BETHEL, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska Native Medical Center, which specializes in health care for Alaska Native and American Indian people in the state, said it is now over capacity with coronavirus patients and had to open an alternate care site to handle overflow.
The hospital's Acting Administrator Dr. Robert Onders said during a virtual town hall on Monday that the critical care unit is so flooded that it cannot hold all the Anchorage hospital's most seriously ill patients.
“So we're extremely tenuous right now,” Onders said.
There are now multiple critical patients who require individual nursing and who are lying on their stomachs in a prone position to help them breath, KYUK-AM reported in Bethel Tuesday.
The Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region in southwestern Alaska had the highest coronavirus case rate in the state as of Tuesday with about 273 cases per 100,000 people across the region on Tuesday.
The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation in Bethel had urged earlier this month for every community in the region to shelter-in-place for a month in response to a spike in virus cases.
The state reported a record-high 13 deaths in a single day on Tuesday, though only five of the deaths were classified as “recent.” Alaska reported a record-high number of new confirmed cases on a single day on Nov. 14 with 745.
The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.
About 20% of coronavirus patients at the ANMC require critical care. Onders said he expects the hospital's situation to worsen.
“Now is the time to act to reduce our caseloads and try to prevent us from completely overwhelming the entire health care system,” said Dr. Ellen Hodges, chief of staff for the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A Missing and Endangered Person Advisory was issued Wednesday for an 8-year-old girl who was last seen on the Crow Indian Reservation in March 2019, the Montana Department of Justice said.
The search for Mildred Alexis Old Crow began on Nov. 19 when her non-custodial family members told BIA law enforcement in Crow Agency that they hadn't seen her since July 2018, the FBI said.
An investigation found Mildred was last seen on the reservation in March 2019 in the care of her Crow Tribal Court-appointed guardian, the FBI said in a statement.
An agency spokesperson declined to comment Wednesday on whether the court-appointed guardian has been located or interviewed, citing the ongoing investigation.
Mildred has brown hair, brown eyes and is small in stature for her age. It is possible she has physical injuries, the missing person advisory stated.
The investigation is being conducted by the BIA's Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons cold case unit in Billings, along other federal and local agencies.
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — About three-quarters of Navajos enrolled with the tribe have applied for financial assistance due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The deadline to file an application is Monday. Already, more than 240,000 have been submitted online or on paper, the Navajo Nation Office of the Controller said.
The tribe has about 327,000 members, making it one of the largest of the 574 federally recognized tribes in the U.S. It has about $90 million available for hardship assistance that comes from the Navajo Nation's share of a federal coronavirus relief package.
The average payment would be $454 for adults and $151 for minors, according to the controller's website. But the decision is expected to be made based on need, up to $1,500 for adults and $500 for children.
More money could be added to the fund next month if other projects fall through. Tribes nationwide have until Dec. 30 to spend money from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.
The Navajo Nation reported 197 new COVID-19 cases on Monday and no new deaths. That brings the total number of positive cases on the reservation that extends into New Mexico, Arizona and Utah at 15,236 and 631 deaths.
Residents remain under a stay-at-home order this week, with an exception for essential workers and essential needs like food, medication and emergencies. Essential businesses also have been ordered to limit their hours to between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily. A mask requirement has been in place for much of the year.
Indian Health Service facilities on the reservation are offering drive-through COVID-19 testing this week.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.