Greg Kim

News Reporter

Greg Kim is a news reporter for KYUK. In his past life, he worked as a software engineer in Seattle, WA. He visited Bethel in 2019 for the Kuskokwim 300, and decided he wanted to tell the stories of the people in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.

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

Beginning weeks ago, before any confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Alaska, the City of Bethel and its emergency responders began preparing for the scenario of the novel coronavirus reaching Bethel.

Katie Basile / KYUK

There are unique challenges for a remote community to deal with a contagious disease like COVID-19, but the staff at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation hospital says that these are not new challenges for the region. 

Homework packets are assembled in Ava Ernst's third grade classroom at Gladys Jung Elementary in Bethel, Alaska on March 18, 2020. Schools across Alaska are closed following a state mandate put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Katie Basile / KYUK

Schools all across Alaska, including those in the Lower Kuskokwim School District, have been shuttered due to COVID-19 until at least March 30. District Superintendent Dan Walker expects the closures to last beyond that, and has been trying to plan accordingly.

Acting City Manager Bill Howell says that Bethel could request emergency drivers with commercial driver's licenses from the state in an extreme scenario.
Greg Kim / KYUK

All municipal buildings in Bethel are now closed to the public. City hall, the finance office, the fire department, the police station, and the public works building all locked their doors on March 19. Acting City Manager Bill Howell says that this action was taken in order to keep city services operating, at least telephonically.

Margaret Nagasiak prepares breakfast and lunch trays for parents to pick-up at Gladys Jung Elementary School on March 19, 2020. Starting on Monday, March 23, meals and school materials will be brought to designated pick-up places around town during school
Katie Basile / KYUK

During school closures, the Lower Kuskokwim School District is still providing students with meals and the materials necessary for schoolwork. Those will be delivered to students in Bethel starting Monday, March 23.

The Bethel Regional High School Warriors played in the regional conference basketball tournament in Anchorage on March 13, a day after the first case of COVID-19 in Alaska was announced.
Greg Lincoln / Delta Discovery

The Bethel Warriors and Lady Warriors played their Regional Conference basketball tournament in Anchorage on Friday, March 13. One day earlier, Alaska’s first positive case of the novel coronavirus had been announced; the infected person was in Anchorage. Lower Kuskokwim School District Superintendent Dan Walker explained his decision to let the boys and girls play in what he says is likely to be the last student activity of the school year.

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

The COVID-19 virus at the heart of the global pandemic is tough to control because, on the face of it, the disease is often not severe. 

The University of Alaska Fairbanks, Kuskokwim Campus has tightened its restrictions due to the threat of COVID-19. KuC Student Services Technician Danny Nelson said that the campus is only open by appointment. That means students will have to call ahead of time to use computers, talk to advisors, or study on campus.