Village of Buckland, pop. 500, sees large spike of COVID-19 with 11 new cases

The Northwest Alaska village of Buckland on Oct. 15, 2018. (Photo by Nathaniel Herz / Alaska’s Energy Desk)

The Northwest Arctic Borough village of Buckland has seen a large spike in positive cases of COVID-19.

On Monday, regional health care provider Maniilaq Association announced that 11 residents of the village tested positive for the virus on Thursday, Sept. 17. Ten of the residents were close contacts of a previous positive case.

Maniilaq officials say six of the residents are showing symptoms of the virus, and all of them are medically isolated in Buckland. The results came after a community-wide testing effort by Maniilaq health workers. Last week, five previous cases of COVID-19 were announced for Buckland residents, with four of them medically isolated in the village.

Buckland is a village of around 500 people about 75 miles southeast of Kotzebue. The Maniilaq service area comprises the Northwest Arctic Borough and the North Slope village of Point Hope.

Maniilaq also announced a new case of COVID-19 at Red Dog Mine. A resident of Noorvik is medically isolated at the mine after testing positive for the virus on Sept. 17.

Maniilaq officials say they are conducting contact tracing to see if anyone was in close contact with the individual.

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