3 new COVID-19 cases reported on southern Kenai Peninsula on Wednesday

There is 1 new case each in Homer, Fritz Creek and the ‘Other South’ category

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services announced 144 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, three of which are on the southern Kenai Peninsula.

There is one new case each in residents of Homer, Fritz Creek and the “Other South” category used by DHSS for communities on the southern peninsula with populations of less than 1,000 people. The state reported one new case in Soldotna as well on Wednesday, for a total of four new cases on the peninsula.

Homer has now had a total of 83 COVID-19 cases identified in people whose residency is listed here. Of those, 59 cases are considered recovered while 24 are still active. For Fritz Creek, four cases are recovered and three are active; for Anchor Point, six cases are recovered and two are active; and for Other South, 23 cases are recovered and 11 are active.

The southern peninsula, from Ninikchik south, has had 12 new cases of COVID-19 over the past two weeks.

Continuing a streak of daily new case counts of more than 100 people, the state reported 143 new COVID-19 cases in Alaska residents on Wednesday, and one new case in a nonresident. The total cumulative case count of Alaska residents with the illness surpassed 10,000 earlier this week, and now sits at 10,171.

Of the new COVID-19 cases announced Wednesday, there were 89 in Anchorage, 11 each in Fairbanks and Eagle River, five in Juneau, four each in Utqiagvik and the Nome Census Area, three in Kotzebue, two each in Chigiak, North Pole and Wasilla, and one each in Fritz Creek, Homer, Soldotna, “Other South,” Palmer, the Northwest Arctic Borough, Sitka, Bethel, the greater Bethel Census Area, and the combined Bristol Bay and Lake and Peninsula Boroughs.

The one new nonresident case announced Wednesday was in Anchorage.

Since the pandemic started, 5,324 Alaska residents have recovered, while 4,783 cases are still active, DHSS reports. The state has recorded 64 deaths of Alaska residents that were tied to COVID-19.

According to the DHSS coronavirus response hub website, there are 40 people currently being hospitalized for confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 16 people being hospitalized for suspected cases.

The state has administered 517,177 COVID-19 tests since the start of the pandemic, and had a seven-day rolling positivity rate of 4.48% as of Tuesday, according to the data hub.

Locally, South Peninsula Hospital recently broke 10,000 total COVID-19 tests performed. The hospital has done 10,316 total tests, with 9,890 of them coming back negative and 302 still pending as of Tuesday. As of Tuesday, there had been 124 total positive tests processed by the hospital.

One employee of South Peninsula Hospital’s Long Term Care wing, who was asymptomatic and undergoing routine staff testing, tested positive for COVIV-19 last week, according to hospital Public Information Officer Derotha Ferraro. She gave this information to the Homer City Council during her regular update to them during their meeting on Monday.

As a result of this, the hospital policy has had to revert to no visitation in the Long Term Care wing, Ferraro said.

Testing locations on the Kenai Peninsula:

Free COVID-19 tests are offered 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week at the lower level of the South Peninsula Hospital Specialty Clinic, at 4201 Bartlett Street, Homer. Please use the Danview Avenue access. Tests are for those who have had recent travel out of state, have been exposed to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19, have new onset of any symptom related to COVID-19, or have a provider referral. See the complete list of eligible individuals at www.sphosp.org or call the COVID information line at 235-0235. Please call and pre-register before coming if and when possible.

Testing is also available through the SVT Health & Wellness clinics in Homer, Seldovia and Anchor Point. Call ahead at 907-226-2228.

In Ninilchik, NTC Community Clinic is providing testing on Monday, 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 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.

In Seward, testing is available at Providence Seward, Seward Community Health Center, Glacier Family Medicine and North Star Health Clinic.

Reach Megan Pacer at mpacer@homernews.com.