Health related stories.

Two men in Fairbanks have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. That brings the total number of positive cases in Alaska up to three. 

Bethel City Council has postponed voting on the Uniform Remote Sellers Sales Tax Code, which would enable the city to collect taxes on purchases made by Bethel residents online. Council will revisit the issue on April 14.
City of Bethel

Beginning weeks ago, before any confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Alaska, the City of Bethel’s staff and emergency responders began preparing for the scenario of the novel coronavirus reaching Bethel.

Katie Basile / KYUK

  Bethel’s largest cab company, Kusko Cab, is continuing to transport customers around town, though some drivers have decided to stop working. Company co-owner Naim Shabani says that drivers are being asked to use their own discretion whether to continue driving amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A man in a Halloween mask stole nearly $3,000 from Bethel's VFW Bingo Hall on November 14, 2017.
Katie Basile / KYUK

The Bethel Veterans of Foreign Wars building has closed its doors to bingo and pull-tab sales for the next two weeks. The nonprofits that run the events made the decision as a precaution amid the coronavirus pandemic to protect employees and the public.

Katie Basile / KYUK

With the first case of coronavirus now confirmed in Alaska, how to contain the disease is top priority for the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation. The Native Corporation serves about 58 communities, all of which are off the road system. 

Katie Basile / KYUK

Update: On March 17, Gov. Mike Dunleavy issued a annoucement that these travel guidelines are now mandates.

Bethel organizations react to the threat of COVID-19.
Petra Harpak / KYUK

With the first case of coronavirus now confirmed in Alaska, Bethel organizations and businesses are taking steps to prevent an outbreak in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. 

Alaska Announces State’s First Coronavirus Case

Mar 12, 2020
Gov. Mike Dunleavy talks to reporters at a press conference about the novel coronavirus on Monday, March 9, 2020, while Alaska Chief Medical Officer Anne Zink stands in the background.
Joey Mendolia / Alaska Public Media

This story was published originally on Alaska Public Media.

Alaska officials said Thursday that they’ve confirmed the state’s first coronavirus case.

Greg Kim / KYUK

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation is now requiring all of its employees who are traveling to have a health screening when they return. Employees must monitor and record their temperatures three times a day for 14 days after returning from travel anywhere in Alaska, the lower 48, or abroad.

Greg Kim / KYUK

In response to concerns over the coronavirus, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation in Bethel has suspended all future non-essential out-of-state business travel for its employees. That’s according to YKHC spokesperson Mitchell Forbes, who says that the measure is just a precaution to protect employees’ health. Forbes says that the Native health corporation will continually evaluate its decision, and that travel will still continue for providers and patients.