COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

State reports more than 4,000 cases this week, 357 on peninsula

The state reported 462 new COVID-19 cases on Friday

Alaska finished the week with the state reporting 462 new COVID-19 cases on Friday. Overall, the state recorded 4,110 cases this week.

As of Friday, South Peninsula Hospital had conducted 12,768 tests with 12,312 negative, 269 positive and 187 pending results. Central Peninsula Hospital has conducted 8,724 tests with 8,170 negative, 443 positive and 105 pending results. As of Friday, CPH was treating 10 patients who are COVID-19 positive and had 74 employees out on quarantine. There were also 16 positive residents at Heritage Place Skilled Nursing facility.

The state reported 42 hospitalizations and two deaths this week, for a total of 606 and 101, respectively. As of Friday, there were 127 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Alaska, including 14 who are considered persons under investigation. Fifteen of the patients are on ventilators. As of Friday, 12.8% of all hospitalizations in Alaska were COVID-19 related.

Over the last week, the state conducted 22,063 COVID-19 tests and saw a positivity rate of 7.76%. To date, Alaska has conducted 904,712 tests. During the same time period, the Kenai Peninsula Borough conducted 1,346 tests and saw a positivity rate of 13.37%. To date, the borough has conducted 38,748.

There were 357 cases reported by the Kenai Peninsula Borough over the past week, including 37 reported on Friday.

School risk levels

All students at 34 peninsula schools continue to operate 100% remotely through at least Nov. 25 as cases rise across the state.

The district announced Nov. 12 that remote learning would be extended for central, southern and eastern peninsula schools through Thanksgiving break. Schools will be closed on Nov. 26 and 27. The earliest in-person learning could resume for schools currently operating remotely is Nov. 30.

In determining whether to reopen a school to on-site learning, the district and their Medical Advisory Team analyze 14-day positive case counts, analyze the seven-day positivity trend, consult with medical providers and public health and review their school decision matrix. Small district schools, which include Susan B. English School, Cooper Landing School, Hope School, Nanwalek School, Port Graham School and Tebughna School continue to be open for on-site learning and operate at low-risk level.

DHSS created risk levels as part of a plan to reopen long-term care facilities to visitors, but DHSS says risk levels also can be used to inform decisions by other entities, including schools, institutions of higher learning and businesses.

During 100% remote learning, Get-It and Go meals are free for all students and can be picked up daily at school.

Operational risk levels, case incidence rates and case numbers by community are updated daily on the district’s risk levels dashboard at covid19.kpbsd.org/dashboard.

Central Peninsula — High Risk

The central peninsula, or Kenai, Nikiski, Soldotna, Sterling and “other North,” had 26 resident cases reported by the state Friday for a total of 610 cases in the last 14 days.

The central peninsula is high risk when there are 52 or more cases in the last 14 days, medium risk when there are 51 to 26 cases in the last 14 days, and low risk when there are 25 or fewer cases in the last 14 days.

100% remote learning will continue for central peninsula schools through at least Nov. 25. As of Friday, the central peninsula will need to lose 559 cases from its 14-day case count for schools to drop back into medium risk.

Central peninsula schools include Aurora Borealis Charter School, K-Beach Elementary, Kaleidoscope School of Arts and Sciences, Kenai Alternative School, Kenai Central High School, Kenai Middle School, Marathon School, Mountain View Elementary, Nikiski Middle-High School, Nikiski North Star Elementary, Redoubt Elementary, River City Academy, Skyview Middle School, Soldotna Elementary School, Soldotna High School, Soldotna Montessori Charter School, Sterling Elementary and Tustumena Elementary.

Southern Peninsula — High Risk

The southern peninsula, or Homer, Fritz Creek, Anchor Point and “other South,” had nine resident cases reported by the state Friday for a total of 103 cases in the last 14 days.

The southern peninsula is at high risk when there are 20 or more cases in the last 14 days, medium risk when there are 19 to 10 cases in the last 14 days, and low risk when there are nine cases or fewer in the last 14 days.

100% remote learning will continue for southern peninsula schools through at least Nov. 25. As of Friday, the southern peninsula will need to lose 84 cases from its 14-day case count for schools to drop back into medium risk.

Southern peninsula schools include Chapman School, Fireweed Academy, Homer Flex School, Homer High School, Kachemak Selo School, McNeil Canyon Elementary, Nikolaevsk School, Ninilchik School, Paul Banks Elementary, Razdolna School, Voznesenka School and West Homer Elementary.

Eastern Peninsula — High Risk

The eastern peninsula, or Seward, had two resident cases reported by the state Friday for a total of 34 cases in the last 14 days.

The eastern peninsula is at high risk when there are eight or more cases in the last 14 days, medium risk when there are four to seven cases in the last 14 days, and low risk when there are three or fewer cases in the last 14 days.

100% remote learning will for eastern peninsula schools will continue through at least Nov. 25. As of Friday, the eastern peninsula will need to lose 27 cases from its 14-day case count for schools to drop back into medium risk.

Eastern peninsula schools include Moose Pass School, Seward Elementary, Seward High School and Seward Middle School.

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.

This information is based on data reported by Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services between Nov. 13 and Nov. 20.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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