This 2014 photo shows the South Peninsula Hospital campus in Homer. (Photo courtesy South Peninsula Hospital)

This 2014 photo shows the South Peninsula Hospital campus in Homer. (Photo courtesy South Peninsula Hospital)

South peninsula nursing home requests no visitors after COVID outbreak

The resident who tested positive Friday is the first resident to test positive since the pandemic began.

This story has been updated.

The long-term care facility at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer is requesting no visitors after a resident and multiple staff members tested positive for COVID-19, according to a press release from SPH.

Rachael Kincaid, the long-term care director of the skilled nursing facility at SPH, said in the press release that the resident who tested positive Friday is the first resident to test positive since the pandemic began.

All of the residents at the facility are vaccinated, the release stated.

“Our protocols and mitigation measures have been working quite effectively,” she said. “This facility is our residents’ home, and we’re a tight-knit group. Most of our elders are unable to mask. When you consider the intimate care we provide day after day, it’s pretty remarkable we’ve made it this long without a resident case.”

According to the release, the resident who tested positive was isolated to a private room. After everyone else in the facility underwent testing, six staff members tested positive. No other long-term residents tested positive for COVID. The positive results among the staff occurred in both vaccinated and unvaccinated employees.

Staff who tested negative are working overtime as needed, the release stated.

Kincaid said in the release that safety measures were changed last year to allow visitors and outdoor outings for the residents.

“While we are committed to keeping our residents safe from physical risk, social, emotional and mental wellbeing are an important part of their overall health,” she said. “This pandemic does not appear to be going anywhere, and we must adjust along with it.”

The south peninsula’s seven-day average was 393 new COVID cases per 100,000 people as of Friday, according to data from the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District website.

Because many omicron cases have reportedly been less symptomatic and because of the increasing availability of at-home COVID test kits, state officials with the Department of Health and Social Services are encouraging people to use hospitalizations and death metrics to determine the severity of the variant.

Hospitalizations in Alaska are currently trending downward, although the metric tends to be a lagging indicator.

The long-term skilled nursing facility at SPH, starting Saturday, will not allow visitation for seven days. Additionally, all residents and staff will be tested daily despite vaccination status.

Clarification: South Peninsula Hospital spokesperson Derotha Ferraro clarified on Jan. 10 that the long-term care facility “requests no visitors at this time.”

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

More in News

Soldotna City Hall is seen on Wednesday, June 23, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna bumps vote on use of accessory housing as short-term rentals

An accessory dwelling unit is a subordinate, detached dwelling unit located on a lot or parcel with an existing residence

Foliage surrounds the Soldotna Police Department sign on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Foliage surrounds the Soldotna Police Department sign on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Law enforcement to host women’s self-defense class in January

Within 48 hours of the course being advertised, 120 women had signed up to participate

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Local hunter credits community members for Thanksgiving rescue

Glover said he didn’t even strike out from his home to go hunting

In this July 13, 2007, photo, workers with the Pebble Mine project test drill in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska, near the village of Iliamma. (AP Photo / Al Grillo)
EPA proposes restrictions to block Pebble Mine

Mine developer Pebble Limited Partnershi called the EPA’s decision a preemptive veto

Architect Nancy Casey speaks in front of a small gathering at this year’s final Fireside Chat presented by the Kenai Watershed Forum on Nov. 30, 2022, at Kenai River Brewing in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Building with the environment in mind

Kenai Watershed Forum’s Fireside Chats conclude

Johni Blankenship signs her name after being sworn in as Soldotna City Clerk at a city council meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Blankenship sworn in as Soldotna city clerk

Blankenship comes to the City of Soldotna from the Kenai Peninsula Borough

Demonstrators hold signs supporting Justin Ruffridge and Jesse Bjorkman for state office on Election Day, Nov. 8, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Nov. 8 election results certified

The outcomes of local races for state office remain unchanged

The Kenai Peninsula Borough administration building is photographed on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
4 candidates vie for borough mayoral seat

The special election is slated for Feb. 14

Spruce trees are dusted with snow on Dec. 22, 2020, in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge near Soldotna, Alaska. Some areas of the refuge are open to harvest of holiday trees for non-commercial uses beginning Thanksgiving. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Snowmachine use permitted in Kenai National Wildlife Refuge beginning Dec. 1

Areas now available include those “traditionally open to snowmachine use”

Most Read