COVID-19. (Image CDC)

COVID-19. (Image CDC)

COVID-19 week in review: State hits daily highs as new hospitalizations grow

The state also reported 1 new death.

Alaska saw a total of 255 new cases of COVID-19, 11 hospitalizations and one death associated with the disease from Monday to Saturday this week, according to data from Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services.

With 55 cases reported Friday and another 78 Saturday, the state also closed out the week with two new daily highs for reported COVID-19 cases.

There have now been a total of 1,658 cases of COVID-19 identified statewide — 1,385 among residents and 273 nonresidents.

A total of 15,046 tests have been conducted statewide since Monday, July 6, for an average of 2,508 tests per day. This represents a slight increase in tests from the previous week, when 14,023 tests were conducted and 254 cases of COVID-19 were identified statewide. The current average positivity for all tests conducted is 1.17%.

Last Sunday, the state’s Department of Transportation and Public Facilities reported that a passenger with the Alaska Marine Highway System had tested positive on the M/V Kennicott while traveling from Bellingham, Washington, to Cordova. The only person considered to be a close contact was the person’s travel companion, and both were isolated after the positive case was identified.

On Wednesday, local bagel shop Everything Bagels in Soldotna announced on Facebook that an employee had tested positive. Owner Pamela Parker told the Clarion that she closed the shop until at least July 21 out of an abundance of caution and recommended that anyone who visited the shop between July 3 and July 6 talk to their health care provider about getting tested.

Alaska’s Department of Corrections also reported the third positive case among inmates at state facilities Wednesday when a newly admitted inmate tested positive at the Fairbanks Correctional Center.

As of July 1, all newly remanded inmates in DOC custody are tested for COVID-19 and quarantined for 14 days before being introduced to the general population. The Fairbanks case was the first identified under this new protocol.

On the Kenai Peninsula, there are currently 96 active resident cases and 13 active nonresident cases. All of the active nonresident cases are located in Seward, while the resident cases are distributed among the communities of Anchor Point (two), Fritz Creek (one), Homer (21), Kenai (16), Nikiski (one), Seward (26), Soldotna (15) and Sterling (two). Ten active resident cases are listed as “other south,” while two are listed as “other north.” Cases within communities of fewer than 1,000 people are not individually listed in the data reported by DHSS.

There are 31 people currently hospitalized statewide who are either positive for COVID-19 or are persons under investigation. One person positive for COVID-19 is being treated on a ventilator.

Testing locations on the Kenai Peninsula

Testing is available on the Central Peninsula 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 the Seward area, testing is available at Seward Community Health Center, Glacier Family Medicine and the Chugachmiut-North Star Health Clinic.

The NTC Community Clinic in Ninilchik is providing testing for COVID-19. The NTC Community Clinic is the Indian Health Service provider for the Ninilchik Tribe. The clinic is providing testing with a rapid test machine to those with symptoms, travelers and asymptomatic people. There are currently no restrictions on who can get tested. To make an appointment to be tested at the NTC Community Clinic, call 907-567-3970.

Other southern Kenai Peninsula testing sites are at South Peninsula Hospital and at SVT Health and Wellness Clinics in Anchor Point, Homer and Seldovia. Call ahead at the hospital at 907-235-0235 and at the SVT clinics at 907-226-2228. The new testing hours at South Peninsula Hospital are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.

For more information on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit covid19.alaska.gov or email covidquestions@alaska.gov.

Reach reporter Brian Mazurek at bmazurek@peninsulaclarion.com.

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