The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services announced 102 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the statewide total to 65,762. Alaska remains at high-alert level with about 19.07 positive cases per 100,000 people.
The new case count includes five on the Kenai Peninsula. Kenai reported three and Seward and Soldotna reported one each.
Additionally, eight new nonresident cases were reported among people in Sitka, Unalaska, Fairbanks and another unknown location.
The Kenai Peninsula Borough has dropped significantly in the high-alert division, which is categorized by having an average of 10 or more positive cases per 100,000 people over a two-week period. The borough reported 11.51 cases, and is on the brink of dipping to the intermediate risk level along with the Northwest Region and Juneau City and Borough. The Southwest region is the lowest risk of all 11 census regions, with only 3.74 cases per 100,000 people.
Alaska also saw 18 new cases in both Anchorage and Fairbanks, 15 in Wasilla, seven in North Pole, six in Palmer, four in the Fairbanks North Star Borough, three in both Ketchikan and Nome, two in Juneau, and one each in the Bethel Census Area, Big Lake, Delta Junction, Houston, the Kusilvak Census Area, the Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area, Salcha, Sitka, Sutton-Alpine, Valdez, Willow, Wrangell and the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area.
The DHSS also announced nine new hospitalizations and no new deaths, bringing the statewide totals to 1,503 and 342. As of Tuesday, there were 63 total COVID-related hospitalizations in Alaska, with 11 of the patients on ventilators.
Around half of Alaskans 16 and older — 50.7% — had received at least one vaccine dose as of Tuesday, and 45.2% were fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
In the Kenai Peninsula Borough, 42.7% of people 16 and up had received at least their first shot, and 38.8% of eligible peninsula residents were fully vaccinated. Over half of the borough’s seniors — 63% — were fully vaccinated as of Tuesday.
Out of 11 Alaska regions, the Kenai Peninsula Borough ranks No. 10 in vaccine rollout at 38.8%, according to state data updated on Tuesday. The Juneau Region now leads the state with a 66.1% vaccination rate for those 16 and older.
Alaska dropped and remains at No. 11 in the nation for vaccine rollout at 36% across all ages, according to NPR on Tuesday. An estimated 31.8%% of the country across all ages is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
According to CNN on Tuesday, the United States bumped up to No. 9 worldwide in vaccine rollout for eligible residents, with a 31.6% estimate. Gibraltar leads the world at 99.8%.
More than 200 COVID-19 vaccination appointments were available across multiple central peninsula clinics as of Tuesday, according to PrepMod, the online portal through which appointments can be scheduled. PrepMod can be accessed at myhealth.alaska.gov.
A map of vaccine providers can be found on DHSS’ COVID-19 vaccine website at covidvax.alaska.gov. Many providers are using the state’s program to schedule appointments, which can be accessed at myhealth.alaska.gov. Instructions on how to schedule an appointment through alternative entities can be found on the map by clicking the icon of the preferred provider. Appointments at Walmart can be scheduled at walmart.com/covidvaccine.
People who would like assistance with scheduling a vaccination appointment can call the Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management call center. The center operates Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. The central peninsula call center can be reached at 907-262-4636. The Homer call center can be reached at 907-235-4636. The Seward call center can be reached at 907-224-4636.
The City of Kenai is offering transportation to and from vaccine clinics located in Kenai in partnership with CARTS and Alaska Cab. 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. To schedule a ride, Alaska Cab can be reached at 907-283-6000 and CARTS can be reached at 907-262-8900.
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, Dena’ina Health Clinic, 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 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.
In Ninilchik, NTC Community Clinic is providing testing on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from noon to 4 p.m. 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 Camille Botello at firstname.lastname@example.org.