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At-home tests skew reported COVID-19 case rates

A computer rendering of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Radoslav Zilinsky
Getty Images
A computer rendering of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

The majority of Alaska is on high alert based on community COVID levels and a struggling healthcare system, according to local health officials.

South Peninsula Hospital’s Derotha Ferraro said Thursday that in the past week, there were 16 visits to the emergency room and three new admissions related to COVID.

After conducting over 321 tests, 51 produced a positive result, setting the local positivity rate at 16%.

Public Health Nurse Lorne Carroll said U.S. case numbers are up about 3% when compared to past weeks, but Alaska numbers indicate a different trend.

He said the state is down 15% from a couple of weeks ago, but overall, the numbers are still higher than in previous months.

“If we shift over to the CDC community levels, they're rating almost every area of the state of Alaska in high alert," Carroll said. "There's a couple of exceptions in there, and they include Denali and Fairbanks, and the North Star Borough, but overall CDC is rating the state of Alaska high because of not only reported cases, but struggling capacity with health care systems."

Carroll said nationally, there could be up to ten unreported cases for every one reported case due to at-home testing.

He said you should dial 911 if you are having trouble breathing, are in persistent pain, experiencing pressure in your chest, or if you have any new confusion or inability to wake or stay awake.

Smaller signs of COVID-19, similar to flu and cold symptoms, include weariness, coughing, and stomachaches. He said get tested for COVID as soon as any symptoms appear.

To hear KBBI’s full COVID Brief, click here, or find the COVID Brief podcast on your favorite app.

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Simon Lopez is a long time listener of KBBI Homer. He values Kachemak Bay’s beauty and its overall health. Simon is community oriented and enjoys being involved in building and maintaining an informed and proactive community.
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