Coronavirus

A demonstrator stands at the “Y” intersection of the Kenai Spur and Sterling highways in Soldotna on Saturday, Aug. 14 to protest mandatory COVID-19 vaccines and mitigation protocols. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Demonstrators protest COVID-19 vaccine and mitigation mandates

The state has neither imposed a mask nor a vaccine mandate throughout the course of the pandemic.

A demonstrator stands at the “Y” intersection of the Kenai Spur and Sterling highways in Soldotna on Saturday, Aug. 14 to protest mandatory COVID-19 vaccines and mitigation protocols. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Communications Director Pegge Erkeneff (left) and Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Superintendent Clayton Holland stand in Holland’s office in the George A. Navarre Borough Admin Building on Friday, Aug. 13 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

No mask mandate, but rules abound

Quarantine, vaccination status and testing part of school district’s layered COVID mitigation plan.

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Communications Director Pegge Erkeneff (left) and Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Superintendent Clayton Holland stand in Holland’s office in the George A. Navarre Borough Admin Building on Friday, Aug. 13 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Dipnetters camp on North Kenai Beach on July 17, 2021, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Dipnetting season ‘generally productive’ for city

The total revenue for the season, which was open from July 10-31, was about $485,600.

Dipnetters camp on North Kenai Beach on July 17, 2021, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. (CDC)

Cases trending up as school year approaches

The state is also seeing a shift in the age range of people testing positive for COVID-19, according to state health officials.

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. (CDC)
Council member Dave Carey attends a meeting of the Soldotna City Council on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna reinstates mask requirement in city buildings

The new policy, which was authorized by the Soldotna City Council during the council’s Wednesday night meeting, takes effect on Monday, Aug. 16 and applies to all city facilities.

Council member Dave Carey attends a meeting of the Soldotna City Council on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/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)

Zink: We’ve reached a really hard point in the pandemic

The virus has mutated into a more transmissible strain while health care capacity is dwindling and the public is exhausted with mitigation efforts.

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)
COVID-19 cases are showing up in the Cariboo-Chilcotin region. (Photo courtesy CDC)

Peninsula records 8% of state’s new cases

The Kenai Peninsula is second to last for vaccine rollout, only above the Matanuska-Susitna Borough’s 37.2% inoculation rate.

COVID-19 cases are showing up in the Cariboo-Chilcotin region. (Photo courtesy CDC)
COVID-19. (Image via CDC)

258 new COVID cases, 33 locally

22.5% of all hospitalizations in the Gulf Coast — which includes the Kenai Peninsula — were COVID-related as of Tuesday.

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

Man in 30s latest COVID death, hospitalizations and cases up

Over the weekend the state reported another 826 resident and 37 nonresident COVID cases.

COVID-19. (Image via CDC)
State data shows the current COVID-19 spike in the Kenai Peninsula Borough. (Image via the Department of Health and Social Services)
State data shows the current COVID-19 spike in the Kenai Peninsula Borough. (Image via the Department of Health and Social Services)
A sign instructs patients and visitors on the COVID-19 screening process in the River Tower of Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna, Alaska, on April 7, 2020. The hospital recently matched the number of hospitalizations reported during the peak of the pandemic in 2020 as a resurgence of COVID-19 is reported across the state. (Peninsula Clarion file)

‘We’ve been super, super busy’

Local hospitalizations reach levels not seen since pandemic’s peak last year

A sign instructs patients and visitors on the COVID-19 screening process in the River Tower of Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna, Alaska, on April 7, 2020. The hospital recently matched the number of hospitalizations reported during the peak of the pandemic in 2020 as a resurgence of COVID-19 is reported across the state. (Peninsula Clarion file)
COVID-19. (Image via CDC)

2 more COVID deaths as cases rise

As of Tuesday, every census region in the state was categorized as high alert status.

COVID-19. (Image via CDC)
Parent Nicole Darwin testifies before the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education on Monday, Aug. 2, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. Darwin testified in opposition to universal masking. (Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Parent Nicole Darwin testifies before the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education on Monday, Aug. 2, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. Darwin testified in opposition to universal masking. (Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
A clinic at the intersection of the Kenai Spur and Sterling Highways in Soldotna is now offering COVID-19 vaccines with no appointment necessary. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Delta variant accounts for 90% of new COVID cases, state reports

Data suggests that on average, one person with the delta variant will infect between five and eight other people.

A clinic at the intersection of the Kenai Spur and Sterling Highways in Soldotna is now offering COVID-19 vaccines with no appointment necessary. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
A Zoom teleconference screen can be seen behind Joe Rizzo, Triumvirate Theatre president, as he speaks to the Kenai City Council, on Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in Kenai, Alaska. The council agreed last week to continue offering Zoom services during meetings. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

After debate, Kenai City Council continues Zoom services

The city was the latest peninsula municipality to mull the future of Zoom access.

A Zoom teleconference screen can be seen behind Joe Rizzo, Triumvirate Theatre president, as he speaks to the Kenai City Council, on Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in Kenai, Alaska. The council agreed last week to continue offering Zoom services during meetings. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
A clinic at the intersection of the Kenai Spur and Sterling Highways in Soldotna is now offering COVID-19 vaccines with no appointment necessary. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

‘A choice between getting COVID or getting the vaccine’

Officials encourage vaccines as cases climb and more die of the virus

A clinic at the intersection of the Kenai Spur and Sterling Highways in Soldotna is now offering COVID-19 vaccines with no appointment necessary. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Terry Eubank (left) and Paul Ostrander address the Kenai City Council during a budget work session on Saturday, April 24, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai passes measure to accept federal relief money

The funds were approved as part of the American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA — a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package.

Terry Eubank (left) and Paul Ostrander address the Kenai City Council during a budget work session on Saturday, April 24, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/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)

Tracking vaccine rates presents challenges

DHSS only last month began sorting vaccination rates at the community level.

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)
The entrance to the Kenai Peninsula Borough building in Soldotna, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion/file)

Deadline for borough CARES funding set for December

The borough has about $390,000 in remaining CARES Act funds.

The entrance to the Kenai Peninsula Borough building in Soldotna, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion/file)
Members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education meet on March 2, 2021, at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

School board grades its performance

An anonymous survey including six board members assigned letter grades between “A” and “F” to the board’s actions in the last year

Members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education meet on March 2, 2021, at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)