Coronavirus

A sign describing bluff erosion is seen on Kenai North Beach in Kenai, Alaska, on Aug. 6, 2020. The bluff stabilization project is one of several capital improvement projects on the City of Kenai’s agenda. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai to tackle capital improvement projects

Bridge Access trail, Rec Center upgrades among projects Kenai plans to address this year.

A sign describing bluff erosion is seen on Kenai North Beach in Kenai, Alaska, on Aug. 6, 2020. The bluff stabilization project is one of several capital improvement projects on the City of Kenai’s agenda. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
The Alaska State Capitol remained closed to the public on Monday, April 26, 2021, but with high rates of vaccinations among staff, lawmakers have relaxed some of the health rules in place since the start of the session in January. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
The Alaska State Capitol remained closed to the public on Monday, April 26, 2021, but with high rates of vaccinations among staff, lawmakers have relaxed some of the health rules in place since the start of the session in January. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
A vial of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is seen at Central Emergency Services Station 1 on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

‘Encouraging’ vaccine data showing no safety concerns for pregnant women

Pregnant women were excluded from vaccine clinical trials early on.

A vial of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is seen at Central Emergency Services Station 1 on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
David Ross speaks before the Kenai City Council on Saturday, April 24, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai police chief: Crime decreased amid pandemic

The total number of police service calls declined by more than 500.

David Ross speaks before the Kenai City Council on Saturday, April 24, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

Peninsula cases rising faster than vaccine rates

18.7% positive case increase from last week as CDC and FDA lift J&J pause

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
A vial of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is seen at Central Emergency Services Station 1 on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Almost half of eligible Alaskans have received at least 1 vaccine dose

According to the Department of Health and Social Services, almost half of all eligible Alaskans 16 and older — 48.7%— have received at least one… Continue reading

A vial of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is seen at Central Emergency Services Station 1 on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
The Soldotna City Council receives a presentation from their auditors on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, via Zoom. (Screenshot)

Seward to stop using Zoom for public meetings

The borough, in contrast, has no plans to phase out Zoom services.

The Soldotna City Council receives a presentation from their auditors on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, via Zoom. (Screenshot)
Billy Adamson (left) and Adam Kiffmeyer scale a communications tower on Thursday, Jan. 7 in Nikiski, Alaska. Homer-based SPITwSPOTS was one of the telecommunications companies awarded CARES money by the Kenai Peninsula Borough as part of an effort to increase public access to the internet. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Cell service to reach Summit Lake area

The assembly allocated between $1.2 and $2 million in CARES Act money to improve public access to the internet through tower site development and infrastructure.

Billy Adamson (left) and Adam Kiffmeyer scale a communications tower on Thursday, Jan. 7 in Nikiski, Alaska. Homer-based SPITwSPOTS was one of the telecommunications companies awarded CARES money by the Kenai Peninsula Borough as part of an effort to increase public access to the internet. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

State physician briefs Kenai chamber on COVID, vaccines

More contagious variants likely to spread through communities that don’t reach herd immunity

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

Peninsula ranks 3rd highest for COVID cases

Out of the seven Alaska regions at high-alert level, the peninsula ranks just below Anchorage and the Matanuska-Susitna region.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
In this undated photo provided by the Tanana Chiefs Conference, shows PJ Simon, chief and chairman of the conference, from Fairbanks, Alaska, displaying a COVID-19 vaccination sticker. Alaska has been one of the leading states in the percentage of its population to be vaccinated against COVID-19. But some of Alaska’s highest vaccination rates have been in some of its most remote, hardest-to-access communities, where the toll of past flu or tuberculosis outbreaks hasn’t been forgotten. (Rachel Saylor/Tanana Chiefs Conference via AP)

Alaska tribal health groups distribute vaccine far and wide

“We live for our children. We want to bring that sense of normalcy back in our lives.”

