COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

State reports 186 new COVID-19 cases as vaccinations continue

Kenai Peninsula is in the intermediate alert level

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reported 186 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, 20 of them among nonresidents.

Eight of the new cases announced Wednesday are in residents of the Kenai Peninsula. New infections are announced daily by the state, and reflect the number of cases that got reported to the state the day before.

There have been a total of 56,097 cases of the novel coronavirus in Alaska since the pandemic began in the state, according to DHSS data. As of Wednesday, the state had administered at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to far more than that. Out of a total state allocation of 174,400, more than 114,100 people have received their first dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, according to the state’s vaccine monitoring dashboard, and more than 48,000 have completed their vaccination series.

At this point, roughly one in seven Alaska residents has received at least their first dose of the vaccine, according to DHSS.

There are 32 people currently being hospitalized for COVID-19, according to state data, along with two people being hospitalized with suspected cases. Out of all the people currently hospitalized in the state, 4.1% of them are hospitalized for COVID-19.

There have been a cumulative total of 1,224 COVID-19 hospitalizations since the start of the pandemic, 32 of which were nonresidents. There have been 278 Alaska residents whose deaths were related to COVID-19, along with two nonresidents who died while in the state.

The Kenai Peninsula is currently in the intermediate alert level, according to the formula used by the state that averages the number of new cases in a region over the last 14 days. The peninsula has had 57 new cases of COVID-19 over the last two weeks, for an average case rate of 6.91 per 100,000 people. Any rate between five and 10 is considered to be intermediate.

There were no new cases reported Wednesday for residents of the southern peninsula.

Of the new Alaska resident cases reported, there were 46 in Anchorage, 29 in Wasilla, 18 in Palmer, 15 in Fairbanks, 12 in the Bethel Census Area, seven in Bethel, six each in North Pole and the Kusilvak Census Area, three each in Seward, Ketchikan and Unalaska, two each in Chugiak, Eagle River, Soldotna and the Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula Census Areas, and one each in Girdwood, Kenai, Nikiski, Sterling, Salcha, Big Lake, Sutton-Alpine, the Nome Census Area, Utqiagvik and Petersburg.

Of the new nonresident cases of COVID-19 reported Wednesday, there were two in Anchorage, 13 in the Aleutians East Borough, three in Unalaska and two with unknown locations.

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.

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 Megan Pacer at mpacer@homernews.com.

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