COVID-19 Information

7-day case counts on Southern Kenai Peninsula

Community11/2711/2811/2911/3012/0112/0212/03
Anchor Point1
Fritz Creek
Homer111
Other South

Data from Alaska Department of Health and Social Services: Table 2b Geographic Distribution of Cases by Report Date. Updates typically occur by 1pm on Wednesdays.

*PLEASE NOTE: There is currently a lag in State of Alaska reports of positive results tested at South Peninsula Hospital. Use chart at right for weekly SPH data.

Alaska case count website Kenai Peninsula case map website *

SPH Week At a Glance

Week ending Nov 29
Prior Week
ED Visits for Covid19 1 4
New Hospitalizations 0 1
Test Samples Collected 163 148
Positives Resulted 1 10
Positivity Rate* 1% 7%

Visitationto top

Visitation Level – Relaxed

These precautions are to help safeguard the health of our staff, patients and visitors during this time, and will change based on the level of community spread of COVID-19.

Masking:

  • Masking is optional for asymptomatic visitors and patients.
  • Masking is required for symptomatic visitors and patients.

Visitors must:

  • Use screened entrances only.
  • Pass screening questions.

Please:

  • Wash and sanitize hands often.
  • Remain in your intended location.
  • Follow all directions from staff.

Screened Hospital Entrances:

SPH Main Entrance
and Emergency entrance - open 24 hours

Lower-level West Entrance -
open 8 am – 6 pm, Monday - Friday


HOSPITAL & CLINICS:
Our goal is to welcome visitation in all areas and offer a safe and managed experience. We know one-size visitation does not fit all people, situations, spaces or needs. Therefore, visitor guidance is determined and managed by department, including limits, visiting hours, exceptions, etc. Please contact your destination in advance to learn the current visiting guidance.

 

LONG TERM CARE:
Long Term Care nursing home welcomes visitors by appointment and by resident approval. Call (907) 235-0233.

 

Vaccine Information to top

SPH COVID-19 TESTING AND VACCINE SITE UPDATE

Our Testing and Vaccine Site on Bartlett Street will no longer be offering COVID-19 vaccines as of January 1, 2023. Vaccines will be available by appointment through your provider at Homer Medical Clinic - (907) 235-8586, Family Care Clinic - (907) 235-0900, and the Specialty Clinic - (907) 235-0310. Additionally, our local Safeway pharmacy offers vaccination by appointment or walk-in, click here to schedule online.

Bivalents - We are now offering the bivalent boosters, formulated to target former and new variants of COVID-19. Appointments are required, and are only for individuals 5 years of age and older who are at least 2 months past their primary vaccine or last booster. These bivalent boosters are available under FDA Emergency Use Authorization and as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. Appointments are required, click here to make an appointment, and scroll to “Bivalent Booster”.

Location:
Free vaccines are currently offered by appointment Friday and Saturday from 9-4:30 at 4201 Bartlett Street, on the lower level of the SPH specialty clinic.
Effective Jan 1 we will no longer be offering vaccines at this location.

Boosters:
We offer Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty) and Moderna (Spikevax)  bivalent vaccine boosters for those who are at least 2 months past their primary vaccine or last booster. Please note – the FDA has removed approval for the monovalent (original) vaccines as boosters for this age group.

The Pfizer bivalent booster is currently authorized for ages 5 and older, and Moderna’s bivalent booster is currently authorized for 6 years of age and older.  Individuals may choose to receive either the Pfizer or Moderna bivalent booster, regardless of which primary series vaccine or original booster dose they had previously. 

Novavax has not been approved for use as a booster dose at this time.

Initial Vaccination Series:
Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty), Moderna (Spikevax) and Novavax monovalent vaccines  are available as a primary or initial vaccine series for ages five and older at this location.

Primary vaccines for children ages 6 months to four years are now available by Emergency Use Authorization but are not offered at this location. Please contact your provider’s office to make an appointment.

Use CDC’s COVID-19 booster tool to determine your vaccine eligibility.

You may also choose to make a vaccine appointment at Homer Medical Clinic 235-8586 and SPH Family Care Clinic 235-7000.

Our vaccines are free and offered in a setting that accommodates 3-4 people at a time. If you require a more private setting, please contact your primary care provider for an appointment. 

For those who have mobility challenges: Once you have arrived at the testing site and have parked, please call the number on the sign board (235-0259) and let us know if you’d like a nurse to come to you. One of our capable staff members will come directly to your vehicle to vaccinate you. 

Definition of fully vaccinated/up to date on Covid-19 vaccination: In general, people are considered fully vaccinated when it has been two weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine (note that SPH no longer carries the Janssen vaccine).