In this undated photo provided by the Tanana Chiefs Conference, shows PJ Simon, chief and chairman of the conference, from Fairbanks, Alaska, displaying a COVID-19 vaccination sticker. Alaska has been one of the leading states in the percentage of its population to be vaccinated against COVID-19. But some of Alaska’s highest vaccination rates have been in some of its most remote, hardest-to-access communities, where the toll of past flu or tuberculosis outbreaks hasn’t been forgotten. (Rachel Saylor/Tanana Chiefs Conference via AP)
In this June 20, 2019, file photo, the Supreme Court is seen in Washington as a storm rolls in. The Supreme Court seems inclined to say that hundreds of millions of dollars in coronavirus relief money tied up by a court case should benefit Alaska Natives, rather than be spread more broadly among Native American tribes.The justices were hearing arguments April 19, 2021, in a case involving the massive pandemic relief package passed last year and signed into law by then-President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Court seems ready to send virus funds to Alaska Natives

The federal government set aside more than $530 million for the so-called ANCs.

In this June 20, 2019, file photo, the Supreme Court is seen in Washington as a storm rolls in. The Supreme Court seems inclined to say that hundreds of millions of dollars in coronavirus relief money tied up by a court case should benefit Alaska Natives, rather than be spread more broadly among Native American tribes.The justices were hearing arguments April 19, 2021, in a case involving the massive pandemic relief package passed last year and signed into law by then-President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
A vial of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is seen at Central Emergency Services Station 1 on Friday, Dec. 18 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Alaska hits 40% fully vaccinated

In the Kenai Peninsula Borough, 35.3% of Alaskans 16 and up are fully vaccinated.

A vial of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is seen at Central Emergency Services Station 1 on Friday, Dec. 18 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Rep. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski, speaks during a debate on a supplemental budget on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. (Courtesy photo | Brian Hild, House Majority Digital Media Specialist)

Bill prohibiting employers from mandating vaccine introduced

Rep. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski, introduced legislation Wednesday.

Rep. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski, speaks during a debate on a supplemental budget on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. (Courtesy photo | Brian Hild, House Majority Digital Media Specialist)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy holds a press conference at the Capitol on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. (Juneau Empire file photo)

Dunleavy: Tourism relief is on the way

I’m proposing legislation directing $150 million of those funds toward broad, tourism-related relief.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy holds a press conference at the Capitol on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. (Juneau Empire file photo)
From left to right: Rhys Cannava, 16, Quinn Cox, 17, and Jolie Widaman, 16, are pictured here in Soldtna, Alaska on Thursday, April 15, 2021. The three Soldotna High School juniors got vaccinated against COVID-19 in March 2021.

‘I didn’t want to be a spreader’

SoHi teens discuss living with pandemic, why they got vaccinated.

From left to right: Rhys Cannava, 16, Quinn Cox, 17, and Jolie Widaman, 16, are pictured here in Soldtna, Alaska on Thursday, April 15, 2021. The three Soldotna High School juniors got vaccinated against COVID-19 in March 2021.
A vial of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is seen at Central Emergency Services Station 1 on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Almost 40% Alaskans 16 and up fully vaccinated

About 39.9% peninsula residents have received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Friday.

A vial of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is seen at Central Emergency Services Station 1 on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Rhonda Baisden testifies before the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education on March 1 in Kenai. Baisden has been a vocal critic of school board COVID-19 mitigation policies implemented by the school district. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

‘You can’t expect people to live in bubbles forever’

Parents organize proms as tensions continue on school mitigation protocols.

Rhonda Baisden testifies before the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education on March 1 in Kenai. Baisden has been a vocal critic of school board COVID-19 mitigation policies implemented by the school district. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Todd Duwe hands a food box to Brad Nyquist as Mark Larson looks on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020, at Christ Lutheran Church in Soldotna, Alaska. The church volunteers were distributing food from the United States’ Department of Agriculture’s Farmers to Families Food Box Program, delivered by the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Weekly food bank distribution transitioning to monthly

Food bank will return to monthly boxes as CARES funding dries up.

Todd Duwe hands a food box to Brad Nyquist as Mark Larson looks on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020, at Christ Lutheran Church in Soldotna, Alaska. The church volunteers were distributing food from the United States’ Department of Agriculture’s Farmers to Families Food Box Program, delivered by the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Alaska State Chief Medical Officer Anne Zink provides data for a COVID-19 briefing via Zoom on Thursday, April 15, 2021. The data show a decrease in COVID-19 infections as the percent of people vaccinated increases.

DHSS reports 20 new COVID deaths

Nineteen of the fatalities were reported after death certificate review

Alaska State Chief Medical Officer Anne Zink provides data for a COVID-19 briefing via Zoom on Thursday, April 15, 2021. The data show a decrease in COVID-19 infections as the percent of people vaccinated increases.