Later this spring, Alaska’s Bristol Bay will blossom into one of the largest annual salmon fisheries in the world.
The regional population of about 6,600 will triple in size with the arrival of fishermen, crews and seasonal workers on jets but also private planes and small boats, many traveling from out of state.
And yet the heart of the health care system in southwestern Alaska, in a corner of the state where the Spanish flu once orphaned a generation, is a 16-bed hospital in Dillingham operated by the Bristol Bay Area Health Corp. Only four beds are currently equipped for coronavirus patients. As of Wednesday, the hospital had a few dozen coronavirus tests for the entire Florida-sized region, tribal leaders said.
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