Akiak Tribal Council president says entire Y-K Delta should go into lockdown

An Alaska Native man stands on the beach with bots seen behind him.
Mike Williams Sr., senior chief of the Akiak Native Community photographed in 2016. (Katie Basile/KYUK)

Akiak is the latest Y-K Delta village to go into lockdown because of COVID-19. The tribal council president in Akiak, Mike Williams Sr., said that the entire region should go into lockdown as well.

“Not do a lockdown for several communities at a time, but the whole region,” Williams Sr. said. 

He said that even the few remaining villages that don’t have documented cases of COVID-19 can’t be certain that their community is virus-free.

“They haven’t done whole-village testing, and there are cases in most of the villages now,” Williams Sr. said. 

Previously, Akiak had ignored the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation’s recommendation to lock down the community. That was before three individuals in the village tested positive this week. Williams Sr., who is also president of the Nunavut Alaska Provisional Government, which aims to unite all the tribes in the Y-K Delta, said that the whole region should be taking actions against the pandemic together, not separately.

“It would be wise to have everybody in unison at one point to make that sacrifice throughout the whole region. And that way, this COVID-19 will begin to be taken care of,” Williams Sr. said.

Williams Sr. said that three individuals in Akiak tested positive for the virus the week of Nov. 9. He said that YKHC will be sending a team to conduct community-wide testing on Nov. 13. He doesn’t know whether the cases are travel-related or were transmitted through community spread.

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