COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

66 new peninsula cases, 4 new deaths statewide

Affected communities include Soldotna, Kenai, Nikiski, “other North,” “other South,” Sterling and Seward

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reported 493 new COVID-19 cases in Alaska on Wednesday, including 66 on the Kenai Peninsula. Affected peninsula communities include Soldotna with 27 cases, Kenai with 21 cases, Nikiski with five cases, “other North” with five cases, “other South” with three cases, Sterling with three cases and Seward with two cases. A press release from the City of Seward on Tuesday announced that nine new cases were reported from all local health care facilities.

This is the 19th day in a row that the state has reported a daily case increase of more than 300, and the sixth day in a row that the state has reported a daily case increase of more than 450.

Over the past week, the Kenai Peninsula Borough conducted 992 tests and saw a positivity rate of 10.58%.

Locally, Central Peninsula Hospital has conducted 8,120 tests with 7,603 negative, 333 positive and 178 pending results. They are currently treating four patients who are COVID-19 positive and one patient who is on a ventilator.

The new cases bring Alaska’s statewide case total to 21,331, including 20,207 residents and 1,124 nonresidents. According to DHSS Coronavirus Response Hub, there are currently 14,075 active cases of COVID-19 in the state and 977 active cases in the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

The statewide alert level, based on the average daily case rate for the last two weeks, is high at 59.06. The Kenai Peninsula Borough’s alert level is also high at 65.72.

High alert level is defined as more than 10 cases per 100,000 people, intermediate alert level is five to 10 cases per 100,000 people and low alert level is fewer than five cases per 100,000 people.

The state also reported 18 new hospitalizations and four new deaths. To date, 513 Alaska residents have been hospitalized due to COVID-19, including 27 on the peninsula. Ninety six Alaskans have died, including five on the peninsula.

The new deaths include an Anchorage man in his 90s, a Fairbanks man in his 80s and an Anchorage woman in her 20s. The death of a Juneau man in his 80s was reported after death certificate review.

Currently, there are 124 people hospitalized in Alaska who are COVID-19 positive or who are considered persons under investigation for the disease. Seven of the patients are on ventilators.

Alaska’s daily positivity rate for the past seven days, during which 22,759 tests were conducted, is 8.45%. To date, 834,590 tests have been conducted in Alaska.

Statewide 6,511 Alaska residents have recovered from COVID-19, including 431 on the Kenai Peninsula.

In addition to the 66 cases reported on the peninsula Wednesday, the state also reported 215 cases in Anchorage, 46 in Wasilla, 27 in Bethel Census Area, 20 in Bethel, 18 in Palmer, 13 in Eagle River, 12 in Delta Junction, 12 in Juneau, 11 in Utqiagvik, seven in Fairbanks, six in North Pole, five in Dillingham Census Area, five in Kodiak, four in Big Lake, three in Kotzebue, three in North Slope Borough, three in Sitka and one each in Aleutians East Borough, Chugiak, Girdwood, Healy, Kusilvak Census Area, Metlakatla, Nome, Unalaska, Valdez and Willow.

Seven new nonresident cases were also reported. Two were reported in Anchorage, two were reported in Juneau, one was reported in Fairbanks, one was reported in Northwest Arctic Borough and one was reported in Valdez-Cordova Census Area.

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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