Coronavirus

A sign instructing patients and visitors on COVID-19 screening process is seen in the River Tower of Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna, Alaska, on April 7, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion file)

‘Controlled chaos’

Health workers approach 18 months caring for COVID patients — and they’re tired.

A sign instructing patients and visitors on COVID-19 screening process is seen in the River Tower of Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna, Alaska, on April 7, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion file)
Alaska Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink answers questions from members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

State, hospital officials brief assembly on COVID

“The hospital has been over capacity for basically the month of August,” an official said.

Alaska Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink answers questions from members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. (CDC)

6 new deaths, 841 cases reported statewide

The peninsula continues to lag behind most other regions in percentage of fully vaccinated.

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. (CDC)
Ray Southwell testifies before the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly in support of legislation opposing government-mandated vaccines on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021 at the George A. Navarre Admin Building in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

COVID divisions shape heated testimony

After raucous meeting, assembly tables resolution on ‘vaccine segregation’.

Ray Southwell testifies before the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly in support of legislation opposing government-mandated vaccines on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021 at the George A. Navarre Admin Building in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
In this Monday, March 2, 2020, file photo, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Commissioner Adam Crum addresses the state’s coronavirus preparedness at a news conference in Anchorage, Alaska. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen, File)

Opinion: Alaska’s COVID response: Why we need legislative action

A question frequently asked: Can’t the governor just issue a new disaster declaration?

In this Monday, March 2, 2020, file photo, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Commissioner Adam Crum addresses the state’s coronavirus preparedness at a news conference in Anchorage, Alaska. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen, File)
Lawmakers at the Alaska State Capitol, seen here in this Jun. 7, file photo, heard a bill that would make it easier for hospitals to hire workers from other states on Tuesday, with only a week left in the Legislature's third special session of the year. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Lawmakers at the Alaska State Capitol, seen here in this Jun. 7, file photo, heard a bill that would make it easier for hospitals to hire workers from other states on Tuesday, with only a week left in the Legislature's third special session of the year. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
A sign in front of Kenai Middle School is seen on Sept. 2, 2021, in Kenai, Alaska. The school was one of more than a dozen Kenai Peninsula Borough School District schools operating with universal indoor masking due to rising COVID-19 cases. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

More schools go to universal indoor masking

More than 200 students have tested positive for COVID-19 since Aug. 23.

A sign in front of Kenai Middle School is seen on Sept. 2, 2021, in Kenai, Alaska. The school was one of more than a dozen Kenai Peninsula Borough School District schools operating with universal indoor masking due to rising COVID-19 cases. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Cars line up outside of Capstone Clinic’s COVID-19 testing site in Kenai, Alaska on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021. The line extended through the Three Bears Grocery parking lot, and past the entrances to O’Reilly Auto Parts and Aspen Extended Stay Suites. Some said they waited for three and a half hours to get tested, and others said the line stretched down and around Walker Lane Tuesday morning. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Cars line up outside of Capstone Clinic’s COVID-19 testing site in Kenai, Alaska on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021. The line extended through the Three Bears Grocery parking lot, and past the entrances to O’Reilly Auto Parts and Aspen Extended Stay Suites. Some said they waited for three and a half hours to get tested, and others said the line stretched down and around Walker Lane Tuesday morning. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
A registered nurse prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at the pop-up clinic on the Spit on May 27, 2021. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)

Borough resolution opposes ‘COVID-19 vaccine segregation’

The legislation does not nullify COVID mandates instituted by the borough’s incorporated communities.

A registered nurse prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at the pop-up clinic on the Spit on May 27, 2021. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. (CDC)

Nearly 510 cases per 100,000 as statewide COVID alert remains high

The state Department of Health and Social Services reported another 592 positive COVID cases Friday.

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. (CDC)
A sign advertises free COVID-19 vaccines at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport on July 13, 2021, in Anchorage, Alaska. The state announced a new initiative that gives newly vaccinated Alaskans an opportunity to win $49,000. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)

Newly vaccinated get chance to win cash

Incentive campaign to grant $49,000 cash and scholarship prizes to weekly winners

A sign advertises free COVID-19 vaccines at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport on July 13, 2021, in Anchorage, Alaska. The state announced a new initiative that gives newly vaccinated Alaskans an opportunity to win $49,000. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
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)

Officials: Best immunity is through vaccination

Although COVID infection produces antibodies that can help fight the virus, it’s risky to take that chance.

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)
Sterling Elementary welcomes students on the first day of school on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Sterling Elementary welcomes students on the first day of school on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Ryan Smith, South Peninsula Hospital CEO. (Photo courtesy of South Peninsula Hospital)

Voices of the Peninsula: This Labor Day, give thanks to health care workers

The return to normal is not in sight at this moment.

Ryan Smith, South Peninsula Hospital CEO. (Photo courtesy of South Peninsula Hospital)
Cars wait outside Capstone Clinic in Kenai, where COVID-19 testing is being offered, on Monday, Aug. 30, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. The line at Capstone wound through the nearby Three Bears parking lot. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Peninsula sees surge in testing, increased COVID positivity rate

On Tuesday, the peninsula’s positivity rate was 13%, according to state data.

Cars wait outside Capstone Clinic in Kenai, where COVID-19 testing is being offered, on Monday, Aug. 30, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. The line at Capstone wound through the nearby Three Bears parking lot. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District communications blog/Screenshot

Schools report more positive COVID-19 cases, more than 1,000 close contacts

Between Aug. 23 and Sept. 1, the district has been made aware of 180 COVID-19 cases, including 25 staff and 155 students.

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District communications blog/Screenshot
A sign advertising free COVID-19 vaccines stands outside Safeway on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
A sign advertising free COVID-19 vaccines stands outside Safeway on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. (CDC)
This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. (CDC)
A sign welcomes visitors on July 7, 2021, in Seward, Alaska. Due to a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases, school in Seward and other areas of the eastern peninsula switched to universal indoor masking this week. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
A sign welcomes visitors on July 7, 2021, in Seward, Alaska. Due to a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases, school in Seward and other areas of the eastern peninsula switched to universal indoor masking this week. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education attend a meeting on Monday, July 12, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

4 peninsula schools require universal masking

Seward Elementary on Monday joined Port Graham School, Susan B. English School and Tebughna School in requiring masks due to a number of COVID-19 cases.

Members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education attend a meeting on Monday, July 12, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)