COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

State reports 204 new cases, 15 on the peninsula

The statewide alert level, based on the average daily case rate for the last two weeks, is high.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services announced 204 new COVID-19 cases in Alaska on Wednesday. All are residents. Affected communities include Anchorage with 133 cases, Wasilla with 15 cases, Eagle River with eight cases, Soldotna with six cases, Kenai with four cases, Utqiagvik with four cases, Bristol Bay/Lake and Peninsula boroughs with three cases, Juneau with three cases, Nome Census Area with three cases, Delta Junction with two cases, Fairbanks with two cases, Chugiak with two cases, Homer with two cases, Sterling with two cases, Valdez-Cordova Census Area with two cases and one case each in Bethel Census Area, Dillingham, Fairbanks North Star Borough, Healy, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Kotzebue, North Pole, Palmer, Seward, Sitka, Skagway and Yakut Borough/Hoonah-Angoon Census Area.

The new cases bring Alaska’s statewide total to 12,644, including 11,605 residents and 1,039 nonresidents.

The statewide alert level, based on the average daily case rate for the last two weeks, is high at 25.76. The Kenai Peninsula Borough’s alert level is also high at 16.03.

High risk is defined as more than 10 cases per 100,000 people. Intermediate risk is five to 10 cases per 100,000 people and low risk is fewer than five cases per 100,000 people.

The state reported one new death, an Anchorage man in his 60s, and nine new hospitalizations. To date, 375 people have been hospitalized due to COVID-19 in Alaska and 68 people have died. Currently, there are 41 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state. Eight of the patients are on ventilators.

The average daily positivity rate in Alaska for the past seven days, during which 12,149 tests have been conducted, is 4.61%. To date, 547,140 tests have been conducted in Alaska. Over the past week, the Kenai Peninsula Borough conducted 318 tests and saw a 5.35% positivity rate, according to DHSS’ Coronavirus Response Hub.

At the Kenai City Council meeting on Wednesday, City Manager Paul Ostrander said the first city employee tested positive for COVID-19 last weekend and that the city is continuing to work through it.

“There’s some additional work that’s done around that and we’re hoping that we’re going to come through without any additional employees that have been exposed,” Ostrander said. “You know we went seven months since this began and we went seven months without a case and we knew it would eventually happen and it just happened to happen this last weekend.”

Locally, South Peninsula Hospital has conducted 10,781 tests with 10,414 negative, 139 positive and 228 pending results. Central Peninsula Hospital has conducted 6,861 tests with 6,624 negative, 165 positive ad 68 pending results.

Statewide 6,110 people have recovered from 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, 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’s Specialty Clinic 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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