Testingto top

Covid-19 testing is available Monday through Friday from 9am-5pm at 4201 Bartlett Street, at the lower level of the SPH specialty clinic. Insurance will be billed, and for those who are uninsured, the cost is $50. At home test kits are available at no cost for pick up at the vaccine and testing site during normal business hours, the front entrance of the hospital on weekends and after hours, at the library, and for purchase at local retailers.

Who is eligible for testing? 
Those who are symptomatic, traveling, have a planned procedure, or who have had an exposure are eligible for testing.   If you are not eligible for testing at this site, you may qualify for an at-home test kit.

Do home test kits expire? If you have COVID-19 test kits at home, they may be expired. BUT before you toss them out, check to see if their shelf-life has been extended. Many of the FDA-approved tests have been granted extended expiration dates, based on new data. Check out this page on the FDA’s website to see if your test type and lot number. Please note at-home test kits should be stored at room temperature and not be left in vehicles or outside.

When should I test if I have had close contact to a confirmed case?
Regardless of vaccination status: If you were exposed to COVID-19, wear a high-quality mask for 10 days and get tested on day 5. Per CDC,  quarantine is no longer recommended for the general public following an exposure. Isolate if you are sick and suspect that you have COVID-19 but do not yet have test results.

What are the current turnaround times for results? Current turnaround time for results is 12-24 hours. Turnaround time is subject to change and may vary based upon a variety of variables including current availability of testing supplies. Test results will be available on the hospital patient portal as soon as we have them..

How can I access my results? Visit my care corner to access your test results. If you have questions or need assistance, please call the patient portal helpline at 907-235-0881. This line is staffed Monday through Friday from 8AM-3PM. If forwarded to a voice message, clearly say your name, date of birth, email address, and a call back number. If you need assistance outside of those hours, please call the vaccine and testing site at 235-0259

Do I need an appointment? Appointments are not needed for testing. When you arrive to the testing and vaccine site, you will park in a designated spot and call the number posted (235-0259) to get registered. 

Will I be charged? Insurance will be billed; if you are not insured, the cost of the test is $50. You can pay at time of service with a credit card, or request to be billed. Please have photo ID and insurance card.

What can I expect when arriving for a test? Once you have arrived, call the number posted on the sign board (235-0259) and a staff member will get you registered. You will then be put into a que based on your arrival time, and be given an estimated wait time (if applicable). You will receive a phone call when it is your turn to test. You will be directed to walk to either window A or window B. At that time you will be given our Covid-19 Testing information packet which will direct you on next steps. 

Don’t have a cell phone or forgot it? No problem, park in a designated spot and walk to the window for assistance. 

What if I have mobility challenges? Once you have arrived at the testing site and have parked, please call the number on the sign board (235-0259) and let us know if you’d like a nurse to come to you. One of our capable staff members will come directly to your vehicle and either bring the testing supplies to you, or perform the test for you. 

When are you open?  Testing is available at the testing and vaccine site Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm at 4201 Bartlett Street, on the lower level of the SPH speciality clinic.

I am traveling to Hawaii. Will they accept a test from your facility?  Hawaii does not currently accept our tests, as we are not an approved testing partner. 

What symptoms are associated with Covid-19? People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms. Possible symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache,. New loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. Please note that this list does not include all possible symptoms.

Treatment to top

What is monoclonal antibody COVID-19 treatment?
Monoclonal antibodies are like your body’s own antibodies, as they help your immune system quickly destroy the COVID-19 virus before it harms you or causes hospitalization. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized monoclonal antibody treatment for emergency use for eligible patients. If you test positive for COVID-19, have symptoms, or are unvaccinated and have had a known exposure, talk to a healthcare provider right away. Monoclonal antibody treatment must be given as soon as possible within 10 days of getting symptoms. Treatment is given through a one-time IV infusion.

Who can receive monoclonal antibody treatment?
You may be eligible for monoclonal antibody treatment if you have mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 10 days, have tested positive for COVID-19, and have an underlying medical condition. You may also be eligible for treatment if you are unvaccinated and have had a known exposure to a positive case. If you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 but have tested positive for the virus and are considered high-risk, you may still eligible for treatment. Talk with a healthcare provider to see if monoclonal antibody treatment is right for you. A referral is needed to receive treatment.

You are not eligible for treatment if you: are hospitalized due to COVID-19, require oxygen therapy due to COVID-19, or require an increase in baseline oxygen flow rate due to COVID-19 for those on chronic oxygen therapy due to an underlying non-COVID-19 related health issue. More information here.

