Health related stories.

Free Airport testing at Bethel, Alaska.
Katie Basile / KYUK

The head of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation says that it’s time to put more teeth in the area’s COVID-19 prevention measures, and he says that both the state and the city have the power to do it. Dan Winkelman, the Chief Executive Officer and President of YKHC, says that the state and city should mandate COVID-19 testing for both state workers and private employees traveling into bush communities. 

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

On Monday, Aug. 17, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation announced that three more people tested positive for the coronavirus. One was a Bethel resident who tested positive in Anchorage. Another lives in a village that YKHC serves, and flew into the community before the test result came back. Another Bethel resident tested positive during YKHC’s free airport testing. All three are currently self-isolating.

Katie Basile / KYUK

On Aug. 11, a Grant Aviation pilot tested positive for COVID-19. The airline revealed that the pilot had recently transported passengers between a number of Y-K Delta villages over a period of more than a week. Following the incident, some of those villages are taking the coronavirus pandemic more seriously.

Katie Basile / KYUK

A group of lawmakers sent a letter to the governor last week demanding a comprehensive mitigation plan for the coronavirus pandemic. But Gov. Mike Dunleavy says that he already has one.  

Katie Basile / KYUK

On Aug. 14, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation announced two new cases of COVID-19. Both are Bethel residents and close contacts of previously known cases. 

Anna Rose MacArthur/KYUK

Five people who work at Bethel's courthouse and state-run jail have tested positive for COVID-19, as the number of cases in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta continues to spike.

This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (in yellow), the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (in blue/pink) cultured in a lab.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases – Rocky Mountain Laboratories

Two more Bethel residents who were in close contact with a prior coronavirus case have tested positive for the virus. The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation confirmed the news on the evening of Thursday, Aug. 13. In addition, a resident in one of the villages in YKHC’s service area has also tested positive. All are currently self-isolating.

Anna Rose MacArthur / KYUK

A Grant Aviation pilot who works in Bethel tested positive for coronavirus on Aug. 11. The regional airline is going through its passenger list dating back to Aug. 3 to trace all contacts. Grant Aviation is working with the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation and the state to notify people who have been exposed. It’s unclear how many people were on those flights.

Greg Kim

On Aug. 12, Bethel saw its biggest spike in positive coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic in March. The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation confirmed five positive cases. Four are Bethel residents, and one is not. All five are close contacts of previously reported cases, and all are currently self-isolating. 

Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation hospital in Bethel, Alaska
Greg Kim / KYUK

On Aug. 10, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation confirmed two positive coronavirus cases in residents from two villages in YKHC’s service area. Both are currently self-isolating. One person was tested coming into Bethel at the airport; it’s unclear whether both cases are travel-related. These mark the 42st and 43nd cases that YKHC has announced.