COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

State reports 4 new deaths, 577 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reported four new deaths and 577 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, four of which are among nonresidents.

The four additional death of Alaska residents tied to the novel coronavirus have residencies of Anchorage, Kenai, Soldotna and the Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon Census Area. It was not immediately clear whether these deaths were recent or not.

In total, the state has recorded 149 deaths of Alaska residents tied to COVID-19. One nonresident has died with the virus while in the state.

Cases of COVID-19 reported out by the state each day around noon reflect the number of cases that were reported to the state the previous day.

Of the new cases reported Wednesday, state data shows that nine are among residents of Homer, and one tied to Anchor Point. The entire southern Kenai Peninsula, measured from Ninilchik south, has had 145 new cases of COVID-19 identified over the last 14 days.

Of the other new cases announced Wednesday, there are 192 in Anchorage, 59 in Fairbanks, 58 in Wasilla, 39 in the Kusilvak Census Area, 31 in Kodiak, 28 in Utqiagvik, 23 in Palmer, 18 in Eagle River, 17 in North Pole, 15 in Bethel, 13 in Soldotna, 11 in the Bethel Census Area, 10 in Kenai, nine in Homer, six each in the northern Kenai Peninsula and Delta Junction, four in Nikiski, three each in Big Lake, the North Slope Borough and Juneau, two each in Hooper Bay, Ketchikan, the Northwest Arctic Borough, Healy, the Denali Borough, Sterling, Seward, and Chugiak, and one each in Anchor Point, Cordova, the Southeast Fairbanks Census Area, the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area, the Mat-Su Borough, Willow, and Kotzebue. The state also reported two cases Wednesday for which the residency was unknown.

Of the four new nonresident cases announced Wednesday, one is in Anchorage, two are in Unalaska and one is unknown.

Alaska now has a cumulative total of 38,707 COVID-19 cases, 1,365 of which have been among nonresidents. According to state data, there have been a total of 831 Alaskans hospitalized with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, along with 16 nonresidents. Those numbers include those who have since died or since recovered and gone home.

As of Wednesday, the state reported that 150 people were actively being hospitalized for COVID-19 infections, with another 13 hospitalized for suspected cases who were waiting on test results. Of all the people currently hospitalized in Alaska, 17.2% of them have COVID-19, according to state data.

On Wednesday, there were 31 adult ICU beds available across the state out of 129. There are 19 COVID-19-positive patients on ventilators.

The state of Alaska has conducted nearly 1.1 million COVID-19 tests since the start of the pandemic, and as of Wednesday had a seven-day average positivity rate of 6.63%. The average turnaround time for tests processed at the state laboratory is 2.4 days.

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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