Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Calls For Region-Wide Month-Long Lockdown As Medical Care Under Siege

Virus Is Too Out-Of-Control For Hospital & 5 Clinics To Handle Y-K Delta Hospital (Wikipedia)   The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation (...

Virus Is Too Out-Of-Control For Hospital & 5 Clinics To Handle

Y-K Delta Hospital (Wikipedia)
 

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC) is faced with the terrible problem of not being able to take care of all the cases of COVID-19 that are sweeping across its isolated villages in coastal Alaska. So it's asking for a region-wide lockdown to slow the spread.
 
“When there is no overflow capacity available for YKHC to transfer critically ill patients that need intensive care to hospitals outside the region, we may be forced to make difficult choices when it comes to activating medevacs, providing care, and allocating scarce patient care resources,” said YKHC Chief of Staff Dr. Ellen Hodges. “YKHC continues to treat older, sicker patients requiring hospitalization and we are highly concerned as COVID-19 infection rates show no signs of slowing.”

The Delta has the highest daily case rate of COVID-19 in the state. 

With Anchorage hospital beds being filled, and problems getting oxygen and medevacs, the medical personnel of the Y-K Delta are asking for local residents in all villages to "shelter in place" and stay home. They ask that people avoid gatherings, only go out to shop for groceries or get medical care, wear a mask, and stay 6 feet away from others.

The Y-K Delta looks like it's the first location in Alaska to face the upcoming problem of not having enough resources to handle the virus. According to the hospital website:

Medical personnel in the Y-K Delta are asking for this lockdown for at least a month as they struggle to serve their broadly-scattered population. There are 48 villages in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Region, which is as big as Oregon and has infrastructure and transportation problems.

The Delta Regional Hospital, in Bethel, is the largest source of primary health care in the delta. There are five sub-clinics.

By contrast, the Copper River Valley also relies on Anchorage hospitals but does not have a hospital in the region. The Copper Valley, which is as big as West Virginia, is on the Alaska road system.

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