COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

State reports 689 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reported 689 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and no new deaths tied to the virus. Ten of the new cases were among nonresidents.

The cases published each day on the state’s coronavirus response hub website represent the cases that got reported to the state the previous day. The state has reported that daily case counts underestimate the true number of cases in Alaska, due to a large backlog when it comes to data entry.

Of the new cases reported Wednesday, there are nine among Homer residents, two among residents of Anchor Point and one resident of the southern Kenai Peninsula in a community if less than 1,000 people. The southern peninsula as a whole, which is measured from Ninilchik south, has had 175 new cases of COVID-19 over the last 14 days.

According to state data, a total of 753 residents and 15 nonresidents have been hospitalized for COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Those numbers include people who have since died or since recovered and gone home.

There are 149 people being currently hospitalized and another 14 being hospitalized as people under investigation, awaiting test results. Of all the people hospitalized in the state, 17% of them are hospitalized with COVID-19, according to state data.

On Wednesday, there were only 24 adult ICU beds available in the state out of a total of 120. There were 23 people on ventilators across the state.

Alaska has recorded a total of 121 residents whose deaths were tied to COVID-19.

Since the pandemic began, Alaska has had a cumulative total of 32,531 resident cases of COVID-19 and 1,266 nonresident cases.

The state has now conducted more than 1 million COVID-19 tests, and has a seven-day average positivity rate of 7.27%. The average turnaround time for test results through the state laboratory is 3.2 days, according to state data.

Of the new cases reported Wednesday, there were 216 in Anchorage, 192 in Wasilla, 39 in Palmer, 33 in Soldotna, 29 in Utquiagvik, 24 each in Kenai and Kodiak, 12 each in Eagle River and Fairbanks, 11 in Chugiak, nine in Homer, eight in Bethel, seven in Sitka, five each in Delta Junction and Nome, four each in the Bethel Census Area and Juneau, three each in the northern Kenai Peninsula, Seward, Sterling, Big Lake, Houston and Unalaska, two each in Anchor Point, Nikiski, the Valdez-Cordova Census Area, North Pole, the Southeast Fairbanks Census Area, Willow, the Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area and the Aleutians East Borough, and one each in the southern Kenai Peninsula, Healy, the Fairbanks North Star Borough, the Mat-Su Borough, the North Slope Borough, Douglas, Ketchikan, Craig, Wrangell, the Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula Borough and Dillingham.

Of the 10 nonresident cases reported Wednesday, there were two in Anchorage, one in Kenai, one in Delta Junction, one elsewhere in the Southeast Fairbanks Census Area, two in Wasilla and three unknown.

Testing locations 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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