COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

State reports 75 new COVID-19 cases, 12 on peninsula

This brings the total number of resident cases to 1,693 and nonresident cases to 339.

Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services reported 75 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday — 65 among residents and 10 among nonresidents.

In addition, three cases previously reported as residents have been corrected to nonresident cases, and one pending case from July 1 was determined to be a nonresident. This brings the total number of resident cases to 1,693 and nonresident cases to 339.

Twelve of the new cases were identified on the Kenai Peninsula: one is a nonresident in the southern part of the peninsula, and the rest are residents of Soldotna (four), Kenai (three), Nikiski (one), Seward (one), Sterling (one) and one in an unidentified community on the southern part of the peninsula.

The City of Seward reported Thursday afternoon that two more cases of COVID-19 were identified in the community. Those cases will be reflected in the next case count from DHSS. Cases reported by the state each day at noon reflect cases that were identified the previous day.

DHSS also confirmed on Thursday that an employee at the Alaska Psychiatric Institute tested positive for COVID-19. API was notified of the positive case on Wednesday and began notifying staff and contractors at the facility, according to a Thursday release from DHSS. The API employee was tested on July 8 after becoming ill and did not return to the facility, and no other staff or patients have shown symptoms of the disease, the release said.

“Since March 2020, we have established and implemented policies and practices in anticipation of a possible COVID-19 positive person at API,” CEO Scott York said in the release. “I’m grateful for the assistance the Division of Public Health has provided us to prepare for this situation, including the congregate settings guidance that helped us mitigate and, up to this point, keep COVID-19 out of API.”

The number of active cases on the Kenai Peninsula is now 138, which includes 123 residents and 15 nonresidents. Statewide, there are 988 active resident cases and 247 active nonresident cases.

The majority of the 65 resident cases reported Thursday (43) are under the age of 40. Overall cases range in age from under 10 years old to over 80 years old.

An additional 19 recoveries were reported yesterday, for a total of 688 residents and 92 residents who have recovered since the state began monitoring the outbreak.

A total of 163,022 tests have been conducted statewide, and 6,929 tests were conducted on Wednesday. The average positivity rate of test results from the last three days is 1.57%, and the positivity rate for all tests conducted so far is 1.25%. The number of tests conducted does not reflect the number of people who have been tested, because people can be tested for COVID-19 multiple times.

Locally, Central Peninsula Hospital has conducted a total of 2,599 tests as of Wednesday, according to Public Information Officer Bruce Richards. Of those, there have been 2,466 negative and 36 positive results. A total of 95 tests were pending results as of Wednesday.

South Peninsula Hospital has conducted a total of 5,250 tests as of Thursday, according to Public Information Officer Derotha Ferraro. Of those, 5,048 have come back negative, 82 have come back positive and 120 were pending results.

There have been a total of 96 hospitalizations and 17 deaths associated with COVID-19 in Alaska. There are 32 people currently hospitalized who are either COVID-positive or are awaiting test results.

No one currently hospitalized for COVID-19 is being treated on a ventilator at this time, according to the data on Alaska’s Coronavirus Response Hub.

Testing on the Kenai Peninsula

Testing for COVID-19 is 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.

In the Seward area, testing is available at Seward Community Health Center, Glacier Family Medicine and the Chugachmiut-North Star Health Clinic.

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. The clinic is providing testing with a rapid testing machine to those with symptoms, travelers and asymptomatic people. There are currently no restrictions on who can get tested. To make an appointment to be tested at the NTC Community Clinic, call 907-567-3970.

Other southern Kenai Peninsula testing sites are at South Peninsula Hospital and at SVT Health and Wellness Clinics in Anchor Point, Homer and Seldovia. Call ahead at the hospital at 907-235-0235 and at the SVT clinics at 907-226-2228. The testing hours at South Peninsula Hospital are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.

For more information on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit covid19.alaska.gov or email covidquestions@alaska.gov.

Reach reporter Brian Mazurek at bmazurek@peninsulaclarion.com.

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