly call for our tribal councils to receive updates regarding our COVID-19 response. The next call is Thursday, June 4. Tribes who are not already attending these calls can email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive call-in information.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include a fever, cough and shortness of breath. 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