Coronavirus

A sign urging COVID-19 mitigation measures hangs at a free vaccination clinic at the Y intersection of the Kenai Spur and Sterling highways, on Tuesday, Nov. 30 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Clarion file)

Omicron variant spurs travel restrictions locally, nationally

It’s still unclear if the omicron strain is more dangerous than other COVID variants.

A sign urging COVID-19 mitigation measures hangs at a free vaccination clinic at the Y intersection of the Kenai Spur and Sterling highways, on Tuesday, Nov. 30 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Clarion file)
COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

State officials urge vaccination as omicron spreads in US

Omicron was first identified as a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization on Nov. 26.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Kenai City Council members James Baisden (left) and Deborah Sounart (right) listen as member Teea Winger (center) speaks in support of legislation opposing government COVID-19 mandates, during a meeting of the Kenai City Council on Wednesday, in Kenai.

Kenai council declares opposition to mask mandates

The statement does not change city code or supersede federal law.

Kenai City Council members James Baisden (left) and Deborah Sounart (right) listen as member Teea Winger (center) speaks in support of legislation opposing government COVID-19 mandates, during a meeting of the Kenai City Council on Wednesday, in Kenai.
Signage indicates that face masks are required for entry to the Soldotna Public Library on March 25, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. The Soldotna City Council voted Wednesday to make mask-wearing optional in city facilities. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Signage indicates that face masks are required for entry to the Soldotna Public Library on March 25, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. The Soldotna City Council voted Wednesday to make mask-wearing optional in city facilities. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Nurse Sherra Pritchard gives Madyson Knudsen a bandage at the Kenai Public Health Center after the 10-year-old received her first COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Alaska Voices: A mom’s and pediatrician’s perspective on COVID-19 vaccines for children

I want to see children and their parents who have yet to get vaccinated roll up their sleeves.

Nurse Sherra Pritchard gives Madyson Knudsen a bandage at the Kenai Public Health Center after the 10-year-old received her first COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

COVID continues decline; 1 new death

The state had an estimated rolling average of 253.3 cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days.

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

State cases remain low; 2 deaths reported

Statewide there were 85 COVID-related hospitalizations as of Tuesday, with nine patients on ventilators.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Anne Zink, Alaska chief medical officer, participates in a briefing with Department of Health and Social Services officials to discuss the rise of the omicron variant of the corona virus, on Nov. 29, 2021. (screenshot)

Omicron ‘an animal of its own’

State health officials emphasize unknowns, prevention measures in wake of new coronavirus variant spread.

Anne Zink, Alaska chief medical officer, participates in a briefing with Department of Health and Social Services officials to discuss the rise of the omicron variant of the corona virus, on Nov. 29, 2021. (screenshot)
COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

Statewide COVID cases continue drop

On Monday, Alaska’s seven-day case rate per 100,000 people was 268.6.

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

COVID case rate continues decline; 7 new deaths reported

The state reported 632 new COVID-19 cases in Alaska.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
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.

Dr. Jay Butler, former chief medical officer for the State of Alaska, is seen in this undated photo. (Courtesy photo)
COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

State reports 6 new COVID deaths

The deaths, which included a Kenai woman in her 40s, pushed the total to 840 since the pandemic began.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Signs welcome travelers to the Kenai Municipal Airport on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Federal funds coming to peninsula airports

The money was made available under the American Rescue Plan Act.

Signs welcome travelers to the Kenai Municipal Airport on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

Officials: Get vaccinated before the holidays

The state also encourages all eligible adults to get a booster shot to increase protection for the holiday season.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Family practice physician Christina Tuomi, D.O., (right) gets Homer’s first dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine from Emergency Department nurse Steve Hughes (left) on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020 at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer, Alaska. Tuomi has been the hospital’s medical lead throughout the pandemic. (Photo courtesy Derotha Ferraro/South Peninsula Hospital)

Feds issue vaccine mandate to health care workers; Dunleavy joins lawsuit against the rule

Rule by CMS applies to hospitals, rural health clinics, community mental health centers.

Family practice physician Christina Tuomi, D.O., (right) gets Homer’s first dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine from Emergency Department nurse Steve Hughes (left) on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020 at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer, Alaska. Tuomi has been the hospital’s medical lead throughout the pandemic. (Photo courtesy Derotha Ferraro/South Peninsula Hospital)
COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

New COVID cases continue downward trend

Alaska remained at a high COVID transmission alert level Monday.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Demonstrators gather outside of Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna to protest COVID-19 vaccine mandates and advocate for alternative treatments on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Competing demonstrations held outside Central Peninsula Hospital

Two different demonstrations — one to show support for hospital workers and one calling for alternative COVID-19 treatments — took place outside the hospital.

Demonstrators gather outside of Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna to protest COVID-19 vaccine mandates and advocate for alternative treatments on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

‘It takes active work from Alaskans’

As cases trend downward, health officials encourage vaccines, boosters.

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

2 new COVID deaths reported as cases decline

The deaths pushed the total number of statewide deaths to 812 since the pandemic began.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)