Seward reports COVID-19 outbreak

Since Thursday, the state has reported four new resident cases and one new nonresident case.

City of Seward logo.

City of Seward logo.

Seward announced an outbreak of COVID-19 Friday, after multiple new cases were reported in the last week.

Public health defines an outbreak as two or more cases, the city of Seward said in a Friday release.

Since Thursday, the state has reported four new resident cases and one new nonresident case, bringing the total number of Seward cases to nine — eight resident cases and one nonresident case.

In response to the positive cases, the Seward Community Health Center began providing targeted COVID-19 testing on Saturday. The testing is recommended for anyone who visited the Seward Alehouse on June 21, 22 or 23 or the Yukon Bar on June 23.

The testing will be provided Monday, June 29 through Thursday, July 2 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1-2 p.m. at the Seward Community Health Center, located at 417 First Ave.

Several Seward businesses have closed their doors in response to the outbreak, including the Yukon Bar, the Seward Alehouse, Seward Brewing Company, The Cookery, The Tufted Puffin, Tony’s Bar and the Lone Chicharron, the city said.

One of the Seward residents who tested positive this week identified himself on Facebook as Tyson Davis, a member of Seward-based band Blackwater Railroad Company and employee of the Seward Alehouse.

“I thought I was taking precautions and being safe but apparently not enough,” Davis said on Facebook. “Though we had already cancelled all of our BWRR shows for the rest of the summer.. I was still too late. I’m cancelling all my shows for the forseeable future. I don’t mean to alarm any one with this post but I felt obligated to let my community know as soon as I found out. … Please be safe.”

Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services reported 30 new cases on Friday and 27 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, bringing the state’s total to 1,029 — 854 residents and 175 nonresidents.

A total of 105,581 tests for COVID-19 have been done in Alaska as of Saturday’s report, for a three-day average positivity rate of .98%. The positivity rate has risen slightly this week but has remained below 1% since May.

Of the 27 cases reported Saturday, 19 are residents of nine communities: Anchorage (10), Wasilla (two), Bethel (one), Fairbanks (one), Juneau (one), Kenai (one), Seward (one), Willow (one) and the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area (one).

Eight of the new cases are nonresidents: two in the Anchorage Municipality, two in the Dillingham Census Area, one in the Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula Borough, one in the Fairbanks North Star Borough, one in the Valdez-Cordova Census Area and one in the Juneau City and Borough.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough currently has 41 active resident cases in the following communities: Anchor Point (one), Fritz Creek (one), Homer (18), Kenai (one), Nikiski (one), other north (one), other south (10), Seward (four) and Soldotna (four). There is also one active case of a nonresident in Seward. Statewide, there are 319 active resident cases and 128 active nonresident cases.

Cases within communities of fewer than 1,000 people are included in the count for their borough or census area but not individually listed. Cases on the Kenai Peninsula are separated between north and south, using the north border of South Peninsula Hospital’s service area as the dividing line.

Two additional deaths of residents were reported Friday. The deaths occurred in May outside of Alaska, but are being recorded as Juneau residents, according to a Friday press release from DHSS. Both were living in long-term care facilities in separate states when they died.

“We are saddened by the loss of these two Alaskans and are thinking of their loved ones and families as they continue to mourn,” Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink said in the press release. “I also want to remind Alaskans to buckle down on prevention. As case counts continue to rise in Alaska, we must be diligent about keeping six feet away from others, wearing a cloth face covering when you’re out in public, washing your hands often and isolating and calling a health care provider to ask about testing if you’re experiencing even mild COVID-19 symptoms.”

For the latest information on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit covid19.alaska.gov or email covidquestions@alaska.gov.

Data for this report was taken from Alaska’s Coronavirus Response Hub, which is updated daily at noon based on reports from the previous day.

Reach reporter Brian Mazurek at bmazurek@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion 
                                The entrance to the Kenai Peninsula Borough building in Soldotna is seen here on June 1.
Application period for borough relief funds begins Monday

Borough residents can apply for these grants July 13 through July 24.

Homer Farmers Market: Farmers offer stability in times of uncertainty

In a time of uncertainty, it certainly is nice to know where… Continue reading

Hospital adds new COVID-19 rooms

An increase last month in positive COVID-19 cases on the lower Kenai… Continue reading

Peonies cover a table, ready to receive people at a field to vase dinner tour hosted by Certified American Grown Flowers on Saturday, July 29, 2017 at Scenic Place Peonies in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Homer Peony Celebration begins this week

With many large or indoor events canceled this year due to the… Continue reading

COVID-19. (Image courtesy the CDC)
9 new COVID-19 cases on the Kenai Peninsula

The central Kenai Peninsula saw growth in the number of new COVID-19… Continue reading

The Betty J. Glick Assembly Chambers in Soldotna, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion file photo)
Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly overrides mayoral veto of hybrid election system ordinance

Members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough assembly voted to override a mayoral… Continue reading

Independence Day parade organized after official event gets canceled

The continued spread of COVID-19 across Alaska prompted many official organizations and… Continue reading

A young volunteer chases three piglets named Mary Hamkins, Petunia and Sir Oinks-a-lot through a race during the pig races at the Kenai Peninsula Fair on Friday, Aug. 16, 2019 at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Kenai Peninsula Fair canceled this year

Cotton candy, carnival rides and racing pigs will have to wait for… Continue reading

Members of the Homer City Council interview candidate Rob Dumouchel for the job of city manager on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 via Zoom in Homer, Alaska. Top row from left to right: Council member Joey Evensen, Mayor Ken Castner, Council member Heath Smith. Middle row from left to right: Council members Donna Aderhold, Rachel Lord and Storm Hansen-Cavasos. Bottom row from left to right: Candidate Rob Dumouchel and Council member Caroline Venuti.
Council offers city manager job to California candidate

The Homer City Council voted last week to offer the job of… Continue reading

Most Read