Cars line up outside of Capstone Clinic’s COVID-19 testing site in Kenai, Alaska on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021. The line extended through the Three Bears Grocery parking lot, and past the entrances to O’Reilly Auto Parts and Aspen Extended Stay Suites. Some said they waited for three and a half hours to get tested, and others said the line stretched down and around Walker Lane Tuesday morning. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Cars line up outside of Capstone Clinic’s COVID-19 testing site in Kenai, Alaska on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021. The line extended through the Three Bears Grocery parking lot, and past the entrances to O’Reilly Auto Parts and Aspen Extended Stay Suites. Some said they waited for three and a half hours to get tested, and others said the line stretched down and around Walker Lane Tuesday morning. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

2 more deaths at CPH; peninsula reports more than 250 cases over weekend

The hospital is still at 100% capacity.

Two people died of COVID-19 at Central Peninsula Hospital within the past four days, the hospital’s External Affairs Director Bruce Richards said Tuesday.

They were a male and a female, Richards said, and they have not been reported via death certificate review by the state yet. Their ages were not disclosed.

Another patient, he said, was transported out of CPH and into another facility.

“The hospital is still at 100% capacity,” Richards said.

As of Tuesday, there were 17 COVID-related hospitalizations at CPH — 14 of the patients unvaccinated — with four people in the intensive care unit. There were zero patients on ventilators.

The Department of Health and Social Services announced another 2,148 positive COVID cases from Friday through Monday.

The case count included 91 in Kenai, 60 in Soldotna, 43 in Homer, 16 in Seward, 15 in Sterling, 14 in the Kenai Peninsula Borough North, nine in the Kenai Peninsula Borough South, seven in Nikiski and five in Anchor Point.

There were two more deaths reported by the DHSS Tuesday — a Fairbanks male in his 50s and a Kusilvak area female in her 60s.

COVID-19 testing has increased in recent weeks amid the summer delta variant surge. According to state data, the state’s seven-day rolling test positivity rate was 8.07% on Monday. The Kenai Peninsula Borough reported a 13% seven-day positivity rate as of Monday.

Almost 56% of all Alaskans 12 and older were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Tuesday, while about another 61% had received at least one shot.

In the Kenai Peninsula Borough, just about 47% of people had been fully vaccinated and another 51% had received at least partial dosage.

Getting a COVID vaccine

COVID-19 vaccines do not cost money.

Many different organizations on the central peninsula, including pharmacies in Walmart, Walgreens, and the Kenai Fire Department offer vaccines. They are also available for both residents and visitors at airports in Anchorage, Juneau and Fairbanks.

Additionally, Soldotna Professional Pharmacy hosts a walk-in clinic in its strip mall storefront at the “Y” intersection of the Sterling and Kenai Spur highways Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Vaccination appointments can also be scheduled through the online portal PrepMod, which 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.

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.

COVID testing locations

Officials encourage anyone with symptoms to test for COVID-19, despite vaccination status.

In Kenai, testing is available at the Chignik Lagoon Clinic, Odyssey Family Practice, Kenai Public Health Center and Capstone Clinic.

In Soldotna, testing is available at the Peninsula Community Health Center, Urgent Care of Soldotna, Walgreens and Soldotna Professional Pharmacy.

In Seward, testing is available at Providence Medical Center, Chugachmiut-North Star Health Clinic, Glacier Family Medicine, Seward Community Health Center and the Safeway pharmacy. Starting Aug. 17, the Seward Community Health Center is offering drive-thru testing Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

In Homer, testing is available at South Peninsula Hospital, or through other area health care providers at Seldovia Village Tribe Health and Wellness, Kachemak Medical Group and Homer Medical Center.

Reach reporter Camille Botello at camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.

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