There’s a third case of COVID-19 in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta

Registered Nurse Avelina Chung runs through protocol with a YKHC employee at the COVID-19 drive-thru test site on March 25, 2020 in Bethel, Alaska. Credit Katie Basile / KYUK
Registered Nurse Avelina Chung runs through protocol with a YKHC employee at the COVID-19 drive-thru test site on March 25, 2020 in Bethel, Alaska.
Credit Katie Basile / KYUK

Days after Gov. Mike Dunleavy lifted many restrictions to slow the spread of the virus, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation has confirmed a third case of coronavirus in an unnamed village resident.

YKHC says the person was in Bethel when the hospital tested them positive for coronavirus. YKHC spokesperson Mitchell Forbes couldn’t say whether the person was traveling outside the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta before they came into town.

YKHC tested the person twice, with rapid testing and then with a swab that will be sent to the state lab. These results can take a few days, and the person is now self-isolating. Forbes says YKHC notified the village of the test results.

Forbes says contract tracers have started piecing together the person’s recent contact history and a response team has been sent to the village to test and screen residents.

This is the third confirmed coronavirus case in the YK Delta, and the second case that had contact with a village. YKHC confirmed the region’s first case in April — and the second one a month later at the Bethel airport.

That person then headed to Nunapitchuk before the positive test results came back. The village immediately locked down after YKHC notified village leaders of the test results. The health corporation sent out a team to test residents with rapid testing, and then sent those swabs to the state lab in Anchorage to double check the results.

On May 22, YKHC announced all test results came back negative from the state lab.

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