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SPH Welcomes COVID Transfer Patients from Soldotna

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South Peninsula Hospital
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Two of six admissions at SPH in the past week were transfers from Central Peninsula Hospital.

Six patients were admitted to South Peninsula Hospital with symptoms of Covid-19 in the past week. Of those six, for the first time, according to SPH spokesperson Derotha Ferraro, were patients sent here from another hospital.

“Up until this moment all of our admissions at our hospital have been people presenting on their own, through the ambulance service, you know not transferred,” Ferraro said. “In these six (admissions) of last week, two of those those were transfers from Central Peninsula Hospital.”

Ferraro, speaking at Monday night’s Homer City Council meeting, said SPH had enough supplies and staffing to be able to accommodate the transfers.

“And so that was our first time in the pandemic where we were able. We had enough supplies, enough staffing resources, enough beds and enough oxygen. We had enough resources that we felt confident that we could go ahead and help out the hospital up the road and the greater Kenai Peninsula Borough,” she said, adding, “Staff was really happy to help in that situation.”

Besides the six covid admissions in the past week, Ferraro said there were 16 emergency room visits related to coronavirus and the hospital administered 23 monoclonal antibody infusions. She added that word is getting around as to the effectiveness of the treatment in reducing the severity of Covid-19.

“There was quite a robust conversations on Homer Communications Facebook page a week ago with many people sharing their personal story about receiving that infusion and how that did work for them,” Ferraro said. “Every single person, and there were dozens of them who chimed in, really spoke very highly of how quickly that treatment did turn their conditions around.”

Councilmember Rachel Lord thanked Ferraro and the organizers of the Saturday vaccination clinic at Homer High School, which, for the first time included shots for kids as young as five, which became available last week.

“So we're a little nervous about going to like the big high school group event. But there were people in costumes and there was a live dog. There were people blowing bubbles. There was a movie playing and there were members of our community that cared about us. We were there first in the morning. It was busy. And every person we interacted with was calm and gentle and kind and there was no rushing involved. It was just tremendous. It felt like tremendous intentional, thoughtful, community care,” Lord said. “For our family we had no incidents and it was all done in the smoothest way. For the eight years of my child's life, that was the best shot she's ever received and the calmest it's ever been. So thank you very much.”

Nurse Lorne Carrol reported that the state of Alaska continues to be a hotbed for the coronavirus, though case rates have recently begun declining. Statewide, he said the fully vaccinated rate is about 54 percent, while the South Kenai Peninsula’s rate continues to trail the state on a whole, at 51 percent.