The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services last week reported no new Alaska deaths of COVID-19, according to last Wednesday’s March 16 release from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.
The Alaska death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic remains at 1,169 resident deaths. DHSS reports deaths every Wednesday following death certificate reviews.
Locally, the positivity rate of tests increased to 11% compared to 9% last week.
For the latest report on March 21 for March 11-13, the state reported 354 new resident COVID-19 cases and four nonresident cases.
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/science/community-levels.html#anchor_82254 shows the risk levels by county using metrics like numbers of people hospitalized and staffing levels. According to that link, the Kenai Peninsula Borough has gone back into the medium-risk or yellow category. At this level, CDC recommends people stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and get tested if they have symptoms. People may choose to wear facemasks at any time, and people with symptoms, a positive test or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask. People at high risk for severe illnes should talk to their healthcare provided about whether they need to wear a face mask and take other precautions.
DHSS encourages Alaskans to get vaccinated and to get booster shots, noting that it is the single most important action that can be taken to protect yourself and your community.
Southern Kenai Peninsula numbers, March 16-23:
Alert level: High (DHSS)
New total tests: 377 (tested through South Peninsula Hospital)
New positive tests: 41
Test positivity rate: 11%
New COVID-related Emergency Room visits: 5
New COVID hospitalizations: 2
Monoclonal antibody infusions: 6
Southern Kenai Peninsula cases (7-day rate, March 16-23): 328 per 100,000 or 46 actual; high alert level
Central Kenai Peninsula cases (7-day rate, March 16-23): 154 per 100,000 or 57 actual; high alert level
Eastern Kenai Peninsula cases (7-day rate, March 16-23): 431 per 100,000 or 22 actual; high alert level
New peninsula deaths: 0
Cumulative deaths: 25 residents (11 in Homer, 10 in Anchor Point, four in Kenai Peninsula South)
Vaccination information: 76.1% of Homer’s population has received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and 71.1% of eligible residents have completed a full vaccination series. In Anchor Point, 51.4% have received a first dose and 47.6% are fully vaccinated. In the other Kenai Peninsula south, 25.4% have received a first dose and 23% are fully vaccinated.
School cases: Chapman School, 0; Fireweed Academy, 0; Homer Flex School, 0; Homer High School, 3; Homer Middle School, 0; McNeil Canyon, 0; Paul Banks Elementary, 0; West Homer Elementary, 1; small communities (census regions less than 1,000), 7.
State numbers, March 21
Alert level: High, 180.1 per 100,000
New cases: 354 residents, 4 nonresidents
Kenai Peninsula cases (March 16-23): Homer, 36; Kenai, 25; Soldotna, 22; Seward, 22; Anchor Point, 6; Nikiski, 2; Kenai Peninsula South, 2; Kenai Peninsula North, 7; Sterling, 1; Fritz Creek, 2.
Cumulative cases: 237,325 residents and 7.926 nonresidents
Total hospitalizations: 3,714 (no new hospitalizations)
Current hospitalizations: 43 confirmed positive, two suspected positive
Patients on ventilators: 3
Hospitalization rate: 3.1%
State cumulative deaths: 1,169 residents, 33 nonresidents
Vaccination information: 64.7% of Alaska’s eligible population has received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and 59.4% of eligible Alaskans have completed a full vaccination series.
Officials encourage anyone with symptoms to test for COVID-19, despite vaccination status.
The SPH COVID-19 testing and vaccine clinic is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily at its Bartlett Street site. Testing is for people with symptoms, traveling, for pre-procedure screening and for exposure six days after exposure of after being at social gatherings. Test results can be accessed on the SPH patient portal within 24 hours.
SVT Health & Wellness offers testing at its three SVT Health & Wellness locations: 880 East End Road, Homer (226-2228); 72351 Milo Fritz Ave., Anchor Point (226-2238), and 206 Main Street, Seldovia (907-435-3262).
Where to get vaccinated
Following current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna and Janssen COVID-19 vaccine booster shots are available for anyone who is six months or more after their initial series of the Pfizer or Moderna series and are age 18 and older or anyone who is at least two months after their Janssen vaccine.
Moderna and Pfizer vaccines will be given 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays and Mondays.
Vaccines also are offered by appointment at Homer Medical Clinic and the SPH Family Care Clinic. For more information at the Bartlett Street clinic, talk to your doctor or call 235-0235 for additional information. To make appointments, call 235-8586.
To make appointments at the South Peninsula Family Care Clinic, call 235-0900. The Moderna, Pfizer and Janssen vaccines are offered.
Safeway – Homer, 90 Sterling Highway, offers clinics Monday-Friday by appointment or walk-ins. Call 226-1060 for appointments. The Moderna vaccine is available Monday-Friday by walk-in or appointment. The Pfizer vaccine is available daily for ages 12 and older by walk-in or appointment.
Ninilchik Clinic, 15765 Kingsley Road, Ninilchik offers Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccines 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. by appointment. Call 907-567-3970.
SVT Health & Wellness offers Moderna and Pfizer by appointment for established medical patients of the three SVT Health & Wellness locations: 880 East End Road, Homer (226-2228); 72351 Milo Fritz Ave., Anchor Point (226-2238), and 206 Main Street, Seldovia (907-435-3262).
Reach Michael Armstrong at firstname.lastname@example.org.