Because YKHC has been preparing for the region’s first COVID-19 case since February, we had numerous systems in place to support the response last night. Immediately upon receiving lab confirmation of the positive COVID-19 test result, YKHC staff informed the individual tested and instructed them to continue to self-isolate.
Additionally, YKHC staff worked closely with State Epidemiology and Public Health Nursing to identify all individuals who were considered a “close contact” of the person who tested positive. Close contacts are any person who was within six feet for more than 5-10 minutes of the individual who tested positive. All individuals who were a close contact with the positive case have been identified. We have been able to contact a majority of the close contacts to offer testing and instruct them to self-isolate. To protect patient confidentiality, we cannot elaborate any further at this time.
Each and every positive case identified in the region will follow this same detailed and rigorous process, though YKHC may not offer this type of update for each case. We encourage everyone to practice good protective measures that prevent transmission of this virus, including: social distancing, shelter in place when possible, wash hands frequently, and disinfect highly touched surfaces often.
As a reminder, symptoms of COVID-19 include a fever and a cough, sometimes causing 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.