There is a COVID-19 outbreak in Hooper Bay, the largest that the region has seen in months, and the largest that Hooper Bay has ever seen. The current outbreak began in May, and 63 individuals have tested positive since then. As of June 18, there were about 40 active cases.
In their June 22 meeting, the Bethel City Council could vote to extend COVID-19 related emergency mandates by another two months. Up for extension is the declaration of emergency mandate, another mandate that requires either quarantine or testing for unvaccinated individuals traveling to Bethel, and an item that would prevent water shut offs for those who can’t afford to pay their water bill during the pandemic.
Editor's note: This story has been updated with information from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
Families along the Kuskokwim River will have another opportunity to fill fish racks with salmon. Fishery managers announced the season’s third drift net opening based on an assessment of this season’s king salmon run.
In recent years, the chum salmon runs on the Yukon River have been low. This year, it is too early to tell how the run will be. But with commercial fishing becoming a less reliable venture, one fishing enterprise is hoping to find stability by turning to veggies.
The City of Bethel is offering $100 gift cards as incentives for people to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Anyone who gets their first COVID-19 shot in Bethel on or after June 14 can receive one of the cards. There are 450 available, and they can be used at local Bethel grocers: Corina’s Caselot, Swanson’s Grocery, and Alaska Commercial Company.
State permits are no longer required to fish using gillnets in Subsistence Section 5 of the Kuskokwim River. Section 5 spans from the Holitna River mouth to the headwaters of the Kuskokwim, including the villages of Stony River, McGrath, and Nicolai.
They do it every winter, but it was this summer when their work on the Kuskokwim Ice Road was recognized by Alaska lawmakers and the Calista Corporation. Mark Leary, with the Napaimute Transportation Department, said that the recognition comes after a tough winter that stretched their efforts beyond the budget they had carefully constructed.