NOTE:

This blog is maintained as an effort to coordinate and collocate responding agencies' information for easier public access during events on the Kenai Peninsula. The information here is written and provided by the contributing agencies. NOTE: The blog will be updated as the need arises and may be dormant at times.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

3/28/20 DHSS Press Release: Seventeen new cases of COVID-19 detected; first case in a long-term care facility


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Click Here for Printable Version

Contact:  Clinton Bennett, DHSS, (907) 269-4996, clinton.bennett@alaska.gov
Seventeen new cases of COVID-19 detected; first case in a long-term care facility 
March 28, 2020 ANCHORAGE — The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) today announced 17 new positive cases of COVID-19 in six Alaska communities – Anchorage (10), Eagle River (1), Fairbanks (3), North Pole (1), Homer (1) and Soldotna (1).
Ten of the cases are still under investigation. Two cases are known to be travel-related and five are close contacts of previously diagnosed individuals. Five patients are older adults (aged 60+), nine are adults aged 30-59, two are young adults aged 19-29 and one is a child. Seven are male and 10 are female.
This brings Alaska’s total case count to 102. Of these total cases, six have been hospitalized; one new hospitalization was added in this most recent 24-hour period.
In Fairbanks, one of the new positive cases is a resident of a long-term care facility. Foundation Health Partners issued a press release today describing the steps the facility is taking in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the State of Alaska Section of Epidemiology.
“The facility is doing an excellent job of responding swiftly to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Joe McLaughlin, Alaska’s State Epidemiologist. “They are working closely with our epidemiologists to determine which residents and staff are at highest risk for exposure and implementing control measures that are consistent with national guidelines.”
“Together with experts at the CDC, the state has developed and published guidelines for long-term care providers for this this type of situation,” said John Lee, Director of the DHSS Division of Senior and Disabilities Services. “We know how serious COVID-19 infections can be, particularly among older adults. We continue to work with this facility and all providers across the state in mitigating the spread of COVID-19.”
Lee is leading a tactical group within the Medical Branch of the Unified Command focused on protecting Alaska’s long-term care centers, as well as older adults and those with underlying health conditions who are at risk for severe illness from COVID-19. State health officials are also being guided in their response by a CDC report issued yesterday that analyzes a COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care skilled nursing facility in King County, Washington.
So far the communities in Alaska that have had laboratory-confirmed cases include Anchorage (including JBER), Eagle River/Chugiak, Girdwood, Homer, Seward, Soldotna, Sterling, Fairbanks, North Pole, Palmer, Ketchikan and Juneau.
Stay informed:
  • Alaska’s Response
  • Find more information about how to keep yourself and your family healthy at the DHSS webpage, coronavirus.alaska.gov
  • Visit the governor’s webpage on COVID-19 at alaska.gov/covid19news
  • Visit ready.alaska.gov/covid19 on the Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management webpage for Unified Command information, community press releases and other documents.
  • United States response: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention leads the U.S. response.
  • Global response: The World Health Organization guides the global response.

This press release covers new cases between March 27 at 3 p.m. and March 28 at 3 p.m. when daily case counts are updated at coronavirus.alaska.gov.
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03/28/2020 Confirmed COVID-19 Case in the Homer Area

JOINT NEWS RELEASE
CONFIRMED COVID-19 CASE IN THE HOMER AREA

For immediate release. 
Click HERE for a printable version.

March 28, 2020. COH-COVID-19-006

South Peninsula Hospital was notified today by the Alaska State Public Health Laboratory of its first positive case of COVID-19. The person was tested at the hospital earlier this week. This case marks the second confirmed COVID-19 case for Homer. The first was an individual that had been traveling in the lower 48. Upon return to Anchorage, they self-reported, tested and remain there in isolation.

Public Health Nurses are already conducting an index case investigation and have started contact tracing. The Public Health Nurses will reach out to any person who may have come into contact with this individual. Public Health will notify each significant contact and offer instructions for preventing the spread of disease including quarantine, isolation if sick and contacting your primary care provider for evaluation and potential testing. No other information is available at this time.

“The first confirmed case locally reinforces the urgency for all individuals to take this seriously and do their part to prevent the spread. The individual actions of each and every one of us in Homer are important to prevent, slow and disrupt the spread of the virus, both in our community and across Alaska. Last night Governor Dunleavy issued two new health mandates aimed at stopping the rapid spread of Covid-19 in the State. The mandates are an Alaskan-style hunker down order for everyone to stop non-essential travel in and between Alaskan communities and, when you are out, to keep a 6 foot distance from others. These actions are critical to slow the spread of COVID-19 and are especially timely for everyone to follow. Together, we can keep each other healthy and save lives.” Jenny Carroll, Public Information Officer, City of Homer.

We are counting on everyone to help STOP THE SPREAD of COVID-19:

• Wash hands frequently, cover coughs and sneezes and clean frequently-touched surfaces.
• Keep at least six feet away from others. Stay home and work from home as much as possible.
• If you are sick with a respiratory infection, even with mild symptoms, isolate yourself from others and call ahead if you need medical attention.
• Follow all health mandates and guidance issued by Governor Dunleavy, DHSS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local governments and health authorities.

