COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

2 new COVID-19 cases on the Kenai Peninsula

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services announced 79 new cases of COVID-19 — 76 cases in Alaska residents and three cases in nonresidents. Two of the new cases are on the Kenai Peninsula.

The two new cases on the peninsula reported Wednesday are both in Kenai, according to the DHSS coronavirus response hub website. Of the other new resident cases, 37 are in Anchorage, one is in Kodiak, 14 are in Fairbanks, one is in North Pole, one is in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area, seven are in Wasilla, one is in Willow, one is in Nome, two are in Utqiagvik, three in the Northwest Arctic Borough, one in Ketchikan, one in the Valdez-Cordova Census Area, two in the Bethel Census Area, one in Dillingham, and one in the Bristol Bay plus Lakew and Peninsula.

There was one new case reported in Homer on Tuesday. According to the system used by the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District to determine risk levels for schools, the southern Kenai Peninsula from Ninilchik south has had only seven new cases in the last 14 days.

The breakdown of total cumulative cases on the peninsula is now: 92 cases in Soldotna, 73 in Kenai, 68 in Homer, 62 in Seward, 31 in the “Other South” category used for communities on the southern peninsula with populations of less than 1,000 people, 23 in Sterling, 12 in the “Other North” category, 10 in Anchor Point, six in Nikiski and four in Fritz Creek.

Of the 381 total cases on the peninsula so far, 121 of those are still active, while 258 people have recovered, defined as no longer needing isolation. Two of the Alaskans whose deaths were linked to COVID-19 were residents of Anchor Point, though one was out of state when he died.

There are 30 active cases in Homer, and 38 people who have recovered.

According to DHSS data, there are now a total of 4,438 resident cases of COVID-19 in Alaska, and a total of 809 nonresident cases.

Of the Alaska residents who have tested positive, 1,316 of them have recovered while there are still 3,093 active resident cases. There have been a total of 29 deaths of Alaska residents associated with the disease.

Of the nonresident cases, 624 are still active while 185 have recovered.

So far, there have been a cumulative total of 184 hospitalizations of residents with COVID-19, and four hospitalizations of nonresidents. Those numbers include people who have since recovered.

As of Wednesday, there were 45 people being hospitalized for confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to state data, and 11 people being hospitalized as people under investigation for suspected cases.

According to the data hub, 310,849 tests have been performed in Alaska. As of Tuesday, the state had a seven-day positivity rate of 1.94%. According to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center, Alaska ranks first in testing among states and second to the District of Columbia, a territory. Alaska has 4.9 tests per 1,000 people and D.C. 5.1 tests per 1,000.

Earlier this week, the state announced the 29th Alaskan whose death has been linked to COVID-19. It was a man in his 80s with underlying health conditions.

Testing

In Homer, testing continues to be available from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily at South Peninsula Hospital’s main entrance as well as through SVT Health & Wellness clinics in Homer, Seldovia and Anchor Point. Call ahead at the hospital at 907-235-0235 and at the SVT clinics at 907-226-2228.

In Ninilchik, NTC Community Clinic is providing testing on Mondays, Wednesday and Friday. The testing is only for those traveling, symptomatic, needing testing for medical procedures, or with a known exposure after seven days. Only 20 tests will be offered per day. To make an appointment to be tested at the NTC Community Clinic, call 907-567-3970.

On the central peninsula, testing is available on the Central Peninsula at Capstone Family Clinic, K-Beach Medical, Soldotna Professional Pharmacy, Central Peninsula Urgent Care, Peninsula Community Health Services, Urgent Care of Soldotna, the Kenai Public Health Center and Odyssey Family Practice. Call Kenai Public Health at 907-335-3400 for information on testing criteria for each location.

Reach Megan Pacer at mpacer@homernews.com.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to add that one new case was identified in the Valdez-Cordova Census Area.

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