DHSS announces 66 new residents, more than half in Anchorage

There were two new cases in Soldotna and one in Homer.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services announced that 66 people tested positive for COVID-19 in Alaska on Tuesday, including two in Soldotna and one in Homer. All but one are residents. Thirty four people tested positive for COVID-19 in Anchorage, 11 tested positive in Juneau, seven in Fairbanks, three in North Pole, two in Douglas, two in Soldotna and one each in Bethel Census Area, Fairbanks North Star Borough, Homer, Metlakatla, Nome Census Area and Utqiagvik.

The nonresident case was reported in Prudhoe Bay and in the oil industry. These cases bring Alaska’s total case number to 6,790, including 5,896 resident cases and 894 nonresident cases. DHSS said one nonresident case from July was added and one resident case was corrected to a nonresident case.

Thirty one of the new cases were reported among individuals aged 29 or younger.

Four new hospitalizations were also recorded, bringing the statewide total to date to 239. Currently, 37 people diagnosed with COVID-19 are hospitalized. Three people under investigation for the disease are also hospitalized. No new deaths were reported; the statewide total is 42.

Alaska’s average daily positivity rate for the past seven days, during which 5,860 tests were conducted, is 2.25%. During the same time period, the Kenai Peninsula Borough saw a 1.11% positivity rate, with 271 tests conducted, according to DHSS Coronavirus Response Hub.

Locally, Central Peninsula Hospital has conducted 4,872 tests, with 114 positive, 4,729 negative and 25 pending results as of Wednesday. Additionally, South Peninsula Hospital has conducted 8,197 tests, with 113 positive, 7,951 negative and 133 pending results as of Wednesday.

So far, 2,137 people have recovered from COVID-19.

The state provided updates Wednesday on the McLaughlin Youth Center (MYC), where testing conducted last week resulted in no new cases, and on the Alaska pioneers’ homes, where no new cases have been identified in more than two weeks among residents and staff working in the facilities in Anchorage and Palmer.

At the youth center, where visitation remains suspended, testing will continue among youth and staff this week. The facility is also still admitting new residents who are tested upon admission, quarantined for two weeks and tested again before leaving the quarantine unit. To date, 24 people have tested positive for COVID-19 at the youth center, including 15 youth and nine staff.

At Alaska pioneers’ homes in Anchorage and Palmer, all cases are considered recovered with the exception of one resident who is hospitalized. At the Anchorage and Palmer locations, staff are being tested weekly and residents are being tested at the first sign of symptoms. At the Fairbanks location, where it has been 10 days since the last staff member tested positive and two weeks since the last resident tested positive, both staff and residents are being tested one to two times per week based on their exposure to the two current cases. Weekly testing of staff and residents who show symptoms will resume when all tests come back negative.

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 continues to be available from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily at South Peninsula Hospital’s main entrance 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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