Are oral antivirals available?
Yes! The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized oral therapeutics to treat mild-to-moderate COVID-19 for those 12 and older who are at high-risk for progressing to severe COVID-19. Current therapeutics on the market include Paxlovid and Molnupiravir, both given within 5 days of symptom onset and for a duration of 5 days. For more information, click here. SPH is a test to treat site and currently has oral antivirals readily available. 

Who is eligible for oral antivirals?  
Individuals with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 who are at increased risk of developing severe outcomes of COVID-19: older adults, unvaccinated individuals and people with underlying medical conditions. The CDC has a comprehensive list of underlying medical conditions that put patients at increased risk.

How effective is Paxlovid?
In clinical trials, the antiviral Paxlovid showed an 88% reduction in hospitalizations or deaths respectively. These clinical trials for Paxlovid and alternative treatments were done pre-Omicron in unvaccinated patients. There are clinical trials currently taking place to assess recent efficacy, but several recent real-world retrospective studies suggest that Paxlovid continues to show benefit for vaccinated patients during Omicron. Alternate therapies, including another oral antiviral, are also effective at preventing progression to severe disease.

Is Paxlovid rebound a concern?
There is a lot of ongoing research studying COVID rebound with newer variants and especially after treatment. The data currently suggests that rebound can occur whether or not individuals are given antiviral treatment. Paxlovid continues to be recommended for high-risk patients, as it is highly effective at preventing progression to severe disease. Rebound symptoms are often mild and there is currently no evidence that an additional treatment course is indicated. Individuals who experience rebound symptoms are advised to continue isolation per CDC guidance.

What if I don’t have a provider? 
If you do not have a local provider call:

  • Homer Medical Center (907) 235-8586
  • SVT Health and Wellness (907) 226-2228
  • Kachemak Medical Group (907) 235-7000
  • Ninilchik Clinic (907) 567-3970
  • SPH Family Care Clinic (907) 235-0900

Are there any exercises I can be doing at home? 
Yes! There are helpful breathing exercises that can help alleviate symptoms. Deep breathing can help open up your lung tissue and make you feel better as you recover from Covid-19. Lie or sit with your back straight, and put one hand on your chest and the other hand over your belly button. Breathe in slowly through your nose while pushing your belly button outward. Hold your breath for a few seconds, then slow exhale. Repeat for a full minute. 

Consider having someone get you a pulse oximeter at a local pharmacy to check your oxygen saturation level. If your oxygen reading is below 94% when you are resting, contact your primary care provider or go to the ER. 

How can I prevent reinfection?
Extensive research from many countries confirms that the best protection against a second bout of Covid-19 infection is to get vaccinated. You can be vaccinated as soon as you are out of isolation (usually 5 or more days). Call the SPH testing and vaccine site to make a vaccination appointment at 235-0235.

At what point should I seek immediate medical care? 
If you develop concerning symptoms including difficulty breathing, bluish, gray, or whitish lips or face,  pain or pressure in the chest, severe constant dizziness or lightheadedness, confusion, difficulty waking up, or slurred speech, seek medical care immediately. 

Information sourced from CDC and AK DHSS

Resourcesto top

The Conquer COVID Coalition is made up of Alaskan businesses, healthcare organizations, Alaska Native organizations, community leaders, and everyday Alaskans – working side-by-side to defeat the pandemic. Check out their website for great information including Covid-19 FAQ’s,  vaccine FAQ’s, personal stories, testing, info for businesses and more!
https://www.conquercovidak.com/

The state of Alaska Public Health website has great information regarding all things Covid, find the most up to date information here on travel requirements, current mandates, advisories, resources, and the latest data and trends for Alaska.
https://covid19.alaska.gov/

The City of Homer website has information on eligibility, FAQ’s, and local resources for vaccine information and vaccine locations.
https://www.cityofhomer-ak.gov/covid19

Lost your vaccine card? Need a copy of your immunization records?  Fill out the request form below, requests are processed within 5-7 business days.
https://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Epi/id/siteassets/pages/HumanCoV/Immunization_Request_Form.pdf

Looking for posters to hang at your business or workplace? Find colorful graphics as well as tools and guidance here:
https://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/epi/id/pages/COVID-19/business.aspx

Please find  information on monoclonal antibody treatment here: 
https://combatcovid.hhs.gov/

Questions about current isolation or quarantine guidelines? Find the most updated guidance here:  
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html

Are you on social media? Follow CDC’s Facebook page for up to date information complete with great infographics:
https://www.facebook.com/cdc

Check out our local support groups & resources guide.

Find information on current Covid-19 treatment options here