COVID-19. (Image CDC)

COVID-19. (Image CDC)

Seward takes emergency measures as cases rise

Alaska has had 1,226 cases of the disease since the state began tracking the pandemic in March.

Alaska continues to see a rise in COVID-19 cases, with 50 new cases reported on Thursday — 39 among residents and 11 nonresidents.

Alaska has had 1,226 cases of the disease since the state began tracking the pandemic in March. This includes 626 active cases (468 resident, 158 nonresident), while 586 people in total (531 resident, 51 nonresident) have recovered.

A total of 115,909 tests have been conducted statewide as of Thursday for a three-day average positivity rate of 1.34%.

The city of Seward also reported four new cases Thursday in addition to three residents and three nonresidents who were included in the day’s report from Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services. Those four additional cases will be included in Friday’s state update.

Seward has recently seen an outbreak of cases, with 31 positive cases of COVID-19 identified since June 26, according to a Thursday release from the city of Seward. Wednesday, the city passed new regulations regarding public parks, face masks and large gatherings in response to the outbreak.

The Seward City Council adopted Emergency Ordinance 2020-008, which requires the wearing of masks or cloth face coverings in buildings open to the public when 6 feet of social distance cannot be maintained. Exceptions are made for children under 4, those with breathing problems and those with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing a mask.

All city-owned campgrounds will operate at 50% capacity for recreational camping purposes. In-person gatherings of 20 or more people are prohibited, except for gatherings where the purpose is the exercising of constitutional rights.

All eating and drinking establishments, retail stores, tourism operations and places of worship are limited to an indoor seating capacity of 10 people or 50% maximum occupancy, whichever is higher.

The emergency ordinance took effect immediately and remains in effect for 30 days or until the COVID-19 emergency declaration is rescinded.

COVID-19 testing is available in Seward at four locations, but availability and hours may be suspended due to the Independence Day Holiday.

For testing information at Providence Seward Medical Center, call 907-224-5205.

For testing information at Seward Community Health Center, call 907-224-2273.

For testing information at Glacier Family Medicine, call 907-224-8733.

For testing information at North Star Health Clinic, call 907-224-3490.

Rapid-testing in Ninilchik

Adding to the testing efforts on the southern Kenai Peninsula, 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. According to Tribal Health Director Janet Mullen, 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 at NTC Community Clinic, Mullen said in an email. If supplies start to become limited, the clinic will scale back, she said.

The clinic has completed 350 tests to date and has had a total of six positive test results. All those who have tested positive out of the NTC Community Clinic have since recovered, Mullen said.

To make an appointment to be tested at the NTC Community Clinic, call 907-567-3970.

Testing is also 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.

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