By   JUL 20, 2021 KBBI
COVID-19 case numbers are surging upward in the state causing the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services to put Alaska back in High Alert status. KBBI's Kathleen Gustafson has the story.
KBBI's Kathleen Gustafson and Derotha Ferraro, spokesperson for South Peninsula Hospital - COVID Update, broadcast on KBBI on Tuesday, July 20, 2021.

Alaska Department of Health and Social Services data show over 500 new cases of COVID-19 in the state over the last four days.

Providence Medical Center and Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage currently have no room in their Intensive Care Units due to a combination of the surge in positive cases and a shortage of healthcare workers. 

 The Kenai Peninsula Borough data is showing 7 out of 11 ICU beds full as of Monday.
 South Peninsula Hospital Spokesperson Derotha Ferraro said, high patient volume in Anchorage is a concern here in Homer.

"Three patients over the last three and a half days have been delayed in their transfer to a higher level of care to an Anchorage hospital. But, all three of those patients have been transferred," Ferraro said.

SPH testing data is currently showing an 18%, positivity rate along with an increase in COVID tests performed. At the end of last week, the SPH Test and Vaccine Clinic collected between 50 and 60 swabs.

"And, yesterday we did 83 total tests and today we've already exceeded that by two o'clock. I did the math over the last six days which is when volume really started picking up - 70 positives out of 389 swabs," said Ferraro.

 As of this week, South Peninsula Hospital is prohibiting visitors to the hospital and long term care facility.

 State data show 52% percent of Alaskans have received the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccine is available seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and COVID-19 tests are available seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the COVID Test and Vaccine Clinic at 4201 Bartlett Street. Local health care providers and Safeway pharmacy are also administering the vaccine.

For information about COVID-19 vaccine and testing, go to South Peninsula Hospital's website, or if you want to speak to the hospital's 24 hour, on duty COVID Nurse, call 235-0235.