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Positivity Rates on the Rise in Homer


Wait times for tests and vaccinations measured in minutes, unlike Anchorage and other cities where the wait can be hours.

The positivity rate in tests conducted at South Peninsula Hospital has increased in the past week, though they haven’t risen to levels seen last year, according to spokesperson Derotha Ferraro.

“We had seven visits to the ER in the prior week related to Covid we, had one hospitalization, one new admission. We had 113 positive results out of 1,062 tests that gave us an 11 percent positivity rate. That is not the highest that we've been, so that's just a little perspective. We did 13 monoclonal antibody infusions and we did 156 vaccines,” Ferraro said.

With the rise of the Omicron variant, certain monoclonal antibody infusions used to treat the infected are ineffective, however Ferraro says SPH has a good supply of the one the CDC and State of Alaska recommend.

“We have the citrava map monoclonal antibody which is the recommended mab for the Omicron. So that particular treatment we are doing, and doing a good bit of, but as far as those others, my understanding was that allocations for the state and then parsed out to various pharmacies, and then the providers have knowledge of where those are,” Ferraro said.

Testing in other communities, such as Anchorage, can be a challenge, with wait times measured in hours, something residents of the Southern Kenai Peninsula have not had to put up with.

“It's pretty remarkable the services that the collective team are providing, just really remarkable. Yes, when I compare it to other locations. It's really a leadership commitment, our CEO and our board are committed to allocating the resources needed to serve the community at the level that they are requesting. And as long as people keep using those services, we're going to keep them open,” Ferraro said.

If you missed any of the Covid Brief, it is available to stream online at, and is now available in convenient podcast form.

Jay Barrett, KBBI's new News Director should be a familiar voice to our listeners. He's been contributing to Kenai Peninsula news for the last three years out of KDLL Kenai, and was the voice of The Alaska Fisheries Report from KMXT for 12 years. Jay worked for KBBI about 20 years ago as the Central Peninsula Reporter at KDLL.