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Update on the Second COVID-19 Case in YK Delta

On May 15, YKHC confirmed a second positive COVID-19 case of an individual who opted for testing at the Bethel airport, upon arriving from Anchorage and before continuing on to an outlying village. As part of YKHC’s emergency preparedness effort, our village rapid response team – including a physician, nurse, lab technician, and two environmental health officers – arrived in the affected community at 3 p.m. that day.

That same afternoon, all close contacts of the known positive case were identified and tested twice – using both rapid testing and lab testing that will be processed in Anchorage. All rapid tests, including that of the individual who originally tested positive, returned as negative.

The following morning, May 16, YKHC’s village rapid response team began community-wide testing. By the end of the day, over 300 residents were tested using both rapid and lab testing, with all known results returning as negative. The person who originally tested positive for COVID-19, as well as all close contacts, were rapid tested a second time. The rapid test results again returned as negative.

YKHC has informed the individual who originally tested positive and all of their close contacts to continue quarantining for 14 days from the time of the positive test, ending quarantine on May 26. The community is encouraged to shelter in place for 10 days following the positive result, ending shelter in place on May 22. Widespread community testing will continue to be offered through the village clinic and 300 masks were left for distribution in the village. If needed, YKHC’s village rapid response team will return to the community for follow-up support.

YKHC confirmed with Alaska Airlines that on the flight from Anchorage no person was seated within six feet of the individual who originally tested positive.

YKHC is here for you and your family. While we are working hard to protect the region from further spread of the virus, we need your help. This second case highlights the importance of YK Delta residents to continue practicing protective measures, including: physical distancing from anyone not residing in your same household, regular handwashing, wearing a face covering in public, and regularly disinfecting high-touch surfaces in your home.

Get the latest information on COVID-19 and local response 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 and have traveled out of the YK Delta in the past 14 days, 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.