If you are sick or suspect that you may be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, you should take steps for your health and to prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community by:
1. Listen to and follow the directions of your doctor and state and local authorities.
2. If you feel sick, stay home. Do not go to work. Contact your medical provider.
COH-COVID-19-006
3. If your children are sick, keep them at home. Contact your medical provider.
4. If someone in your household has tested positive for COVID-19, separate that family member and keep the entire household at home. Many new cases of COVID-19 in the state are transmitted among family members.
5. If you have arrived in Homer from a lower-48 or international destination, you must immediately self-quarantine for 14 days. If you’ve arrived from an Alaskan destination, a 14-day self-quarantine is strongly recommended.
6. If you are a senior citizen, or a person with a serious underlying health condition, stay home and away from other people.

Testing for COVID-19 is available at South Peninsula Hospital, but only by referral from your provider. As of this morning, the hospital had submitted 42 total COVID-19 tests with 22 negative results and the remainder pending. If you are experiencing mild symptoms of illness (cough, fever, aches), the best advice is to stay home and self-isolate. This means keeping distance even from family members to help prevent the spread of the disease. The majority of persons with COVID-19 recover quickly with no complications. If you are experiencing more advanced symptoms (shortness of breath, difficulty breathing) call your provider immediately.

If you think you might have been in contact with someone with confirmed COVID-19 infection, call you primary care provider for instructions. For non-medical related questions about COVID-19, go to coronavirus.alaska.gov or dial 2-1-1 or 1-800-478-2221 to connect with a 2-1-1 call specialist who will work with you to understand your need and connect you to the programs and services that can help.

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Contact: Jenny Carroll, Public Information Officer,
907-435-3101 (office); 907-299-6645 (cell)
jcarroll@ci.homer.ak.us

Posted:
www.cityofhomer-ak.gov
Outside City Clerk’s Office at City Hall
Homer Public Library & Harbormaster Office

03/28/2020 KPC to follow UA Guidance on Shelter in Place Mandates by Governor


Click HERE for more information.

Kenai River Campus is closed to the general public and walk-in access to students is limited.  The majority of staff and faculty are working remotely. 
    If you have questions about your class, please contact your instructor directly for arrangements.
    The Library is closed, please call 262-0385 if you need assistance. 
    If you need access to a Computer Lab, please make an appointment with IT by calling 262-0238.  Immediate access is not guaranteed.
    For general and directory information (not building access) please call 262-0330, email kpc.info@alaska.edu, or visit our website at www.kpc.alaska.edu.
Be well. Know that we support your educational goals during this difficult time.

03/28/20 Central Peninsula Hospital Visiting Hours Suspended


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Click HERE for a printable version of this release.
March 28, 2020

Effective Today at 5:00p.m.
Hospital Visiting Suspended Per Social-Distancing Mandate #11

SOLDOTNA, AK – As required under COVID-19 Health Mandate 11: Social Distancing issued by the governor on March 27, 2020 Central Peninsula Hospital is no longer allowed to permit visitors into the hospital. Heritage Place has not allowed visitors per CDC recommendation since March 12, 2020.

A frequently asked questions (FAQ) document was released along with Mandate 11 to help Alaskans understand what is or isn’t permitted under the new social distancing requirements. It is very clear with regard to hospital visitors. The question and answer regarding hospital visitation is provided verbatim below:

Can I visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility, or other residential care facility?

No. This is difficult but necessary to protect facility staff and other patients. There are limited exceptions, such as if you are going to the hospital with someone younger than 18 or who is developmentally disabled and needs assistance. For most other situations, the order prohibits visitation to these kinds of facilities except at the end-of-life.

Central Peninsula Hospital understands how difficult this may be for friends and family of those who are at the hospital. These are unprecedented times and it is important for all of us to help stop the spread of this virus. In addition, it is extremely important for all of us to keep our frontline healthcare staff protected so they remain healthy for when the situation worsens. They are at work and here for you if you need them.

Please contact Central Peninsula Hospital prior to arrival for more information about visitor restrictions at (907) 714-4404.

Contact: Bruce Richards Phone: (907) 714-4546 Email: brichards@cpgh.org

03/28/20 Agencies on The Kenai join together to help #stopthespread

Agencies on The Kenai join together to help #stopthespread. We ask you to do the same.

For more information on the coronavirus please visit: coronavirus.alaska.gov

For all agencies responding on the Kenai Peninsula Borough please visit: kpboem.com

#Coronavirus #COVID19 #KenaiPeninsula #Alaska #PreventionMatters #InOurHandsAK

Friday, March 27, 2020

03/27/20 KPB Alerts Phone and Text Notification Corrections


Our KPB alerts system sent out reminder calls and text messages about the new health mandates that the governor announced this evening. These mandates include orders to stay inside your home except if you work in an essential business or for essential personal errands, and not to travel between communities except for these same reasons. Our system allows only limited characters for texts and so sent out a short message that didn't include the exemption information. We sent out an additional text reading: "KPB Alerts follow up: Governor health mandate includes exemptions for critical errands and infrastructure. Visit kpboem.com for full text and details."

In addition, the voice message that some people received incorrectly stated that the mandates were in effect beginning 8am May 28, which should have said March 28. Because of the late hour, we stopped the phone calls and did not issue a correction. The full details can be found here: https://gov.alaska.gov/home/covid19-healthmandates/

My apologies for the unclear information and error in the phone message.
Dan Nelson
Incident Commander