Kenai Peninsula Borough

   The Kenai Peninsula Borough held a special meeting this (Friday) afternoon to further address issues surrounding the coronavirus emergency. The meeting was held over the Zoom video conferencing app. The public were able to listen in via phone or via web. Including assembly and staff, approximately 50 people were signed in.

State of Alaska

    In what is likely the last report from the capital this session, Dist. P Sen. Gary Stevens (R-Kodiak) spoke with KBBI’s Jay Barrett and updates us on the emergency bills that have passed, as well as developments halting evictions and repossessions during the coronavirus emergency. Stevens said the Legislature has fulfilled its constitutional duties and has gone into recess. If they’re not called back, the session will be adjourned after 121 days have passed since it opened in January. 

Late last week Congress passed the CARES Act in an effort to stabilize and stimulate the economy during the coronavirus pandemic. Besides the $1,200 checks for most residents, the act provides grants to small business as well.
    Homer Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Brad Anderson explains what the act does and how local businesses can tap into it.

The City of Homer has added a section to its website devoted specifically to the Covid-19/coronavirus. City Information Officer Jenny Carroll detailed some of the site’s easy-to-use features in a conversation with KBBI.

We've put a lot of work into this website so that it can be as comprehensive a source of information for people as can be.

Monday marked the start of a new paradigm of teaching in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, as all schools remain closed to students and lessons are delivered largely electronically due to the coronavirus pandemic.
    To prepare teachers for the change, the district had just a couple of weeks to develop plans to be delivered electronically, or failing that, by hardcopy, and then many teachers had to learn a new way of conducting class. Amanda Adams is the personalized learning specialist for the district, who worked with teachers on gaining the new skills needed.

Updates from the Homer Emergency Operations Center

Mar 30, 2020

Monday evening four members of the Homer Unified Command, the emergency operations group overseeing response to coronavirus, spoke with KBBI about the work their sectors have been doing. We've separated the briefs into individual audio files from Homer Fire Chief Mark Kirko, South Peninsula Hospital spokesperson Derotha Ferraro, Public Health Nurse Lorne Carroll, and City Public Information Officer Jenny Carroll.

City of Seldovia

    In Governor Mike Dunleavy’s mandates restricting close contact between non-family members and clamping down on unnecessary travel was the possibility that remote communities could do more to isolate themselves from the coronavirus, including closing or restricting access to the town.

    Those conversations are taking place in Seldovia, a community of 226 on the south side of Kachemak Bay, according to City Manager Cassidi Cameron.

First Covid-19 case detected in Homer

Mar 28, 2020

    The first positive case of Covid-19 detected in Homer was announced on Saturday (March 28).

    The Alaska State Public Health Laboratory notified South Peninsula Hospital that a person tested there earlier in the week was positive.


    Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy has taken the strongest measures yet in trying to stem the spread of Covid-19, the coronavirus. He is putting restrictions on public interaction, and restrictions on in-state travel.


South Peninsula Hospital has added a new “ No Visitors” restriction in response to COVID-19. Derotha Ferraro called in to the KBBI COVID-19 Brief on Thursday morning to talk about the changes, including closing all the “downhill” hospital entrances.

PPE supply a concern of local emergency responders

Mar 26, 2020

The Homer Unified Command gave a report to the city council Monday night regarding its preparations to face Covid-19 when the virus arrives in Homer.
    Fire Chief Mark Kirko of the Homer Volunteer Fire Department, who will be heading the Unified Command when the city manager leaves, said local emergency responders share the concerns of those elsewhere, and that is the shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as gloves, masks, gowns and face shields.


A notice Wednesday from the City of Homer announced the first case of Covid-19 associated with the community -- but the designation comes with a rather large asterisk: The case was attributed to Homer because while the person was from Homer, they were returning from the Lower 48 and was diagnosed upon arriving in Anchorage.
    Borough Emergency Manager Dan Nelson explains.



Homer Mayor Ken Castner took the opportunity of Monday night's city council meeting to lay out exactly how seriously he and the city are taking the current coronavirus pandemic and its potential to spread to Homer. The comments seemed especially forceful after a citizen complained about the closure orders during the Committee of the Whole meeting, saying the dangers of the virus were overblown.

We share the mayor's talk here in its entirety.



KBBI File Photo/Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

Things were anything but normal at Monday night’s regular meeting of the Homer City Council.
Only the mayor and one council member were present in chambers, while the other five attended the meeting via telephone. A few staff were in attendance as well, and while citizens were allowed, attendance was less than sparse.

Two new Covid-19 cases on Kenai Peninsula

Mar 22, 2020
City of Homer

Seventeen new cases of Covid-19 infection in Alaska were announced by the state over the weekend --  two of them on the Kenai Peninsula.