Health related stories.

Katie Basile / KYUK

On Jan. 6, two people in the region died from complications with COVID-19. One of the individuals was in their 50s; the other was in their 60s. Also that day, a person with COVID-19 was medevaced out of the region for advanced medical care.

Loren Holmes / ADN

In mid-December, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation received enough Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for just over 2,000 people to receive two doses of the vaccine. By the end of the year, about 1,120 people in the region had been vaccinated with at least one dose. YKHC is continuing to vaccinate people against the virus into the new year.

Katie Basile / KYUK

The overall number of new, confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta is declining, but the number of severe infections requiring hospitalization and medevacs is increasing. According to YKHC Public Information Officer Gage Hoffman, the health corporation has traced many of these severe infections to Christmas gatherings.

Father Chuck Peterson waves farewell during his final Bethel Mass on Sunday, October 1, 2017. Yup'ik elders, deacons, and their wives surround the Jesuit priest, giving him a traditional Yup'ik blessing for safe travels on his journey.
Dean Swope / KYUK

Catholic Priest Fr. Chuck Peterson died on Christmas Eve. The Jesuit priest began serving in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in the 1970s, where he spent decades building the local, Indigenous leadership of the church. In 2017, his superiors transferred Fr. Chuck to California after he developed health issues. On Dec. 24, Fr. Chuck died in San Jose, California at the age of 82. He passed two weeks after being admitted to the hospital with pneumonia in both lungs from COVID-19.

Yukon Kuskokwim Correctional Center
Aleina Tanabe / KYUK

The COVID-19 outbreak at the Yukon Kuskokwim Correctional Center is winding down. There are currently 13 active cases among inmates, but on Dec. 16 there were 75. 

Katie Basile / KYUK

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation has been reporting lower numbers of new COVID-19 cases recently. Over the past two weeks, an average of 23 new cases have been reported per day.

Bethel Winter House

On Monday, Dec. 28, Bethel’s homeless shelter opened its new building, which formerly housed the town’s senior center, to guests for the first time. Jon Cochrane, with Bethel Winter House, said that it’s exciting to finally have a homeless shelter that will be open all year round, not just in the winter.

Patrick Dulin, the developer of the Step Away smartphone app for recovery.
James Evans / University of Alaska Anchorage

People are drinking more as they struggle to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. Tiffany Hall, with Recover Alaska, said that survey statistics indicate that people are using both drugs and alcohol more than they were before the pandemic began.

Loren Holmes / ADN

  A KYUK story about the baby formula shortage in Russian Mission caught the eye of artist and activist CeeJay Johnson, who stepped in to organize a big donation. The U.S. Post Office in Russian Mission has been intermittently closed for nearly half a year. Both the village store and mothers on the Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC) rely on USPS for formula shipments, and have been running dangerously low.

Marshall Goes Damp

Dec 28, 2020
Eighteen packs of beer lined a shelf at the opening of Bethel Native Corporation's Bethel Spirits Liquor Store on on Sept. 27, 2016. The store has only operated for 30 days since its opening.
Dean Swope / KYUK

Residents of Marshall, AK are able to ship alcohol into the community for the first time in over three decades. Voters overturned its alcohol local option status, changing the village from dry to wet. The new law comes with plenty of stipulations.