The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation has determined that community spread of COVID-19 is occurring in Tuluksak. Numerous recent cases there could not be linked to travel, which means that the virus is spreading, in some cases undetected, within the community.
With Thanksgiving approaching, health officials are urging everyone in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta to stay home this holiday to prevent spreading COVID-19. Hospitals across the state are filling up, and cases could soon overwhelm the local health care system.
The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation held a virtual town hall on Nov. 23 to answer the region’s questions about the coronavirus pandemic. Listen to the full town hall, which has been slightly edited for broadcast.
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.