A sign instructing patients and visitors on COVID screening processes in Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna, Alaska, on April 7, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

A sign instructing patients and visitors on COVID screening processes in Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna, Alaska, on April 7, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Central Peninsula Hospital breaks records for most COVID patients at one time

Central Peninsula Hospital surpassed its record for the most COVID inpatients it has seen in a single day, spiking up to 20 by the end of last week.

Bruce Richards, the external affairs director of CPH, said the most COVID inpatients the hospital had previously treated at one time was 16.

“Nearly half of our hospital’s inpatient population is COVID patients,” he said Monday.

As of Monday there were 19 COVID-positive patients hospitalized at CPH, according to Richards. Seven of the patients were on ventilators.

According to state data, four adult intensive care unit beds in the Gulf Coast were available on Monday. The region includes the Kenai Peninsula.

The borough’s weekend resident cases dropped from last week, with 147 reported on Aug. 16 to 125 on Monday reported for the previous three days. Statewide, 1,110 weekend cases were announced Monday.

Richards said that of the 19 people in the hospital on Monday, 16 of them were not vaccinated against COVID-19.

“The majority is always unvaccinated,” he said, noting that the lowest rate of hospitalizations among unvaccinated patients he’s seen was 78%.

The Food and Drug Administration granted its full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Monday, which will now be marketed as Comirnaty.

Richards said he thinks the new approval will boost people’s interest in getting the shot, as many have said they were waiting for full authorization from the FDA.

As of Monday, 53.8% of Alaskans 12 and older were fully vaccinated against COVID-19. In the Kenai Peninsula Borough the rate is lower at 45.7%.

The Pfizer shot is still approved under emergency use authorization for kids 12 to 15 years old. Additionally, the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccines are approved for emergency use in people ages 18 and older.

A list of vaccine providers can be found at vaccines.gov/search/.

Reach reporter Camille Botello at camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.

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