Health related stories.

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

Deaths and hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are increasing in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta as the virus surges in the region.

An employee at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation Elder's Home in Bethel, Alaska tested positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 9, 2020.
Elyssa Loughlin / KYUK

Two residents at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Elder’s Home in Bethel have tested positive for COVID-19 after an employee tested positive for the virus. These are the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 among residents in the facility.

Katie Basile / KYUK

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation is asking everyone in Bethel to get tested for COVID-19, and is hosting an event with cash prizes in order to achieve that goal.

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.

Nunapitchuk is a village that managed to eliminate COVID-19 after it had spread within the community, and they did it using a combination of traditional medicine and strong lockdown protocols.

COVID-19 Illustration
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Another Elder in the region has died from COVID-19. In a press release, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation says that a resident in their 70s died from complications with the virus on Nov. 1. This is the fifth death known to be coronavirus-related in the region.

Napaskiak, AK
Mark Leary / Bethel Search and Rescue

Napaskiak is the latest community where the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation has announced evidence of community spread of COVID-19. YKHC announced the news in a joint press release with the Native Village of Napaskiak on Nov. 2.

Greg Kim / KYUK

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation is now announcing which villages have COVID-19 cases and where there is community spread of the virus, but only with those communities’ permission. Three village leaders shared why their communities have not given YKHC consent to announce when their community has a COVID-19 case.

Elyssa Loughlin / KYUK

Bethel’s hauled water deliveries scheduled for Oct. 28 may be delayed, according to Acting City Manager Pete Williams. Williams said that many of the city’s utility truck drivers have been working since the evening of Oct. 27, when the sewer lift station in Bethel Heights Subdivision stopped working. 

YKHC is recommending drastic changes for the Y-K Delta, including all schools go to remote learning and 19 villages lock down.
Katie Basile / KYUK

The Y-K Delta is now one of the nation’s leaders in COVID-19 infection rate. In order to change the trajectory of the pandemic in the region, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation is asking for drastic actions. The organization’s recommendations include 19 villages locking down, and that villages in the region shut down schools for now.

Alaska Public Media

On Oct. 26, the City of Bethel and the Lower Kuskokwim School District began their operation to deliver a pumpkin to every kid in Bethel from Pre-K to 6th grade. The City of Bethel is hoping kids stay home this year to carve a pumpkin instead of going out to trick or treat.