COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

State reports 296 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reported 296 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, eight of which are among nonresidents.

The state reported no new deaths due to COVID-19 on Wednesday. The Arctic Slope Native Association reported that an Utqiagvik resident died on Monday, and the state reported that an Anchorage resident died with the virus on Tuesday, for a total of 225 Alaska residents whose deaths have been tied to COVID-19.

Alaska’s death rate remains low compared to other U.S. states.

Cases reported out each day by the state represent the number of cases that got reported to the state the previous day.

Of the new cases reported Wednesday, 11 are among residents of the Kenai Peninsula, with only two of them on the southern peninsula.

The state has now had a cumulative total of 50,816 COVID-19 cases since the novel coronavirus pandemic began in Alaska, according to state data. Of those cases, 1,613 have been among nonresidents.

Of the new COVID-19 cases reported Wednesday, there are 81 in Anchorage, 39 in Fairbanks, 27 in the Bethel Cencus Area, 19 in Bethel, 18 in Wasilla, 12 in Eagle River, eight in Palmer, seven each in North Pole, Petersburg, the Kusilvak Census Area and the North Slope Borough, six each in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area and Ketchikan, four each in Kodiak and Unalaska, three each in Kenai, the northern Kenai Peninsula, the Fairbanks North Star Borough, Nome and the Northwest Arctic Borough, two each in Delta Junction and Utqiagvik, and one case each in Girdwood, Homer, the southern Kenai Peninsula, Seward, Soldotna, Sterling, the Kodiak Island Borough, Cordova, the Copper River region, Valdez, the Denali Borough, Kotzebue, Juneau, the Prince of Whales-Hyder Census Area, Sitka and Hooper Bay.

There is one Alaska resident case in which the residency is unknown.

Of the eight new nonresident cases of COVID-19, one is in Anchorage, one is in Kenai, two are in Fairbanks, three are in Juneau and one is unknown.

A total of 1,115 Alaskans have been hospitalized for COVID-19 since the pandemic started, along with 23 nonresidents. That includes people who have since recovered or since died. According to state data, there are 59 people currently being hospitalized for COVID-19, along with seven people being hospitalized for suspected cases. Out of all the people currently hospitalized in the state of Alaska, 7.7% are hospitalized for COVID-19.

There are currently eight people statewide on ventilators for COVID-19, according to state data. There are 45 adult ICU beds available across the state. In the Gulf Coast region that includes the peninsula, there are 11 out of 13 adult ICU beds available.

According to data last updated on Monday, South Peninsula hospital has completed a total of 16,497 COVID-19 tests, with 15,890 of them coming back negative and 132 pending. As of Monday, the hospital had processed a total of 475 positive COVID-19 test results.

As of Monday, only one SPH employee was out due to COVID-19-related reasons, said hospital Public Information Officer Derotha Ferraro during a Monday night report to the Homer City Council.

SVT Health & Wellness, which is owned and operated by Seldovia Village Tribe and has clinics in Seldovia, Homer and Anchor Point, has conducted a total of 968 COVID-19 tests, according to clinic data last updated on Monday. Of those, 935 tests have been negative and one was still pending Monday. Of the total 32 positive tests SVT Health & Wellness has processed, eight of those have been in Seldovia while 24 were in the other communities the organization serves.

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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