KETCHIKAN (KDN) — Ketchikan Public Health officials on Tuesday reported 19 new COVID-19 cases, while nine people were listed as hospitalized due to the virus at PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center’s COVID-19 unit, according to a Ketchikan Public Health community information dashboard.
As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, 118 cases were active in Ketchikan.
In the past seven days, 116 virus cases have been counted by local health officials. In the past two weeks, 176 cases have been counted, according to the dashboard.
The full Ketchikan Public Health dashboard can be accessed at www.kgbak.us/913/COVID-19-Response.
One positive COVID-19 case involving “a member of the Schoenbar Middle School family” was announced by the school via social media on Tuesday afternoon.
“This individual did attend school this week and is working with KGBSD nurses and public health to identify any possible close contacts,” the school announcement read. “Known close contacts from school will be contacted by SMS administration, public health or KGBSD nurses.”
School will be in session under a normal schedule (and the high risk level of the Ketchikan School District Start Strong COVID-19 mitigation plan) on Wednesday.
Ketchikan School District
bus schedule update
A staff shortage related to COVID-19 at the First Student bus company that serves Ketchikan School District students has caused a change to bus routes serving Ketchikan Charter School, Schoenbar Middle School and Point Higgins Elementary School, and also changes to several special education bus routes, according to a Tuesday night statement signed by KSD Interim Superintendent Melissa Johnson.
“Due to this staffing shortage, some special education (SPED) routes will be combined beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, November 17th, and continuing throughout next week,” Johnson wrote in the statement. “Families of students impacted by this SPED route combination will be contacted directly (via phone) by First Student.”
“Additionally, bus Route 1 serving Schoenbar, Ketchikan Charter School, and Pt. Higgins will be combined with morning/afternoon routes beginning tomorrow Wednesday November 17th, continuing throughout next week,” the statement continued.
The changes will affect routes from Wednesday through Nov. 23.
In the morning, bus routes 1, 9 and 10 will be delayed by 10 minutes to KCS and Schoenbar, and will be 20 minutes late to Point Higgins.
After school, routes 1, 7 and 9 (“) will be delayed 10 minutes home from KCS and SMS, and will be running 20 minutes late from Pt. Higgins,” according to the statement.
“Families who do not rely on school buses and who can transport their students to/from school are encouraged to do so,” Johnson wrote. “Please be patient with First Student as they work diligently to transport students during this staff shortage.”
The Annette Island Service Unit on Monday reported that three of 27 COVID-19 tests performed in Metlakatla on Monday returned positive results, according to an evening announcement from the Metlakatla Indian Community.
Metlakatla remained at Community Alert Level 3 on Monday.
“Bear with us as we work with the Annette Island Service Unit on updating mandates based on new science and a status of ongoing community mitigation readiness,” the notice read.
As of Monday, 16 cases were active in Metlakatla, according to the MIC notice.
Statewide case information
Alaska’s virus death toll rose to 810 as the state Department of Health and Social Services on Monday reported seven new resident deaths — two of which involved Southeast residents — and 362 new cases.
One of the seven deaths reported was that of a Juneau man in his 20s, according to a case summary released early Tuesday afternoon by DHSS.
The other Southeast resident death involved a Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon area woman in her 40s.
Five deaths reported Monday involved Anchorage residents, including a woman in her 30s, a man in his 60s, a woman in her 60s and a man in his 70s, according to DHSS. A Kusilvak Census Area man in his 60s also died of the virus.
“Our thoughts are with their family and loved ones,” the statement read.
Areas with 10 or more new resident cases reported by DHSS included Anchorage (84), the Bethel Census Area and the Greater Wasilla Area (35), Fairbanks (20), Palmer and the Kusilvak Census Area (14 each), North Pole and Petersburg (13 apiece), Soldotna (11), and the Kenai Peninsula Borough South (10).
Southeast areas with new resident cases included Ketchikan (nine); Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon (eight); Sitka (four); Juneau and the Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area (two each); and Wrangell, Haines and Craig (one each), according to DHSS.
Two nonresident cases per area were counted in Wasilla, Anchorage and Fairbanks.
Hospital status information
As of midnight Monday, 152 individuals were hospitalized around Alaska with confirmed COVID-19 cases, and another five people were hospitalized while under investigation for the virus, according to the DHSS information.
COVID-19 made up just under 14% of hospitalizations around the state on Monday.
Adult-level intensive care units were near capacity at Central Peninsula Hospital and Providence Alaska Medical Center on Tuesday, while the hospital at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson was in the closed status, according to a hospital status information dashboard managed by DHSS.
Both Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and Bartlett Regional Hospital reported open adult ICUs on Tuesday.
Other health care facilities — including those located in Wrangell, Sitka, Petersburg and Ketchikan — did not issue a new report to the DHSS hospital dashboard.
— Compiled by Daily News Staff Writer Raegan Miller