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Update on YKHC’s COVID-19 Response

On May 26, YKHC confirmed a third positive COVID-19 case of an individual in the YK Delta who was identified through rapid testing, in accordance with Health Mandate 15. 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.

Working closely with the local tribe and city government, YKHC sent a rapid response team to the village. The village rapid response team – including a physician, two nurses, a lab technician, and two environmental health officers – arrived in the affected community at 3 p.m. that same day. By that 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 taken of close contacts of the person who originally tested positive returned as negative.

The following morning, May 27, YKHC’s village rapid response team began community-wide testing. By the end of the day, over 350 residents were tested using both rapid and lab testing, with all known results returning as negative. Results of samples collected for lab testing will be available 3-5 days after the date of collection.

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 June 8. The community is encouraged to shelter in place until all State lab results return. Widespread community testing will continue to be offered through the village. If needed, YKHC’s village rapid response team will return to the community for follow-up support.

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 additional 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.

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COVID-19: Call Before Seeking Care

If you have symptoms like a fever, cough or shortness of breath, 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.