A COVID-19 testing sample at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation.
Katie Basile / KYUK

Five people at the Bethel Youth Facility have tested positive for COVID-19. The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services announced in a press release on Oct. 21 that four Bethel Youth Facility staff and one youth were infected with the virus.

Tiffany Zulkosky was sworn in as House District 38's state representative on March 9, 2018.
Courtesy of Michelle Sparck.

State Rep. Tiffany Zulkosky said that her biggest accomplishments have been fighting the governor’s budget vetoes to protect rural Alaska, and the creation of the House Special Committee on Tribal Affairs. That committee led the effort to establish November as Alaska Heritage Month. Zulkosky’s concern for rural Alaska's tribes was evident during her first year in office.

Alaska Public Media

In September 2020, KYUK reported that approximately 130 residents living in Mertarvik did not receive a primary election ballot. After hearing this news, state lawmakers from the state House and Senate wrote letters to state election officials asking how they would fix things for the general election. The Alaska Division of Elections director and Alaska's lieutenant governor shared their response to these questions with KYUK.

Someone enters the Nelson Island School in Toksook Bay, Alaska on December 12, 2019. YKHC announced evidence of community spread of COVID-19 in Toksook Bay on Oct. 16, 2020.
Anna Rose MacArthur / KYUK

COVID-19 cases will have to drop dramatically before many Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta schools can return to in-person classes.

Alaska Airlines passengers arriving in Bethel sign up to take voluntary coronavirus tests. April 29, 2020 in Bethel, Alaska.
Katie Basile / KYUK

Last week, as COVID-19 cases increased to their highest point in Alaska, the state eased its testing and quarantine requirements for travelers entering the state. The Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta is one of the areas where cases are increasing fastest in Alaska, and the regional health corporation is urging travelers entering the area to practice more robust testing and quarantine measures than required by state health mandates.

A COVID-19 testing sample at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation.
Katie Basile / KYUK

On Oct. 20., the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation announced the most devastating COVID-19 numbers to date: 78 new coronavirus cases in a single day. YKHC also reported that a Y-K Delta Elder in their 70s passed away due to COVID-19 complications. Next of kin have been notified. This is the fourth coronavirus-related death for the region.

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation COVID-19 testing tent is located in the YKHC Administrative Building parking lot.
Dean Swope/KYUK

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation is asking everyone in the region to get a flu shot. The health corporation warns in a news release that simultaneous COVID-19 and flu outbreaks in the region could overwhelm the local medical capacity.

Alyse Galvin Campaign

This is the second time that Alyse Galvin will try to defeat Don Young, the longest-serving member of Congress. She said that Young has been there too long, and that he doesn’t have any power because term limits prevent him from chairing any committee, even if the Republicans were to regain control of the House of Representatives.

Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation hospital in Bethel, Alaska
Greg Kim / KYUK

When a certain percentage of a population tests positive for COVID-19, deaths and hospitalizations usually follow. The Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta has passed that mark and is witnessing its grim effects. Health officials are calling on everyone to take action to slow the spread of the virus.

This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (in yellow), the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (in blue/pink) cultured in a lab.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases – Rocky Mountain Laboratories

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation is urging everyone to stop gathering with people outside their households to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the region. It’s also urging people to stay home if they feel sick.