A Quinhagak resident and a Napaskiak resident tested positive for coronavirus on June 12 and June 15 respectively. The Quinhagak resident was at the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage, and the Napaskiak resident was in Bethel when they were tested. On June 18, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation announced that it had tested close contacts of the positive cases using rapid testing, and those returned negative.
YKHC also said that it had conducted lab-processed tests for the close contacts of the positive cases, and for anyone in the two villages that volunteered. The press release did not say that results for the lab-processed tests had returned yet.
YKHC tested the Napaskiak resident before that individual received service at the hospital. Rapid testing returned an initial positive result. Then, a lab test processed at YKHC returned a negative result. YKHC has stated that the second negative result does not mean that the person was free of the virus. It only means that the sample for the second test did not contain enough of the virus to trigger a positive result. A third test was conducted on the Napaskiak resident and was sent into the state lab. YKHC says that results from the state lab test take five to seven days to return.
YKHC urges the public to continue to avoid non-essential travel, practice handwashing and social distancing, wear a mask in public, and frequently disinfect high-touch surfaces in their homes.
Symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, diarrhea, and a diminished sense of taste or smell. Anyone with these symptoms is asked to not go see a medical provider, but instead to call their village clinic or the Bethel hospital at 907-543-6949.