COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

COVID-19 cases dropping on southern Kenai Peninsula

Cases dropped from 92 to 74 in 14-day average reports.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reported 355 new cases statewide of COVID-19 on Wednesday, four of them among nonresidents. Three new deaths were announced on Wednesday.

The southern Kenai Peninsula, from Ninilchik south, has had 74 new cases of COVID-19 identified in the last 14 days, according to state data. That’s down from last week’s count of 92 cases over a 14-day period.

As of last Friday, South Peninsula Hospital has conducted a total of 15,175 COVID-19 tests with 14,486 coming back negative and 1,247 still pending, according to SPH Public Information Officer Derotha Ferraro. The hospital has had a total of 442 positive test results so far.

As of Wednesday, Alaska had a cumulative total of 43,362 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began. Of those, 1,467 have been among nonresidents.

Over the last week, the state has recorded 196 deaths of Alaskans with COVID-19, including 10 new deaths announced on Tuesday and three new deaths on Wednesday.

Of the new cases reported Wednesday, there were 118 in Anchorage, 25 in Wasilla, 40 in Palmer, 33 each in Fairbanks and Eagle River;, 20 in Kodiak; 14 in Bethel; nine in North Pole; eight in Tok, seven each in Soldotna and Utqiagvik; four each in Chugiak, Sitka and the Bethel Census Area; three each in the northern Kenai Peninsula and Unalaska; two each in Homer, Kenai, Delta Junction, Girdwood, and the Northwest Arctic Borough; and one each in the Valdez-Cordova Census Area, Sterling, Cordova, Valdez, Big Lake, the North Slope Borough, Seward, Juneau, Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area, the Dillingham Census Area and the Kusilvak Census Area.

Of the new nonresident cases announced Wednesday, two are in the Juneau Census Area, one is in the Aleutians West Census Area, and one is unknown.

Alaska has reported a total of 961 residents hospitalized for COVID-19 since the pandemic began. That includes people who have since died or since recovered and gone home.

There were 94 people currently hospitalized for COVID-19, according to state data, along with five people being hospitalized for suspected cases. Of all the people hospitalized in Alaska, 10.7% of them are hospitalized with COVID-19.

As of Wednesday, the state reported that there were 36 adult ICU beds open statewide, and 15 COVID-19 patients around the state were on ventilators.

Alaska has conducted 1.2 million COVID-19 tests so far, with a seven-day average positivity rate of 4.7%. The current average turnaround time for a test through the state laboratory is about 1.5 days.

For more information on the status of vaccines in Alaska, visit dhss.alaska.gov/dph/epi/id/pages/COVID-19/vaccine.aspx.

Testing 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.

The hospital’s testing site will have shortened hours on Christmas Day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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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