Health related stories.

Nunapitchuk declared a lockdown on May 15 after a traveler to the village tested positive for COVID-19. The lockdown comes a week after the community experienced its worst flooding in a decade, pictured here on May 8, 2020.

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation said that the person was traveling from Anchorage when they tested positive at the Bethel airport before heading to a nearby village the same day. YKHC received the confirmed lab results on Friday, May 15.

An officer following up on a tip found the body of Jonathan Pitka in a “shed-like building in the area of Front Street” on May 12, according to Acting Bethel Police Chief Amy Davis. Davis does not suspect foul play, and the body of the 34-year-old Pitka has been sent to the State Medical Examiner in Anchorage for autopsy. Bethel Police received a missing person report for Pitka on April 21.

Krysti Shallenberger / KYUK

Quinhagak has extended its travel restrictions until June 15. Non-residents cannot travel into the community unless they are essential personnel. 

Alaska Native Leader And Former Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott Dies At 77

May 8, 2020
Katherine Rose / KCAW

Byron Mallott, the Alaska Native leader who served as lieutenant governor under former Gov. Bill Walker, has died unexpectedly at age 77.

The Yukon Kuskokwim Fitness Center reopened on Monday, Jan. 15.
Christine Trudeau / KYUK

Phase Two of Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s "Reopen Responsibly Plan," which eases restrictions imposed to reduce the risk of COVID-19, takes effect May 8. Phase Two allows previously shuttered buildings like libraries, museums, churches and gyms, to open at low capacity. In Bethel, the pool and the movie theatre are two of the places reopening its doors this weekend.

After Weeks Without A Fatality, Alaska Reports 10th Coronavirus Death

May 6, 2020
Electron scanning microscope image of SARS-CoV-2 in blue.

According to new data from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, a 10th Alaskan has died due to the coronavirus, the first since April 13.

YKHC Nurse Kerry Cobbledick hands out swabs at a station set up for coronavirus testing outside of the Alaska Airlines airport terminal in Bethel, Alaska on April 28, 2020.
Katie Basile / KYUK

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation is offering testing to all passengers coming in from outside the region through Alaska Airlines, regardless if they have symptoms or not. 

Vigilance Needed To Stop Community Spread Of Coronavirus, Says Alaska's Chief Medical Officer

Apr 29, 2020
Dr. Anne Zink, Alaska’s chief medical officer, speaks at a news conference on March 23. On Monday, Zink said Alaskans shouldn’t let their guard down, as the coronavirus continues to spread in the community.
Creative Commons photo by Office of Gov. Mike Dunleavy

Alaskans continue to see what’s called “community spread” of COVID-19, which is where people contract the disease without knowing who they got it from.

Potential Changes To Emergency Cab Rules

Apr 27, 2020
A Kusko Cab waits for customers outside of the AC Store in Bethel, Alaska on April 1, 2020.
Katie Basile / KYUK

The emergency coronavirus rules for Bethel’s taxicabs are set to end in a week, and the Bethel City Manager plans to present his proposal for the next 30 days of cab operations at the city council meeting on April 28.

Katie Basile / KYUK

The economic pain of the coronavirus pandemic has spread to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta’s largest employer. Restrictions on travel and elective procedures meant to slow the spread of coronavirus have slashed the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation’s revenue. Beginning next week, YKHC will begin furloughing and laying off 300 employees.