Health related stories.

Riders drive an ATV along a Bethel road.
Dean Swope / KYUK

In Bethel, the driver of a four-wheeler died after colliding with a power pole near Kasayuli Subdivision. Bethel police said that the collision occurred on Sept. 23 around 3:30 a.m.

Katie Basile / KYUK

Many people in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta are eligible for booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccine, but only those who have received the Pfizer-BioNTech version. On Sept. 24, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation published its new policy on booster shots on its website.


Nat Herz / Alaska Public Media

Gov. Mike Dunleavy painted a stark picture of the state’s COVID-19 woes as a surge in cases of the delta variant put hospitals in crisis mode.

Elyssa Loughlin / KYUK

COVID-19 cases in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta are rising. The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation reported 264 new COVID-19 cases in the region from Sept. 13 to Sept. 19. YKHC also reported three new hospitalizations and one death due to the virus during this one week period.

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

Editor's note: This story has been updated with a response from the YKHC Communications Department.  

Alaska is reporting the highest COVID-19 case rate per capita of any state, according to the New York Times tracker. The statewide surge in cases is straining resources and staff causing patients to receive a lower quality of care than before the surge. Here's what that looks like at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation Hospital.

Olivia Ebertz / KYUK

On Sept. 21, the City of Bethel held a second educational session for unvaccinated city employees to learn about the COVID-19 vaccine. With the mandate's deadline on the horizon, the unvaccinated minority are starting to decide whether they’ll quit, get fired, or get vaccinated. 


City of Bethel

City of Bethel employees have a week to either get their first COVID-19 vaccine dose or get fired. Most city employees are already vaccinated; less than 15% are not. Part of the unvaccinated minority is demanding more time and more education to learn about the vaccine. 


Bethel Police Department

The City of Bethel could soon lose nearly half its police force following a new vaccine mandate. The mandate, announced on Sept. 13, gives city employees two weeks to receive their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The mandate takes effect September 27. 


Riders drive an ATV along a Bethel road.
Dean Swope / KYUK

Local health care providers are cautioning Bethel residents not to take physical risks, including riding ATVs. Their message is that if you get hurt, you might not be able to receive adequate health care as surging COVID-19 cases destabilize Alaska’s health care system.

COVID-19 Surge Forces Alaska's Largest Hospital To Ration Care

Sep 15, 2021
Wesley Early / Alaska Public Media

On Sept. 14, doctors who work at Providence Alaska Medical Center said that they’ve begun to ration care as Alaska endures one of the worst surges of COVID-19 in the country.