Health related stories.

Katie Basile / KYUK

The Alpha variant of COVID-19 may be present in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, but it does not appear to be threatening in-person education at local schools this fall. That’s because public health officials have learned more about the COVID-19 virus. 

Maternal Child Death Review Committee / Alaska State Department Of Health

More mothers die in, or right after, childbirth in the United States than any other developed country, and that number is growing. Alaska has a lower rate than the national average, but still sees 6 to 13 maternal deaths each year, according to the Alaska Maternal Child Death Review Committee. Rates are highest among Indigenous mothers in Southwestern Alaska.

A COVID-19 testing sample at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation.
Katie Basile / KYUK

A strain of COVID-19 that spreads faster and is more harmful has shown up in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. The Alaska Department of Heath and Social Services has confirmed the presence of at least two cases of the COVID-19 Alpha variant in two villages in the region.

courtesy of ANTHC

On May 10, the U.S. Department of the Treasury opened its online portal for federally recognized tribes to collect their American Rescue Plan funds. But two-and-a-half weeks later, many Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta tribes have not yet received their money. For some tribes, the slowdown has been caused by internet issues. A slowdown of even a few weeks could cause problems for the tribes that want to start water and sewer projects before the end of the summer barge season. 

Elyssa Loughlin / KYUK

During their May 25 meeting, Bethel City Council changed its city-wide mask mandate. Previously, masks were required in all indoor public spaces in Bethel. Now, vaccinated residents can go about much of their business without masks.

Katie Basile / KYUK

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation is encouraging parents across the region to sign their 12-to-15-year-olds up for a COVID-19 vaccine. YKHC began vaccinating this age group in Bethel on May 13, and will begin sending vaccines to villages the week of May 17. 

Someone enters the Nelson Island School in Toksook Bay, Alaska on December 12, 2019. YKHC announced evidence of community spread of COVID-19 in Toksook Bay on Oct. 16, 2020.
Anna Rose MacArthur / KYUK

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation said that it intends to support full-time, in-person schooling in the fall regardless of COVID-19 transmission rates in the region.

YKHC staff unpacks vials of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 16, 2020 in Bethel, Alaska.
Katie Basile / KYUK

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation could begin vaccinating 12-15 year olds against COVID-19 as soon as May 13. That’s if a federal advisory committee with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorses the Pfizer vaccine for this age group, which is expected to happen May 12.

Kia Hasson / Army National Guard

During the early hours of May 10, the Alaska Army National Guard rescued four stranded boaters and one dog on the Kuskokwim River between Bethel and Kwethluk.

Alaskans Age 12 To 15 Could Get COVID-19 Vaccine As Early As May 12

May 11, 2021
Katherine Rose / KCAW

Alaska children ages 12 to 15 may be able to get a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine as soon as the afternoon of Wednesday, May 12, said state health officials.