Sabine Poux/KDLL

By Thanksgiving last year, the Kenai Peninsula was reporting dozens of new coronavirus cases every day.

We’re hardly out of the woods yet. But those numbers are now down to about 10 to 15 new cases a day. COVID-19-related hospitalizations are down at Central Peninsula Hospital, which, at some points during the pandemic, was inundated with cases. The virus seems to be plateauing nationwide, as well.

Leslie Felts, public health nurse manager for the Kenai Peninsula, has thoughts on how we got here and where we’re headed.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

Kenai is pursuing its own shop local program this spring, called “Shop Here All Year in Kenai.”

Much like the program in Soldotna, which ran in November and December, it rewards shoppers who spend  $200 on discretionary purchases in Kenai with $100 vouchers for Kenai businesses. Those who spend $100 will get vouchers for $50.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

The Kenai Peninsula Borough is opening a call center to help seniors register for their doses of the coronavirus vaccine.

Starting tomorrow, those eligible for the vaccine can call in to add their names to a waiting list. That’s for seniors who have had trouble navigating the online system on their own, according to the borough.

Vaccine registration has been a fraught process for some Alaskans so far. 

Sabine Poux/KDLL

Appointments are filling up fast for local coronavirus vaccine clinics.

There were six slots left as of Wednesday evening for a Jan. 30 clinic at the Niksiki Fire Department. But all other slots at area clinics have been spoken for.

In a video message on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Alerts Facebook page, Emergency Manager Dan Nelson said there’s been high demand for limited spots – a trend providers are seeing around the state.

The peninsula has most of what it needs for an emergency cold weather shelter. 

“The food bank is ready, willing and able to provide the evening meal and a light breakfast to go in the mornings. We have transportation available through a couple different avenues," said Leslie Rohr. She's executive director of Love INC, one of several peninsula groups that are spearheading the initiative to get a shelter going this winter.

What they’re missing is a space. And there’s not much that can happen without one.