Coronavirus 3D illustration. (CDC photo)

Coronavirus 3D illustration. (CDC photo)

146 new COVID cases today, 6 locally

The new case count includes six on the Kenai Peninsula.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services announced 146 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, bringing the statewide total to 65,908. Alaska remains at high-alert level with about 18.44 positive cases per 100,000 people.

The new case count includes six on the Kenai Peninsula. Soldotna reported three. Anchor Point, Kenai and the Kenai Peninsula Borough – North reported one each.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough has dropped significantly in the high-alert division over the past few days, which is categorized by having an average of 10 or more positive cases over a two-week period per 100,000 people. The borough reported an average of 10.54 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 38 new cases in Anchorage, 25 in Wasilla, 17 in North Pole, 12 in both Fairbanks and Palmer, seven in Ketchikan, six in the Bethel Census Area, four in Eagle River, two each in Delta Junction, Juneau, the Southeast Fairbanks Census Area and Utqiagvik, and one each in Chevak, Chugiak, the Copper River Census Area, the Fairbanks North Star Borough, Girdwood, Houston, Nome, Salcha and Unalaska.

DHSS also announced three new hospitalizations and no new deaths, bringing the statewide totals to 1,506 and 342, respectively.

As of Wednesday, there were 57 total COVID-related hospitalizations in Alaska, with eight of the patients on ventilators.

Vaccination rates

Around half of Alaskans 16 and older — 54.3% — had received at least one vaccine dose as of Wednesday, and 47.7% were fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

In the Kenai Peninsula Borough, 45.7% of people 16 and up had received at least their first shot, and 41.2% of eligible peninsula residents were fully vaccinated. Over half of the borough’s seniors — 67.5% — were fully vaccinated as of Wednesday.

Out of 11 Alaska regions, the Kenai Peninsula Borough ranks No. 9 in vaccine rollout at 41.2%, a slight bump from Tuesday. The Juneau region leads the state with a 70.1% vaccination rate for those 16 and older, according to state data updated on Wednesday.

Alaska dropped to No. 12 in the nation for vaccine rollout at 36.1% across all ages, according to NPR on Wednesday. An estimated 32%% of the country across all ages is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

According to CNN on Tuesday, the United States fell back to No. 10 worldwide in vaccine rollout for eligible residents, with a 31.8% estimate. Gibraltar leads the world at 99.8%.

Getting vaccinated

There were 200 COVID-19 vaccination appointments available across multiple central peninsula clinics as of Wednesday, 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 camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.

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