Health related stories.

This colorized scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (round blue objects), the virus that causes COVID-19, emerging from the surface of cells cultured in the lab.
NIAID Rocky Mountain Laboratories

As of Dec. 13, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation has announced a total of 3,095 people who have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Pilot Station on May 16, 2018.
Mike Carpenter

Thirteen communities in the region now have confirmed evidence of community spread of the coronavirus. On Dec. 11, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation announced community spread of COVID-19 in the lower Yukon River communities of Pilot Station and Kotlik.

vaccination shot

Once the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorizes the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for emergency use, it should arrive in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in a matter of days. When that occurs, the region’s health corporation will immediately begin distributing the vaccine throughout the area.

The Food and Drug Administration has authorized Eli Lilly's antibody-based drug bamlanivimab for emergency use as a treatment for COVID-19.
Eli Lilly via AP

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation staff are treating some COVID-19 patients with antibodies.

Matt Rourke / AP Photo

The controversial sugary beverage tax prompted hours of discussion by Bethel residents, advocacy organizations, and city council members in last night’s meeting. The council voted to introduce the ordinance, but tabled the public hearing and final vote until April 2021.

Calista Corporation

Emmonak is the latest community in the region to develop community spread of COVID-19, according to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation. Active cases in the lower Yukon hub cannot be linked to outside travel. This means that COVID-19 is spreading among community members.

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

The COVID-19 outbreak at the Bethel jail continues to grow larger. As of Dec. 8, there were 65 active cases at the Yukon Kuskokwim Correctional Center. That’s well over a quarter of the inmate population at the facility, and an increase of 26 cases within five days.


Bethel City Council has been weighing a potential new tax on sugary beverages. The tax is up for discussion in the Bethel City Council meeting on Dec. 8.

Bethel Elder Esther Green reflects on past pandemics, and lessons learned through stories passed down in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. Green stands outside her home during the coronavirus pandemic on April 30, 2020 in Bethel, Alaska.
Katie Basile / KYUK

It can be tough getting medevaced to Anchorage for COVID-19, but getting back home can be even more difficult. Here is a story of how it went for one family.

COVID-19 Illustration
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

For now, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation is not changing its recommended quarantine times. YKHC says that anyone exposed to COVID-19 should quarantine for a full 14 days.