COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

Alaska alert level is higher than national average.

COVID-19 cases continue rising statewide and on the southern Kenai Peninsula.

Statewide, DHSS reported 156 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday for the Monday, April 11 period, 21 of which were among nonresidents.

The southern peninsula moved into the intermediate alert level this week, according to the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District dashboard. There have been 11 reported resident positive cases of COVID-19 reported in the past 14 days, with four in Anchor Point, five in Homer and two in the other Kenai Peninsula Borough south location.

There have now been a cumulative total of 62,681 COVID-19 cases in the state of Alaska, according to state data. Of those, 2,655 cases have been among nonresidents. A total of 310 Alaska resident deaths have been related to COVID-19, while four nonresidents have died with the disease while in Alaska.

The alert level statewide is high, with 22.55 cases per 100,000 people. That compares with the national average of 21.07 per 100,000. On the peninsula, the alert level also is high, at 15.63 cases per 100,000. The alert level for the central peninsula is 19 per 100,000 and for the southern peninsula is 5.6 per 100,000.

As of Tuesday, there were 45 people being hospitalized in Alaska for COVID-19, as well as nine additional persons being hospitalized for a suspected case of the virus. According to the state’s hospital data dashboard, 4.9% of all people hospitalized in the state are being hospitalized for COVID-19. Seven are on ventilators.

There have been a cumulative total of 1,404 Alaska residents hospitalized for COVID-19 over the course of the pandemic.

According to the South Peninsula Hospital’s tally of positive cases through April, on the Kenai Peninsula there have been 4,043 people who have tested positive for COVID-19, with 687 in the hospital service area, 71 in Anchor Point, 19 in Fritz Creek, 481 in Homer and 116 in other small villages or census areas on the southern peninsula.

As of April 9, the hospital has done 20,717 tests, of which 12,012 were negative, 518 were positive and 68 are pending.

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. 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 Michael Armstrong at marmstrong@homernews.com. Peninsula Clarion reporter Camille Botello contributed to this story.

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