Tuesday COVID-19 Update: The latest numbers, a mask pattern and Don't Flush Your Wipes

Apr 7, 2020

Credit CDC

Local city, state and hospital officials called-in to KBBI on Monday night for a COVID-19 update.
Derotha Ferraro from South Peninsula Hospital says The Homer Medical Clinic on Bartlett Street is now serving as the hospital’s urgent care center and staying open until 8 p.m.
And, as of this week, more people will be eligible for a test and SPH will be adding an additional location for testing.

“The guidelines were symptoms of COVID-19 and other things- like, you traveled to a hotspot or you were exposed or you had underlying health conditions. So, there was an AND. Starting immediately, if you have those symptoms, then your provider may request a COVID-19 test.
By the middle of this week," said Ferraro,"we expect to be offering testing in a new location. Our alternate testing site, will be the Homer Chamber of Commerce. Probably by Wednesday or so, we will be open.”

Ferraro says as of this morning , the hospital has submitted 92 total swabs for testing. 73 came back negative, one positive and 18 are pending. The one positive case is receiving care in Anchorage.

Nurse Lorne Carroll from the state department of public health is keeping track of the numbers on the Kenai Peninsula.

 "So, as of April 6 at noon, the State of Alaska is at 191 cases that six up from yesterday, a grand total of 23 hospitalizations so far and six deaths. If we were to take a look at Kenai peninsula itself and break that down, four, as of today, Anchor Point has 1, Homer has had two,  Kenai has had one, Seward has had three so far, four in Soldotna nd three in Sterling, which makes it grand total of 14 on the Kenai," said Nurse Carroll.

Both Carroll and Ferraro want to remind everyone to call your health care provider if you believe you have symptoms of COVID-19. If you do not have a provider. Nurse Carroll suggests calling Seldovia Village Health and Wellness at (907) 226-2228.

The City of Homer’s Department of Public Works is reminding everyone that disposable wipes do not flush. Here’s Rachel Tussey.

“ Everything that we're doing now: social distancing, washing hands, cleaning frequently touched surfaces is making a difference. With all of that COVID 19 cleaning, don't flush your disinfectant wipes. Even if they say they're flushable, they're not. They collect in our municipal wastewater pipes and they form blockages. Public works has said that these blockages are starting to show up and cause clogging issues," said Tussey.

Tussey says, homemade masks for personal use are encouraged for everyone. She recommends going to the CDC website or the City of Homer website for personal mask patterns.

"Your covering should reach above the nose, below the chin, and completely cover the mouth and nostrils. It should fit snugly against the sides of the face. It should be made of multiple layers of fabric. You should also be able to launder it and machine dry without damaging the material or shape. These face coverings are not a substitute for social distancing,” Tussey said.                                     

SPH is calling out to the community for the loan of oxygen concentrators. They filter surrounding air, compressing it to the required density and then put out purified medical grade oxygen.

"And even though we have an order in from the state, it would be nice to have some backup oxygen concentrators. So if, if anybody has those, we could use them at the Christian Community Church on Bartlett Street, and they can be dropped off during the day," said Ferraro

The Center for Disease Control has patterns for face masks. Go to:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

For a clearing house of local and state information about COVID-19, go the City of Homer’s website https://www.cityofhomer-ak.gov/covid19