Sound Publishing file photo

Sound Publishing file photo

Voices of the Peninsula: Too little COVID testing on the Kenai

Limited testing means dangerous decisions.

  • Saturday, August 15, 2020 6:54pm
  • Opinion

As my husband and I consider in-person school for our daughter, we came across some alarming information: if the data reported from the Kenai Peninsula Borough (KPB) and the state is true, we are being kept in the dark about the spread of COVID in our community.

Not enough testing is being done. Limited testing means dangerous decisions. While Alaska is doing a respectable job of testing overall, that effort excludes the Kenai Peninsula — particularly the central peninsula. The testing done here is insufficient, below any target using basic mitigation methodology.

The KPB has about 1/12th of the state’s population. However, it has only generated about 1/27th of the COVID testing. As of Sunday, 277,919 tests have been done in Alaska, 10,257 from the KPB.

This should be concerning.

It means as parents, we are unable to make informed decisions about school and other matters. According to the Harvard Global Health Institute (HGHI), the center that developed the methodology for making these numbers make sense in our communities, the KPB needs to generate at least 335 tests a day.

That would give us a sufficient amount of data needed to discern community spread, and thus, impel safety. The extrapolated information would also satisfy inquiries about the opening of school. Unfortunately, according to the DHSS COVID data hub, we are only generating about 72 tests a day (average for a two-week period), and most of those are from the Homer area.

In comparison, Anchorage and Juneau are generating a sufficient number of COVID tests (around target .0056 of population). Having accurate data enables leaders to make decisions that will keep the community out of harm’s way.

Where are our leaders hiding to ensure enough testing so that we may make informed decisions as parents? We call on the Borough Mayor and the Borough Assembly, Rick Davis, the CEO of the hospital we own, and other health leaders in the community to steer us in the right direction for a safe community.

We call on our superintendent to make sound decisions that affect the lives of so many children and adults in the community.

— Angie Clark , Soldotna

More in Opinion

Gavel (Courtesy photo)
Opinion: The foolish men claiming self-defense

It’s not just misguided teenagers carrying guns who find themselves in trouble with the law.

Larry Persily (Peninsula Clarion file)
Opinion: State defends its right to cut nonexistent taxes

This from a state that has no property tax on homes or businesses, only on the oil industry.

Dr. Jay Butler, former chief medical officer for the State of Alaska, is seen in this undated photo. (Courtesy photo)
Alaska Voices: Feeling grateful this Thanksgiving for the COVID vaccines

The COVID vaccines remain our strongest tool in combating the pandemic and helping us return to our lives and the things we love and cherish.

A resident casts their vote in the regular municipal election Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020 at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Voices of the Peninsula: All votes matter

In the beginning, only property-holding white men could vote.

Cristen San Roman. (Photo provided)
Point of View: Is management of Cook Inlet catered to special interest groups?

If these fish are so at risk, why is BOEM able to move forward with lease sale 258?

Homer Foundation
Point of View: Grateful for the hidden ‘good’

Gratitude: Noun The state of being grateful; thankfulness. The state or quality… Continue reading

Homer High School Principal Douglas Waclawski. (Photo provided)
Point of View: What is Homer High School about?

What I consider Homer High’s strength is that we are a place for learning.

UAA Chancellor Sean Parnell. (courtesy photo)
Alaska Voices: Invent your future at UAA

At UAA we’re providing the tools to help students of all ages and skills chart a new course forward.

A registered nurse prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at the pop-up clinic on the Spit on May 27. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Alaska Voices: Vaccination is the still best protection from COVID-19

The Alaska State Medical Association encourages you to protect yourselves and your community from preventable illness by getting recommended vaccines.

(Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
The sad diminishment of Rep. Don Young

Young seems afraid to demand his party leader defend the dignity of the institution he loves.

A “Vote Here” sign is seen at the City of Kenai building on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Clarion file)
Alaska Voices: Restore our strong campaign donation limits

Without campaign spending limits, the ideal of one person, one vote is no longer really true.

The Final Redistricting Map approved for the Anchorage and Matanuska-Susitna area is seen on Nov. 9, 2021. (Map via
Alaska Voices: The Alaska Redistricting Board’s last-minute gerrymandering failed Alaska

Our Constitution outlines rules for a redistricting process designed to uphold public trust.