COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

Five new COVID-19 deaths reported for Wasilla

Mat-Su Valley is at highest alert level for state

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services on Monday reported 12 new deaths of Alaska residents with COVID-19 and one new death for a nonresident with COVID-19. All of the deaths were identified through death certificate review over the past several months.

Five of the deaths were Wasilla residents, one was a Mat-Su resident who died out of state, four were Anchorage residents, and the others were a Fairbanks resident, a Bethel resident, and an Aleutians West Census Area resident. The nonresident case was of a man in his 50s who died in the Aleutians East Borough. Several of the deaths were of people under age 60, including a Wasilla man in his 20s who died out of state, a female Mat-Su resident in her 40s who died out of state, a female Anchorage residenet in her 30s who died out of state and a male Anchorage resident in his 50s.

Statewide, DHSS reported 138 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday for the Monday, April 26 period, eight of which were among nonresidents. On the Kenai Peninsula, Kenai had two new cases and Homer had one. Elsewhere in the state, Fairbanks had 40 cases, North Pole had 20, Wasilla had 24, Anchorage had 19, the Fairbanks North Star Borough had 11, Palmer had five, Ketchikan had two, and there were one each in Big Lake, Chugiak, Delta Junction, Juneau, Nome and Utqiagvik.

The southern peninsula remained in the high alert level this week, according to the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District dashboard. There have been 20 reported resident positive cases of COVID-19 reported in the past 14 days, with seven in Anchor Point, 10 in Homer and three in the other Kenai Peninsula Borough south location.

There have now been a cumulative total of 64,916 COVID-19 cases in the state of Alaska, according to state data. Of those, 2,731 cases have been among nonresidents. A total of 341 Alaska resident deaths have been related to COVID-19, while five nonresidents have died with the disease while in Alaska.

Coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19, is the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The alert level statewide is high, with 21.62 cases per 100,000 people. That compares with the national average of 16.24 per 100,000. On the peninsula, the alert level also is high, at 19.03 cases per 100,000. The alert level for the central peninsula is 23.71 per 100,000 and for the southern peninsula is 10.21 per 100,000. The Mat-Su has the highest alert level in the state at 40.21 cases per 100,000

As of Tuesday, there were 37 people being hospitalized in Alaska for COVID-19, as well as twp additional persons being hospitalized for a suspected case of the virus. According to the state’s hospital data dashboard, 3.6% of all people hospitalized in the state are being hospitalized for COVID-19. One person is on a ventilator.

There have been a cumulative total of 1,463 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 4,224 people who have tested positive for COVID-19, with 710 in the hospital service area, 79 in Anchor Point, 19 in Fritz Creek, 493 in Homer and 119 in other small villages or census areas on the southern peninsula.

As of April 27, the hospital has done 21,628 tests, of which 20,956 were negative, 533 were positive and 139 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.

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