COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

6 new COVID-19 deaths, 42 new peninsula cases

DHSS announced 355 new COVID-19 cases in Alaska on Thursday.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services announced 355 new COVID-19 cases in Alaska on Thursday, 349 of which are residents.

Affected communities include Anchorage with 129 cases, Wasilla with 44 cases, Eagle River with 20 cases, Palmer with 20 cases, Soldotna with 15 cases, Kenai with 14 cases, Chevak with 13 cases, Kodiak with 13 cases, Bethel Census Area with 11 cases, Fairbanks with 11 cases, Juneau with seven cases, Chugiak with five cases, Kenai Peninsula Borough North with five cases, Sterling with five cases, Delta Junction with four cases, North Pole with four cases, Utqiagvik with four cases, Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area with four cases, Bethel with three cases, Ketchikan with three cases, Hooper Bay with two cases, Petersburg with two cases, Sitka with two cases and one case each in Aleutians West Census Area, Big Lake, Bristol Bay and Lake and Peninsula Borough, Homer, Kenai Peninsula Borough South, Mat-Su Borough, Meadow Lakes, Nikiski and Southeast Fairbanks Census Area.

Forty two of the new resident cases were reported in the Kenai Peninsula Borough, which has a seven-day positivity rate of 12.95%.

Six nonresident cases were also reported. Four were reported in Fairbanks, one was reported in Anchorage and one was reported in Wasilla. The new cases bring Alaska’s statewide case total to 15,522, including 14,456 residents and 1,066 non-residents.

The state has reported daily increases of more than 300 cases every day for the last six days.

The statewide alert level, based on the average daily case rate for the last two weeks, is high at 39.4. The Kenai Peninsula Borough’s alert level is also high at 34.39.

High risk is defined as more than 10 cases per 100,000 people, intermediate risk is 5-10 cases per 100,000 people and low risk is fewer than five cases per 100,000 people.

The state reported six new deaths and nine new hospitalizations. To date, 425 people have been hospitalized due to COVID-19 in Alaska and 77 people have died. Currently, there are 89 people in Alaska who are COVID-19 positive or who are considered persons under investigation. Six of the patients are on ventilators.

One death occurred recently: an Anchorage man in his 40s. Five deaths were identified during the standard death certificate review and include a Fairbanks woman in her 80s, a Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area woman in her 70s, an Anchorage woman in her 80s, an Anchorage man in his 70s and an Anchorage man in his 70s who died out of state.

The state’s adult ICU bed capacity remains in the “red zone,” meaning more than 75% of the state’s total adult ICU beds are in use. According to the state hub, there are 133 adult ICU beds total and 106 of them are in use.

The average daily positivity rate in Alaska for the past seven days, during which 13,456 tests were conducted, is 8.1%. To date, 584,268 tests have been conducted in Alaska. Over the past week, the Kenai Peninsula Borough conducted 579 tests and saw a 12.95% positivity rate, according to DHSS’ Coronavirus Response Hub.

Locally, South Peninsula Hospital has conducted 11,167 tests with 10,876 negative, 153 positive and 138 pending results. Central Peninsula Hospital has conducted 7,336 tests with 6,979 negative, 216 positive and 136 pending results.

Statewide 6,447 Alaska residents have recovered from 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, 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’s Specialty Clinic 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.

In Seward, testing is available at Providence Seward, Seward Community Health Center, Glacier Family Medicine and North Star Health Clinic.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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