The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services announced 184 new COVID-19 cases in Alaska on Thursday, 26 of which were reported among nonresidents. One new case was reported on the Kenai Peninsula, in Kenai. As of Thursday, the borough was considered to be at “intermediate” risk level.
Over the past week, 1,068 COVID-19 tests were conducted on the Kenai Peninsula, resulting in a 0.94% positivity rate. To date, the borough has conducted 62,475 tests. Statewide, 31,189 tests were conducted over the past week, which saw a positivity rate of 2.51%. To date, 1,529,566 tests have been conducted in Alaska.
In total, the state has been allocated 174,400 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for the months of December, January and February. As of Thursday, 134,006 had been administered, though that number is expected to be higher due to a lag in reporting. According to the state’s COVID-19 vaccination dashboard, 6,229 people in the “Kenai Region” had received the COVID-19 vaccine and 1,972 had already received both doses. As of Thursday, 99,814 Alaskans had received at least one dose of their COVID-19 vaccine, with 34,192 having already received both.
Two COVID-19 vaccination clinics will be hosted at Beacon Occupational Health in Kenai on Feb. 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The clinic will offer one vaccination clinic in the morning and one in the afternoon. Those vaccinated in the morning will receive Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine, while those vaccinated in the afternoon will receive Moderna’s. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have efficacy rates of more than 90% and require two doses to be fully effective. The clinic is being offered in conjunction with the Kenai Fire Department.
The City of Kenai is offering transportation to and from vaccine clinics located in Kenai in partnership with CARTS and Alaska Cab. The city council approved $5,000 for the program at their Jan. 20 meeting. Rides will be offered on a first-come first-served basis until the budgeted funds run out. In order to participate in the program, people must be going from an address located in Kenai to a clinic in Kenai and will need to provide proof of vaccination.
As of Thursday, people eligible to receive the vaccine included most health care workers and Alaskans over the age of 65. People can check their eligibility on the DHSS COVID vaccine website at covidvax.alaska.gov.
The state also reported one new hospitalization and no new deaths on Thursday, bringing the state’s totals to date to 1,183 and 277, respectively. As of Thursday, there were 43 people hospitalized due to COVID-19 in Alaska, including two who were considered persons under investigation for the disease. Ten of the patients were on ventilators.
In addition to the one new case on the peninsula, the state also reported 158 resident cases, including 31 in Anchorage, 28 in Bethel Census Area, 18 in Wasilla, 17 in Kusilvak Census Area, 16 in Fairbanks, 14 in Palmer, nine in Bethel, four in North Pole, three in Juneau, two in Chugiak, two in Dillingham Census Area, two in Eagle River, two in Ketchikan, two in Valdez-Cordova Census Area/Copper River and one each in Dillingham, Douglas, Nome Census Area, North Slope Borough, Petersburg, Sitka and Unalaska.
Twenty six nonresident cases were also reported. Twenty three were reported in Aleutians East Borough; two were reported in Unalaska and one has a location still under investigation.
COVID-19 testing locations on the Kenai Peninsula
On the central peninsula, testing is available at Capstone Family Clinic, K-Beach Medical, Soldotna Professional Pharmacy, Central Peninsula Urgent Care, Peninsula Community Health Services, Urgent Care of Soldotna, the Kenai Public Health Center and Odyssey Family Practice. Call Kenai Public Health at 907-335-3400 for information on testing criteria for each location.
In Homer, testing is available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily at the lower level of South Peninsula Hospital’s Specialty Clinic as well as through SVT Health & Wellness clinics in Homer, Seldovia and Anchor Point. Call ahead at the hospital at 907-235-0235 and at the SVT clinics at 907-226-2228. Testing is also available at Homer Public Health Center daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In Ninilchik, NTC Community Clinic is providing testing on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The testing is only for those traveling, symptomatic, needing testing for medical procedures, or with a known exposure after seven days. Only 20 tests will be offered per day. To make an appointment to be tested at the NTC Community Clinic, call 907-567-3970.
In Seward, testing is available at Providence Seward, Seward Community Health Center, Glacier Family Medicine and North Star Health Clinic.
Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at email@example.com.
This article has been updated to reflect the correct number of COVID-19 cases among Anchorage residents.