On June 29, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation confirmed an additional case of COVID-19 in a Y-K Delta village. The corporation is not releasing the name of the village, but says that the affected individual is not a Y-K Delta resident. This is the 13th case of COVID-19 announced by YKHC.
The individual and close contacts have been tested and instructed to self-isolate. There is a high likelihood this is a travel-related case, according to YKHC, and the risk of exposure within the community is “very low.”
YKHC will be sending a response team to the village the week of July 6. The health corporation says follow-up testing is recommended 5 to 8 days following potential exposure, because on average, that’s when tests can most accurately detect the virus. YKHC says this is not a new protocol, but that in previous cases, it had been unknown how long the COVID-19 case had been in the village.
Although the state has reopened most of the economy, 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.
A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that YKHC's protocol for responding to cases of COVID-19 in villages had changed.