COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

4 new COVID deaths reported Tuesday

The state also saw 56 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the statewide total to 66,867.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services announced another four COVID-19 fatalities on Tuesday, bringing the statewide death toll to 362.

The deaths were a Wasilla man in his 60s, a Wasilla woman in her 60s, and southeast Fairbanks woman in her 50s and an Anchorage man in his 70s.

Additionally, the DHSS reported three new people admitted to the hospital for a total of 27 total COVID-related hospitalizations in Alaska. As of Tuesday, three of the patients were on ventilators.

The state also saw 56 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the statewide total to 66,867. Alaska remains at high-alert level with about 10.6 positive cases per 100,000 people.

The new case count includes four on the Kenai Peninsula. Homer, Kenai, Seward and Soldotna each reported one new positive case.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough remains in the intermediate alert division, which is categorized by having between 4.8 and 10 positive COVID cases per 100,000 people. The borough reported 7.64 cases over the weekend.

The Southwest region is the lowest risk of all 11 census regions, with only 2.67 cases per 100,000 people.

Alaska also saw 18 new cases in Anchorage, six in Ketchikan, four in Wasilla, three each in Big Lake, Fairbanks, Juneau and Palmer, and one each in Bethel, the Bethel Census Area, Kodiak, Nome, North Pole and Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon. Vaccination rates

Around half of Alaskans 16 and older — 53.1% — had received at least one vaccine dose as of Tuesday, and 47.4% were fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

In the Kenai Peninsula Borough, 44.4% of people 16 and up had received at least their first shot, and 40.9% were fully vaccinated. Over half of the borough’s seniors — 64.4% — were fully vaccinated as of Wednesday.

Out of 11 Alaska regions, the Kenai Peninsula Borough ranks No. 9 in vaccine rollout at 40.9%. The Juneau Region leads the state with a 68.6% vaccination rate for those 16 and older, according to state data updated on Monday.

Getting vaccinated

Multiple vaccination appointments were available through the Kenai Public Health Center as of Tuesday, according to PrepMod, the online portal through which appointments can be scheduled. PrepMod can be accessed at myhealth.alaska.gov.

Additionally, many vaccine providers are switching from schedule-based appointments to walk-ins. The Soldotna Professional Pharmacy had its first walk-in clinic at the strip mall of the “Y” intersection in Soldotna yesterday, and plans to host one every weeknight from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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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