With COVID-19 cases crowding into hospitals, people are being asked to delay other medical procedures if possible. Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation Chief of Staff Dr. Ellen Hodges advised people to take advantage of telemedicine connections to Anchorage in order to potentially avoid traveling for medical care.
Editor’s note: Cynthia Ivan is from Akiak on the Kuskokwim River. She wrote this account on Facebook about the death of her grandmother, Lucy Ivan, who had COVID-19. The Anchorage Daily News published a slightly edited and expanded version with the family’s permission. KYUK is republishing the piece with Cynthia Ivan and ADN's permission.
The 11th person in the Y-K Delta, an Elder in their 70s, passed away due to COVID-19 complications on Nov. 20. In the same weekend, from Nov. 20 to 22, seven people were hospitalized in Bethel for the coronavirus.
Kwethluk is struggling to control a major outbreak of the coronavirus in the village. Jordan Fisher, the village COVID-19 Incident Commander, estimates that of the 800 or so people who live in Kwethluk, 150 have been diagnosed with the virus.
Cases of COVID-19 continue to increase in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. Health professionals like Dan Winkelman, President and CEO of the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation, say that the region needs to lock down for a month to keep local health care facilities from being overwhelmed.