As COVID-19 cases climb, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation recommends that the entire region remain locked down for another month, through Feb. 28. This is the third consecutive month that the health corporation has advocated for a month-long, region-wide lockdown to slow the spread of COVID-19.
YKHC issued its initial lockdown recommendation on Nov. 16. Nearly all communities in the region complied. It issued another lockdown recommendation on Dec. 18. The lockdowns worked; cases of COVID-19 stabilized. But following the Christmas holidays, cases have begun growing exponentially once again.
According to a press release from the health corporation advocating for the lockdown extension, over the past week YKHC has recorded a 33% increase in new cases. In early January, they began seeing an increase in severe cases requiring hospitalizations and medevacs. Many of these severe cases have been in people under the age of 65.
On Jan. 19, everyone 16 and older in the region will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, making the region one of the first areas in the country to expand eligibility to the general population.
Over 3,660 people in the Y-K Delta have received a COVID-19 vaccine. About a fifth of those have received their second doses, according to YKHC Vice President of Communications Tiffany Zulkosky.
YKHC encourages everyone who is eligible to receive a vaccine to suppress the widespread outbreak of the virus in the region. The Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region has held the highest COVID-19 case rate in Alaska since October 2020, and also holds one of the highest case rates in the nation.
To request a COVID-19 vaccine, fill out this form on YKHC's website: https://tinyurl.com/y7reeyst.