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Five COVID-19-related deaths at hospital this month

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Sabine Poux/KDLL
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A 68-year-old man incarcerated at Wildwood Correctional Center died last week — the fifth COVID-19-related death at Central Peninsula Hospital this month.

The Department of Corrections said Monday the man, John Andrew, died Friday after being in custody for a decade. The department said Andrew’s was the ninth death in its custody this year.

Andrew died at Central Peninsula Hospital. Hospital spokesperson Bruce Richards said four other patients have already died of COVID-19 related complications this October. Six patients died last month.

Richards said the hospital is still over capacity, with nearly half of all beds occupied by COVID-19 patients.

One bright spot is that 15 nurses and certified nursing assistants from the Lower 48 arrived at the hospital this month, part of a state effort to mitigate the burden of understaffing at hospitals around Alaska. Those nurses are among nearly 500 deployed around the state and will be at the hospital for at least a month.

Richards said the hospital also requested two additional respiratory therapists to help manage ventilations for COVID-19 patients. That request has not yet been met.

Sabine Poux is the news director at KDLL. Originally from New York, she's lived and reported in Argentina and Vermont, where she fell in love with local news. She covers all things central peninsula but is especially interested in stories related to energy and fishing. She'd love to hear your ideas at spoux@kdll.org.
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