COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

Statewide ICU bed capacity enters ‘red’ zone; one borough death reported

DHSS announced 353 new cases of COVID-19 in Alaska on Wednesday.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services announced 353 new COVID-19 cases in Alaska on Wednesday, 350 of which are residents.

Affected communities include Anchorage with 168 cases, Wasilla with 55 cases, Fairbanks with 23 cases, Palmer with 18 cases, Kenai with 13 cases, Soldotna with 11 cases, North Pole with nine cases, Eagle River with seven cases, Juneau with six cases, Dillingham Census Area with five cases, Kotzebue with five cases, Bethel Census Area with four cases, Bethel with three cases, Nikiski with three cases, Tok with three cases, Kenai Peninsula Borough North with two cases, Sterling with two cases and one case each in Aleutians West Census Area, Big Lake, Bristol Bay and Lake and Peninsula Borough, Chugiak, Delta Junction, Douglas, Girdwood, Kusilvak Census Area, Mat-Su Borough, Meadow Lakes, Utqiagvik and Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon. One new resident case has a location still under investigation.

Three new nonresident cases were also reported. One was reported in Anchorage and two have locations still under investigation. The new cases bring Alaska’s statewide case total to 15,155, including 14,097 residents and 1,058 nonresidents.

The state also reported more than 300 new cases Tuesday.

The statewide alert level, based on the average daily case rate for the last two weeks, is high at 37.34. The Kenai Peninsula Borough’s alert level is also high at 30.23.

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 less than five cases per 100,000 people.

The state reported one new death and 13 new hospitalizations. To date, 413 people have been hospitalized due to COVID-19 in Alaska and 71 people have died. Currently, there are 80 people in Alaska who are hospitalized with COVID-19 or who are considered persons under investigation for the disease. Eight of the patients are on ventilators.

The person who died was a Kenai Peninsula Borough-North woman in her 80s.

The state’s adult ICU bed capacity entered the “red” zone on Wednesday, meaning more than 75% of the state’s total adult ICU beds are in use. According to the state hub, there 130 adult ICU beds total and 100 of them are in use.

The average daily positivity rate in Alaska for the past seven days, during which 17,044 tests were conducted, is 6.89%. To date, 580,599 tests have been conducted in Alaska. Over the past week, the Kenai Peninsula Borough conducted 592 tests and saw a 10.98% positivity rate, according to DHSS’ Coronavirus Response Hub.

Locally, South Peninsula Hospital has conducted 11,112 total tests with 10,806 negative, 148 positive and 158 pending results. Central Peninsula Hospital has conducted 7,336 total tests with 6,979 negative, 216 positive and 136 pending results.

Statewide, 6,422 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

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