Travel ban in Unalakleet after two cases detected in one week

The COVID-19 testing drive-up tent outside the Norton Sound Regional Hospital in Nome. Photo from Reba Lean, NSHC (2020).

Roughly 48 hours after discovering the first case of COVID-19 Norton Sound Health Corporation has identified a second individual who tested positive for the virus in Unalakleet.

According to a statement from NSHC, this latest case is a resident of Unalakleet unlike the first one which was identified as a non-resident of the community over the weekend. The regional health corporation says the cause for this new positive case is likely travel-related infection.

The Unalakleet resident who contracted the virus is currently self-isolating and the State’s Section of Epidemiology along with the Public Health Nursing department will investigate this case further.

NSHC reminds travelers that Unalakleet has a travel permitting and quarantine process in place, which has, “limited widespread contamination in the community so far.”

According to the community’s travel ban, travelers coming into Unalakleet must either quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, or they can get tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of beginning their travel and then test again seven days later in Unalakleet.

Assuming both tests come back negative, then the individual will not be required to quarantine for 14 days. For more information regarding Unalakleet’s travel restrictions, call the city at 907-310-1713.

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Davis Hovey is a news reporter at KNOM - Nome. Hovey was born and raised in Virginia. He spent most of his childhood in Greene County 20 minutes outside of Charlottesville where University of Virginia is located. Hovis was drawn in by the opportunity to work for a radio station in a remote, unique place like Nome Alaska. Hovis went to Syracuse University, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Broadcast Digital Journalism.

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