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Katie Basile / KYUK

Hospitals nationwide lack enough face masks to protect their healthcare workers from the coronavirus. Thankfully, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation doesn’t have that problem yet. No cases of the virus have been diagnosed in the region. To remain ahead of the curve, YKHC is distributing kits for community members to assemble masks.

‘We Crossed A Line Today’: Dunleavy Orders Statewide Shelter In Place, Limits Travel

Mar 27, 2020
Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks at a news conference on Wednesday, March 25, 2020.
Office of the Governor

On March 27, Gov. Mike Dunleavy ordered Alaskans to stay home, and banned most travel across the state as the number of coronavirus cases continues to grow. Earlier that day, the first resident died in the state after testing positive for COVID-19

Rep. Tiffany Zulkosky (D-Bethel) on the Alaska House floor.
Courtesy of Tiffany Zulkosky

Eighteen Alaska state representatives have asked Gov. Mike Dunleavy to immediately issue a statewide shelter-in-place order. Among them was Democratic Rep. Tiffany Zulkosky of Bethel.

Courtesy of the Governor's Office

A coronavirus case has yet to be confirmed in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. Even so, regional leaders, businesses, local governments and the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation are taking steps to slow the spread of COVID-19. Ten new cases were announced in Alaska on March 26, bringing the state’s total to 69.

Katie Basile / KYUK

As the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Alaska grows by the day, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation is preparing to respond to cases in the Y-K Delta. The health corporation serves about 58 communities, all of which are off the road system. KYUK will continue to update this post with additional information about YKHC's response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Katie Basile / KYUK

Leaders in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta want Gov. Mike Dunleavy to sign a shelter-in-place order, and to support economic relief for regional airlines. The Association of Village Council Presidents, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation, the Lower Kuskokwim School District, Yuut Elitnaurviat, and the Bethel Native Corporation all signed a letter which was sent to the governor on March 25.

On March 25, Bethel City Council adopted its second emergency ordinance in as many days.
City of Bethel

Bethel City Council awarded $37,199 in Community Action Grants to local organizations on March 24, but is holding off on signing the checks. Due to canceled and postponed events during the coronavirus pandemic, the city will be asking grant recipients to see if they still need the money. 

Alaska Democratic Primary Will Collect All Votes Via Mail

Mar 26, 2020

The Alaska Democratic Party announced March 23 that it will hold its presidential primary exclusively by mail. In-person voting planned for April 4 was canceled due to concerns about the coronavirus.

Former Alaska Lt. Gov. Valerie Nurr’araaluk Davidson, right, speaks Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, during the Gathering at the Egan Center, Anchorage, Alaska.
Tripp Crouse / KNBA

On March 25, Alaska Pacific University announced that Valerie Nurr’araaluk Davidson will succeed its current president, Dr. Robert Onders, on April 25.

Dean Swope / KYUK

Public health nurses, or PHNs, are among the healthcare workers on the frontlines of disease and outbreaks in rural Alaska. With the coronavirus pandemic, PHNs are figuring out how to work with the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation and its health aides to battle the pandemic. At the same time, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta is also experiencing an outbreak of tuberculosis.

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