A clinic at the intersection of the Kenai Spur and Sterling Highways in Soldotna offers COVID-19 vaccines with no appointment necessary. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

A clinic at the intersection of the Kenai Spur and Sterling Highways in Soldotna offers COVID-19 vaccines with no appointment necessary. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

Cases continue downward trend

Alaska remained at a high COVID transmission alert level Monday.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reported 558 new COVID-19 cases in Alaska, which represent data from Dec. 3, 4 and 5. That includes 14 cases in Homer, 14 in Kenai, nine in Soldotna, six in Seward, five in Anchor Point, two in Nikiski, one in Kenai Peninsula Borough North, one in Kenai Peninsula Borough South and one in Sterling.

The state announced no new deaths. As of Monday, 853 Alaskans had died of COVID since the pandemic began.

Alaska remained at a high COVID transmission alert level Monday with cases trending downward. The threshold for high alert level is 100 or more cases per 100,000 people in the span of one week. On Monday, Alaska’s seven-day case rate per 100,000 people was 235.3. The state on Friday reported a seven-day case rate of 258.2 per 100,000 people.

As of Monday, the state will only update COVID data on the DHSS information hub three times weekly.

Statewide there were 83 COVID-related hospitalizations as of Monday, with 12 patients on ventilators. In an effort to maintain patient confidentiality, Central Peninsula Hospital does not report COVID hospitalizations if the number of inpatients dips below 11. As of Monday there were fewer than 11 COVID inpatients at the facility.

Health officials widely agree that vaccination is the best way to prevent serious illness, hospitalization and death from COVID.

As of Monday, 56% of Alaskans 5 and older were fully vaccinated, and another 62% had received at least one dose. The Kenai Peninsula Borough lags behind the statewide average, with 47% of people 5 and older fully vaccinated as of Monday.

Getting a vaccine

COVID-19 vaccines do not cost money.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is approved for everyone 5 years and older, while the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccines are approved for anyone 18 and older. Pfizer and Moderna boosters and additional doses are also recommended for anyone 18 and older and six months out from their second dose. The J&J vaccine booster is recommended two months after the primary dose.

Many organizations on the central peninsula, including Walmart, Walgreens, the Kenai Fire Department and Kenai Public Health, 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. The clinic has extended its hours to Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 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 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. The Seward Community Health Center is offering drive-thru testing Tuesdays only. 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 Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
Members of the Alaska House of Representatives on Saturday rejected the budget bill passed by the Senate earlier in the week. The bill will now go to a bicameral committee for negotiations, but the end of the legislative session is Wednesday.
House votes down Senate’s budget as end of session nears

State budget now goes to negotiating committee

Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
Candidate for Alaska’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives Tara Sweeney, a Republican, was in Juneau on Monday and sat down with the Empire for an interview. Sweeney said the three main pillars of her campaign are the economy, jobs and healthy communities.
Sweeney cites experience in run for Congress

GOP candidate touts her history of government-related work

One tree stands in front of the Kenai Post Office on Thursday, May 12, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai taking down hazard beetle trees

The city hopes to leverage grant funds for most of the work

Former Alaska governor and current congressional hopeful Sarah Palin speaks with attendees at a meet-and-greet event outside of Ginger’s Restaurant on Saturday, May 14, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Palin brings congressional bid to Soldotna

The former governor took time Saturday to sign autographs and take pictures with attendees

In this October 2019 photo, Zac Watt, beertender for Forbidden Peak Brewery, pours a beer during the grand opening for the Auke Bay business in October 2019. On Sunday, the Alaska House of Representatives OK’d a major update to the state’s alcohol laws. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Graphic by Ashlyn O'Hara
Borough, school district finalizing $65M bond package

Efforts to fund maintenance and repairs at school district facilities have been years in the making

Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
Members of the House Majority Coalition spent most of Friday, May 13, 2022, in caucus meetings at the Alaska State Capitol, discussing how to proceed with a large budget bill some have called irresponsible. With a thin majority in the House of Representatives, there’s a possibility the budget could pass.
State budget work stretches into weekend

Sessions have been delayed and canceled since Wednesday

Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
Alaskans for Better Government members La quen náay Liz Medicine Crow, Richard Chalyee Éesh Peterson and ‘Wáahlaal Gidáak Barbara Blake embrace on the floor of the Alaska State Senate following the passage of House Bill 123, a bill to formally recognize the state’s 229 federally recognized tribes.
Tribal recognition bill clears Senate, nears finish line

Senators say recognition of tribes was overdue

The Alaska Division of Forestry’s White Mountain crew responds to a fire burning near Milepost 46.5 of the Sterling Highway on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, near Cooper Landing, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Cooper Landing Emergency Services)
Officials encourage residents to firewise homes

The central peninsula has already had its first reported fires of the season

Most Read