health

Central Peninsula Hospital

Though most of the attention around health care is focused on the coronavirus pandemic right now, Central Peninsula Hospital also recently finished a project to expand its services in Soldotna.

This winter, the project to remodel the hospital and stand up a new catheterization lab, childbirth facility, and to rearrange part of the hospital for more room and security was finished. It cost about $32 million, with about $27 million of that coming from Kenai Peninsula Borough bonds. The construction was started about two years ago as part of the hospital’s long-term service expansion plan, and it opened just in time to have the hospital lock down under the COVID-19 mandates.

Kenai Peninsula Relay for Life is going virtual this year.

With the confirmation of Alaska’s first positive coronavirus case in Anchorage on Thursday, efforts to prevent the spread of the virus on the Kenai Peninsula are ramping up. The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District announced Thursday that all 42 schools in the district will be closed next week.

The University of Alaska is also extending its spring break a week, with classes not resuming until March 23. And even then, all classes possible will shift to online delivery. At Kenai Peninsula College, faculty and staff will work next week to figure out which classes still have to meet face-to-face, primarily labs that can’t be done over the internet. Going forward, any staff or students with any symptoms of coronavirus are required to stay home.

Courtesy Soldotna Chamber of Commerce

Alaska seniors and their families, caregivers and service providers have a chance today to let the state know about issues affecting older Alaskans.

The Alaska Commission on Aging is holding a rural outreach meeting in Nome, but along with that, there’s a listening session held by teleconference from 10 a.m. to 1:15 pm today to hear from all over the state.

On the Kenai Peninsula, the Soldotna Senior Center is set up as a teleconference site.

“We’ve got a teleconference set up that we’ll hook up in our game room and anybody that wishes to listen in or speak should be able to through that teleconference line. Topics possible to be discussed are along-t support services, senior housing, elder protection, financial security, healthy aging and identifying community strengths and challenges,” said John Walker, director of the senior center.

KPBSD

Let’s get a little awkward, shall we, and discuss the birds and the bees. At least, the teaching of the birds and the bees, which has become a little more cumbersome since the passage of the Alaska Safe School Act. HB 156 went into effect in 2017 and requires school boards to review and approve outside presenters and materials used to teach sex ed, and grants parents the ability to opt their student out of any curriculum area or assessment.

Not all outside presenters and materials have to be approved by the school board. Historians, scientists, poets and so on, are still fine, only those teaching human reproduction. HB 156 had a controversial path into law. Some saw it as an attempt to limit sex ed, in a state where rates of sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancies rank among the highest in the nation. Others argued the additional scrutiny was a way to raise awareness and get parents and communities more involved in curriculum.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough’s school board had its yearly review of supplemental sex ed materials at its Aug. 6 meeting.


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