COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

Public can now access services in person at both lobbies of Homer City Hall

Alert level remains high for state, Kenai Peninsula

State officials reported two new COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday — a Fairbanks man in his 50s and a Palmer male in his 70s. This brings the statewide fatalities to 345.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services also announced nine new hospitalizations, bringing the total to 1,519 since the pandemic began. As of Tuesday, there were 42 total COVID-related hospitalizations in Alaska, with four of the patients on ventilators.

The DHSS reported 62 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, a drop from more than 100 reported a week ago. Alaska remains at high-alert level with about 14.4 positive cases per 100,000 people. The new case count includes seven on the Kenai Peninsula. Kenai reported four, Anchor Point reported two and Homer reported one with purpose under investigation.

Additionally, four new nonresident cases were reported among people in Anchorage, Prudhoe Bay and another unknown location.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough remains among five census areas in the intermediate risk division, which is categorized by having between 4.8 and 10 positive COVID cases per 100,000 people. The borough reported 9.09 cases. The Southwest region is the lowest risk of all 11 census regions, with only 3.48 cases per 100,000 people.

Alaska also saw 12 new cases in Anchorage, nine in Palmer, eight in Wasilla, five in Ketchikan, two each in the Bethel Census Area, Fairbanks, Hooper Bay and the Kusilvak Census Area and one each in Eagle River, Juneau, the Ketchikan Gateway Borough, Metlakatla, Nome, North Pole, the Southeast Fairbanks Census Area, Unalaska, Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon and the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area.

The southern peninsula dropped into the medium alert level last week, according to the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District dashboard. There have been 15 reported resident positive cases of COVID-19 in the past 14 days, with eight in Anchor Point, three in Homer and four in the other Kenai Peninsula Borough south location.

There have now been a cumulative total of 66,407 COVID-19 cases in the state of Alaska, according to state data. Of those, 2,771 cases have been among nonresidents.

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

As of Tuesday, there were 40 people being hospitalized in Alaska for COVID-19, as well as two additional persons being hospitalized for a suspected case of the virus. According to the state’s hospital data dashboard, 3.9% of all people hospitalized in the state are being hospitalized for COVID-19. Four people are on ventilators.

There have been a cumulative total of 1,519 Alaska residents hospitalized for COVID-19 over the course of the pandemic.

According to the South Peninsula Hospital’s tally of positive cases through May 10, on the Kenai Peninsula there have been 4,297 people who have tested positive for COVID-19, with 726 in the hospital service area, 85 in Anchor Point, 19 in Fritz Creek, 492 in Homer and 124 in other small villages or census areas on the southern peninsula.

Of tests done betweeN May 1 and May 10, there were 281 tests done, of which 214 were negative, three were positive and 64 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. Reach her at camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.

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