COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

State alert level drops to intermediate

The Kenai Peninsula Borough also remains in the intermediate alert division.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services announced on Monday 99 new COVID-19 cases had been reported over the weekend, down 41 from last Monday.

Alaska also dropped to the intermediate alert level, which is categorized by having an average of between 4.8 and 10 positive COVID cases per 100,000 people over a two-week period. The state reported a daily average of 8.16 positive cases on Monday.

The new case count includes eight on the Kenai Peninsula. Kenai reported three. Soldotna reported two. Homer, the Kenai Peninsula Borough – North and Sterling reported one each.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough also remains in the intermediate alert division. The borough reported a daily average of 6.79 cases over the weekend. The Northwest region is the lowest risk of all 11 census regions, with only 3.16 cases per 100,000 people.

Alaska also saw 19 new cases in Anchorage, 17 in Ketchikan, 13 in Wasilla, nine in Fairbanks, six in Eagle River, four in Metlakatla, three in both Palmer and Tok, two each in the Chugach Census Area, Hooper Bay and Nome, and one each the Copper River Census Area, Healy, Juneau, Kotzebue, the Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area, Sitka and the Southeast Fairbanks Census Area.

There have been 1,553 resident hospitalizations and 362 resident deaths since the pandemic began, with no new hospitalizations or deaths reported on Monday. According to the DHSS, there are currently 20 COVID-related hospitalizations with two of the patients on ventilators.

Vaccination rates

Over half of Alaskans 16 and older — 53.7% — had received at least one vaccine dose as of Monday, and 47.9% were fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

In the Kenai Peninsula Borough, 41.5% of people 16 and up were fully vaccinated.

Out of 11 Alaska regions, the Kenai Peninsula Borough ranks No. 9 in vaccine rollout at 41.5%. The Juneau Region leads the state with a 69.1% vaccination rate for those 16 and older, according to data updated on Monday.

Getting vaccinated

Any Alaskan 12 years and older is eligible to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Anyone 18 and older is eligible for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen shots.

Multiple vaccination appointments were available through the Kenai Public Health Center as of Monday, according to PrepMod, the online portal through which appointments can be scheduled. PrepMod can be accessed at myhealth.alaska.gov.

A map of vaccine providers can be found on DHSS’ COVID-19 vaccine website at covidvax.alaska.gov. Many providers are using the state’s program to schedule appointments, which can be accessed at myhealth.alaska.gov. Instructions on how to schedule an appointment through alternative entities can be found on the map by clicking the icon of the preferred provider. Appointments at Walmart can be scheduled at walmart.com/covidvaccine.

People who would like assistance with scheduling a vaccination appointment can call the Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management call center. The center operates Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. The central peninsula call center can be reached at 907-262-4636. The Homer call center can be reached at 907-235-4636. The Seward call center can be reached at 907-224-4636.

The City of Kenai is offering transportation to and from vaccine clinics located in Kenai in partnership with CARTS and Alaska Cab. Rides will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis until the budgeted funds run out. In order to participate in the program, people must be going from an address located in Kenai to a clinic in Kenai and will need to provide proof of vaccination. To schedule a ride, Alaska Cab can be reached at 907-283-6000 and CARTS can be reached at 907-262-8900.

COVID-19 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, Dena’ina Health Clinic, 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 is available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily at the lower level of South Peninsula Hospital 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 from noon to 4 p.m. 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 Camille Botello at camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.

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