KETCHIKAN (KDN) — Ketchikan Public Health officials charted 11 new COVID-19 cases between Saturday and Monday evenings, according to the community data dashboard late Monday afternoon.
The Public Health-maintained dashboard also showed that two people were in the COVID-19 unit at PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center.
As of Monday afternoon, 55 cases were considered active in Ketchikan.
The community's seven-day average of new cases logged per 100,000 population was 394.82 on Monday, according to the dashboard — nearly four times the baseline for the high virus alert level set by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.
Ketchikan High School update
Two COVID-19 cases were connected to Ketchikan High School on Monday but did not result in the closure of the school or changes to the learning schedule, according to a statement sent to students and families by Kayhi Principal Jason House.
"Based on our contact tracing, it was determined that neither of these cases were in school during their infectious period and therefore there are no school-related close contacts," House wrote.
The statement noted that the school schedule and all activities will continue as normal through Thursday, and that school will not be in session on Friday.
The Annette Island Service Unit on Saturday reported that all 18 COVID-19 tests conducted in Metlakatla that day returned negative results, according to a Metlakatla Indian Community notice.
Meanwhile, one of the existing positive cases involving a Metlakatla resident in the community was "released from isolation," according to MIC.
A case involving a resident not in Metlakatla also was released from isolation.
Metlakatla was still at Community Alert Level 2 on Saturday, with one case active in the community.
"By taking simple and effective precautions; such as wearing a mask indoors and when around others outside of your household, social distancing and washing your hands; helps to keep our community safe," the notice read.
Prince of Wales Island update
Four COVID-19 cases were active on Prince of Wales Island as of 3 p.m. Monday, according to a message recorded on the Craig Public Health COVID-19 hotline.
The hotline message also stated that "Prince of Wales had no new cases reported today and no new cases reported this past weekend."
To date, 413 cases have been reported on the island.
Statewide case information
Alaska's nearly four-month-long trend of recording daily triple-digit case counts continued over the weekend, as the state Department of Health and Social Services reported 2,972 new COVID-19 cases and four resident virus deaths between midnight Friday and midnight Sunday.
All four deaths were "recent," according to a case statement released by the department on Monday afternoon.
Three of the deceased were Anchorage residents, including a man in his 50s, a woman in her 60s and a woman in her 70s. The fourth death was that of a Northwest Arctic Borough man in his 70s.
"Our thoughts are with their family and loved ones," the statement read.
As of Sunday, 266 Anchorage residents and six Northwest Arctic Borough residents (not including Kotzebue residents), have died of COVID-19.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, 574 Alaskans and 22 nonresidents have died of the virus.
Of the cases recorded over the weekend, 2,752 involve Alaskans — 901 cases were counted on Friday, 1,059 on Saturday and 792 on Sunday. The other 40 cases were nonresidents in the state.
Areas with 10 or more new resident cases counted over the weekend included Anchorage (996); Wasilla (292); Fairbanks (202); Kenai (191); Palmer (130); North Pole (95); Soldotna (82); Juneau (81); Eagle River (74); the Northwest Arctic Borough (69); the Kusilvak Census Area (53); Kodiak (47); the Bethel Census Area (34); Chugiak and Nome (27 each); the Nome Census Area (25); Homer and Utqiagvik (23); Sterling (21); Ketchikan (17); Dillingham and Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon (16 each); the Copper River Census Area (15); the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and Big Lake (14 apiece); the North Slope Borough (13); Girdwood, the Kenai Peninsula Borough North, and the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area (12 apiece); and the Dillingham Census Area (10).
Additional Southeast communities to count cases during the weekend were Petersburg (seven), Sitka (six), Haines (five), Douglas (two), and Wrangell and Craig (one each), according to DHSS' statement.
Nonresident cases were tallied in Anchorage (13); Wasilla (10); Fairbanks and Prudhoe Bay (four each); Juneau (three); Homer (two); and Kodiak, Soldotna and Valdez (one apiece).
As of midnight Sunday, 58.7% of all eligible Alaskans (those aged 12 and older) have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to DHSS.
The Juneau region had the highest vaccination rate in Alaska, with 78.8% of residents 12 and older having at least one dose of a vaccine.
Vaccination rates in other Alaska regions, according to DHSS, were:
• The Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta: 75.7%.
• Northern Southeast (Skagway, Petersburg, Wrangell, Yakutat, Haines and Sitka): 74.6%
• Southwest Alaska: 68.2%.
• Southern Southeast (Ketchikan and the Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area): 66.5%.
• Anchorage: 62.7%.
• Northwest Arctic region: 61.6%.
• Interior Alaska: 58.7%.
• Fairbanks North Star Borough: 51.1%.
• Kenai Peninsula: 49.2%.
• Matanuska-Susitna region: 41.5%.
Hospital status information
As of midnight Sunday, 196 people were hospitalized due to COVID-19 circumstances across the state — 184 with confirmed cases, and 12 under investigation for virus positivity, according to DHSS.
Twenty-nine of those patients were using ventilators, the lowest number of ventilated individuals recorded in the past month.
Four state hospitals showed "closed" adult-level intensive care units on Monday, per a DHSS-maintained hospital dashboard. Those facilities included Alaska Native Medical Center, Alaska Regional Hospital, Providence Alaska Medical Center and Central Peninsula Hospital.
The ICUs at St. Elias Hospital, Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson were "near capacity," the dashboard showed.
PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center was one of five hospitals to list open ICUs on Monday, along with Bartlett Regional Hospital, Southern Peninsula Hospital, Mat-Su Regional Medical Center and Bassett Army Community Hospital.
The Alaska Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing's nurse team issued a total of 275 "emergency courtesy credentials" for nurses in the state between Sept. 22 and Wednesday, according to a Monday press release from the state Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.
Sept. 22 was the date when Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced during a press conference that nearly 500 health care workers were contracted to work in Alaska to help ease up capacity constraints and staff shortages. Those workers began arriving in the state late last month, and many have already been sent to 20 hospitals around Alaska.
"The nurse licensing team is not staffed to process hundreds of applications in (a) short period, yet the team has put in countless hours to ensure our health care facilities receive the help they need as quickly as possible," the press release read.
"This is great news that will positively impact Alaska's hospitals," Dunleavy said in the prepared statement. "Thank you to the nurse licensing team for all your hard work. These emergency courtesy licenses will support the systems we have in place to keep our state healthy."
— Compiled by Daily News Staff Writer Raegan Miller