YKHC expands eligibility for COVID-19 vaccinations, recommends extended regionwide lockdown

YKHC expands eligibility for COVID-19 vaccinations
Effective Tuesday, January 19, YKHC is again expanding who is eligible for COVID-19 vaccination in the YK Delta. In Bethel and villages, all individuals age 16 and older will now be eligible for vaccination.

To request a vaccination appointment, regardless of whether you live in Bethel or a village, please submit a vaccine application at: https://tinyurl.com/y7reeyst.

If you know someone who does not have access to the internet to submit a vaccine application online, please contact your local village clinic for help or your local tribal office for a phone number to contact YKHC for help. If you are in Bethel and need help with the online form, please call the COVID-19 hotline at 543-6949. The hotline is staffed Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voicemails will be returned within 3 business days.

Please keep in mind, completion of this form does not automatically schedule an appointment. It is possible an appointment may not be scheduled for a few weeks, as YKHC schedules appointments based on state and federal guidelines and vaccine availability.

Learn more at: https://www.ykhc.org/covid-19/vaccine/

YKHC recommends extended regionwide lockdown
YKHC strongly recommends all communities in the YK Delta region immediately extend shelter-in-place, or lockdown, mandates through February 28, 2021.

“Although we saw early indications COVID-19 cases were stabilizing after the initial regionwide lockdown recommendation, YKHC is seeing an exponential growth in new cases occurring – with a 33 percent increase in new cases just this past week,” said Chief of Staff Dr. Ellen Hodges.

“If these trends continue, new cases in the region could jump dramatically and quickly,” Hodges continued. “YKHC is also continuing to see severe infections that have led to hospitalization and, sadly, death. Contact tracing suggests many of these infections were spread during in-person holiday gatherings. The extended regionwide lockdown is one of the most effective tools we have to help save lives and quality of health for residents during the on-going pandemic.”

“We know how difficult and tiring adhering to these recommendations are,” said Infection Control Director Dr. Elizabeth Bates. “But, the more strictly we spend time in-person with just the individuals who reside in our same household, wearing a mask in public, and canceling non-essential travel, the sooner a sense of normalcy can return to our communities. If we can work together to decrease how many COVID-19 cases are in the region, the sooner we can discuss how our children can safely return to in-person learning and other critical community functions.”

The initial regionwide shelter-in-place recommendation was made on November 16. A recommendation to extend the lockdown was made on December 18. Both intended to curb the exponential spread of COVID-19 occurring in the region.

More information about lockdown and shelter-in-place strategies can be found on YKHC’s website at https://www.ykhc.org/covid-19/resources/.