On July 10, YKHC confirmed two new COVID-19 cases in the YK Delta.
July 10: Case 1
On July 10, YKHC confirmed a positive COVID-19 case identified through testing of inbound passengers at the Bethel airport. 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. As of this morning, all close contacts have been identified and provided instructions for follow-up testing and precautions to take.
While testing is a core public health strategy to detect, isolate and trace new cases, on any given day airport testing in Bethel consistently remains at 25-75% of arriving passengers who opt for free testing. “We continue to encourage all passengers, whether local residents or visitors, to agree to free COVID-19 testing at the Bethel airport,” said YKHC President & CEO Dan Winkelman. “I look forward to the day that 100% of Alaska Airlines’ passengers are tested when arriving to Bethel.”
July 10: Case 2
On July 10, YKHC was notified that an individual whose address is associated with a YKHC service area village tested positive for COVID-19 while in Anchorage. The individual was tested in accordance with Health Mandate 15. YKHC confirmed the individual no longer resides in the YK Delta, however because their current address is listed as the YKHC service area village, per State reporting protocols, the positive case will be counted as a YK Delta case. To protect patient privacy, YKHC is not releasing the name of the service area village.
The individual has been out of region since 2019 and is currently self-isolating in Anchorage. Contact tracing reveals the individual was not in the YK Delta during the period of time they would have been exposed to or considered infectious for COVID-19. Therefore, local response for contact tracing and follow-up testing is being managed in Anchorage.
The pandemic and the public health risks it poses is not over. These additional cases emphasize the importance of continuing to practice all known protective measures. Protective measures include: avoid all non-essential travel, opt for free COVID-19 testing upon arrival at the Bethel airport 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.
YKHC continues to offer 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.