COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

Alaska death toll is 366 while U.S. tops 600,000 dead

Alaska, peninsula remain in low alert level.

Four more Alaskans died of COVID-19, according to recent death certificate reviews. In a report last Friday, June 11, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reported the deaths of a Fairbanks woman in her 70s, a Wasilla woman in her 80s, a Wasilla man in his 70s and a Sitka woman in her 80s. There have now been 366 Alaska deaths related to COVID-19.

According to the Associated Press, the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 topped 600,000 on Tuesday, equal to the number of Americans who died of cancer in 2019. Worldwide, 3.8 million have died of COVID-19.

Alaska remains in the low alert level as does the Kenai Peninsula for positive cases of COVID-19 reported through Monday. The case rate continues to drop. Locally, all regions of the peninsula remain in the low alert level.

Based on the average daily case rate over 14 days per 100,000 people, statewide there were 3.47. For the peninsula, the case rate was 3 cases.

For the period of Friday, June 11, through Monday, June 14, DHSS reported 55 new resident cases and three new nonresident cases, for a total of 67,885 resident cases and 2,832 nonresident cases. One new case was reported for Homer, with no other cases on the peninsula. The new case count includes 18 new cases in Anchorage, four in Fairbanks, four in Nome, four in Wasilla, three in Hooper Bay, three in Juneau, three in Ketchikan, two in Eagle River, two in the Nome census area, two in Palmer, two in Utqiagvik, and one each in the Chugach census area, Chugiak, the Copper River census area, Dillingham, Kodiak, the Northwest Arctic Borough and the Yukon-Koyukuk census area.

DHSS also announced on Monday two new new hospitalizations, bringing the total to 1,590 since the pandemic began. As of Monday, there were 21 total COVID-related hospitalizations in Alaska, with three of the patients on ventilators. The percentage of patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19 is 2.5%. The average percentage of daily positive tests for the previous days is 0.83%. According to DHSS, as of Jan. 1, 97% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 have been unvaccinated.

All regions of the peninsula remain in the low alert level, according to the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District dashboard. On the central peninsula there have been 14 cases in the past 14 days, on the southern peninsula there have been five reported cases and on the eastern peninsula there has been one case. On the southern peninsula, one case was in Anchor Point and four were in Homer.

Of tests done at South Peninsula Hospital from May 1 to June 7, there were 1,528 tests, of which 1,492 were negative, 29 were positive and seven are pending. For the Kenai Peninsula as of June 15, there have been 4,389 total confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 750 in the South Peninsula Hospital service area, of which 95 were in Anchor Point, 19 in Fritz Creek, 512 in Homer, and 124 in the other southern peninsula census areas.

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.

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