COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

4 new COVID-19 cases on central peninsula

The state reported 69 new cases on Wednesday

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reported 69 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday — 68 cases among Alaska residents and one nonresident case. Four of the new cases are on the Kenai Peninsula.

According to the DHSS coronavirus response hub website, there are now 5,364 cumulative resident cases of the virus in the state, and 869 nonresident cases. So far, 2,085 Alaska residents are considered recovered, along with 196 nonresidents, while 3,240 resident cases and 673 nonresident cases are still active in the state.

Of the 68 new resident cases, two are in Kenai and two are in Soldotna. There are no new cases in Homer or in other southern peninsula communities.

The Kenai Peninsula has now had 416 cases of COVID-19, with 201 of those cases having recovered and 213 of them still active.

Statewide there have been 2,085 Alaska residents who have recovered from the illness, with an additional 34 recoveries reported Wednesday.

Soldotna continues to lead the peninsula in terms of the highest number of total cases with 109, followed by Kenai with 87 cases. There have been 70 cases in Homer, with 39 of those recovered and 31 of them still active. There are 62 total cases in Seward, 32 in the “other South” category used for communities on the southern peninsula with populations of fewer than 1,000 people, 23 in Sterling, 13 in “other North,” 10 in Anchor Point, six in Nikiski and four in Fritz Creek.

Of the other new cases announced Wednesday, 30 are in Anchorage, 19 are in Fairbanks, four are in Palmer, three are in North Pole, two are in Utqiagvik, and one each are in Eagle River, the Southeast Fairbanks Census Area, Wasilla, Juneau, Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon, and Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula.

According to DHSS, 225 Alaska residents have been hospitalized for confirmed cases of COVID-19, as have five nonresidents. Those numbers include people who have since died or since recovered. According to the data hub, there are 41 people currently being hospitalized for confirmed cases of COVID-19, and five people being hospitalized as people under investigation for the disease. There are also nine COVID-19 patients who require treatment on a ventilator, the highest that the state has recorded since it began tracking the pandemic in March.

There have been 39 deaths of Alaska residents associated with the illness.

According to the data hub, Alaska has performed 376,884 COVID-19 tests so far. The current average turnaround time for test results from the state laboratory is three days.

As of Tuesday, Alaska’s seven-day average positivity rate was 1.96%.

There have been 16,503 tests conducted on the Kenai Peninsula. The seven-day average positivity rate for the region is .6%.

Testing

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 continues to be available from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily at South Peninsula Hospital’s main entrance 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. 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.

Reach Megan Pacer at mpacer@homernews.com.

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