KETCHIKAN (KDN) — The Ketchikan Emergency Operations Center recorded one case — the ninth in the past seven days — on Thursday.
According to a press release from the local EOC, the case involves an asymptomatic individual.
The source of the case was still under investigation on Thursday.
To date, 401 cases of COVID-19 have been charted in Ketchikan, with eight of those cases still considered to be active by Thursday evening.
Results from 41 coronavirus tests were pending on Thursday
Ketchikan's local seven-day test positivity rate increased from 0.67% on Wednesday to 0.70% on Thursday, according to the EOC release.
All tests that were conducted on or before Tuesday at the Berth 3 drive-up testing site had been processed by Thursday evening. Individuals who were tested at that time and had yet to be contacted by public health officials received a negative test result, according to the release.
Ketchikan's Community Risk Level remained Level 1 (Low) on Thursday.
COVID-19 in Alaska
Although Alaska's overall vaccination rate continues to rise, Alaska's public health officials have identified a slight rise in COVID-19 cases throughout the state.
"Unfortunately, our graphs are going the wrong direction," said Chief Medical Officer Anne Zink during a Thursday media briefing.
Zink referenced a rise in daily case counts this week, a climb in the state's overall average daily case rate, and the state's growing test positivity rate.
According to Alaska Chief Epidemiologist Joe McLaughlin, Alaska is not the only location to be recording a recent spike in COVID-19 activity.
"I think the big question is, what do we do about this?" McLaughlin asked.
The answer, he said, was to continue the mitigation measures that have been encouraged throughout the past year — social distancing, handwashing and wearing a face covering in public settings.
"We know that what's happening in the U.S. in general is an uptick in cases," McLaughlin said. "We're seeing a big rise in cases in Europe and South America as well; even Canada is showing in an uptick in cases."
McLaughlin said in order to consider a return to "normal," he'd like to see Alaska move back into the "yellow zone" — referring to the low coronavirus risk level set by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.
The low alert level means that the state's average daily case rate — the average count of new cases recorded per 100,000 population during two weeks — is between zero and five.
"We know that the threshold for the red zone is (an average daily case rate) of 10 per 100,000," McLaughlin said. "We want to get the whole state into that yellow zone. And when we do that, I think we can start really seeing ourselves get back into normal."
McLaughlin also said that a return to "normal" will be possible as the state's vaccination rate reaches 70% to 80%.
As of Thursday afternoon, 22.7% of all Alaskans had been fully vaccinated.
Three vaccines are available in the United States; the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, and the single-dose Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccine, which was approved for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in early March.
Statewide case information
Alaska on Wednesday recorded its highest single-day case count since late January, according to a case summary from the state Department of Health and Social Services.
The 232 cases charted on Wednesday was the highest daily case count since Jan. 22, when 241 cases were recorded by DHSS.
Alaska hit its pandemic peak in mid-December, when the state recorded more than 900 days in a single day. During the last part of December and January, the state began to see a plateau in cases.
The high case count came just two days after a public question-and-answer session in which state health officials urged Alaskans to keep up with mitigation measures as the state — and the rest of the country – faces an uptick in coronavirus infection.
Alaska's average daily case rate of 20.6 on Wednesday was the highest recorded in the state since Jan. 31.
As a whole, Alaska has been at the high alert level since mid-September. Its average daily case rate has not dropped below 10 since Sept. 12, when it was 9.98, according to DHSS data.
Southern Southeast Alaska was at the low alert level on Wednesday, with an average daily case rate of 4.34.
Northern Southeast has been at the intermediate alert status for the past two days, and had an average daily case rate of 5.95 on Wednesday, according to DHSS.
As of midnight Wednesday, DHSS reported the following COVID-19 statistics:
• New cases on Wednesday: 231 resident cases and one nonresident case.
• Areas to record 10 or more cases on Wednesday: Anchorage (94), Wasilla (34), Palmer (21), the Bethel Census Area (15) and Fairbanks (10).
• Southeast areas with new resident cases recorded by DHSS on Wednesday: Juneau and Petersburg each charted one case.
• Nonresident case location: the location and industry of the single nonresident case remained under investigation as of Wednesday.
• Cumulative state cases: 63,298 (60,723 resident cases and 2,575 nonresident cases).
• Total hospitalizations: 1,407.
• Current hospitalizations: 34, with all of those patients being positive for COVID-19. Five Alaskans were using a ventilator. Virus-related hospitalizations made up 4.2% of all hospitalizations on Wednesday.
• New deaths: 0.
• Total deaths: 309 resident deaths and four nonresident deaths.
• Statewide tests conducted: 1,904,230.
• Statewide risk level: High.
• Statewide average daily case rate: 20.6, up from 19.93 on Tuesday.
• Statewide positivity rate across the past seven days: 3.08%, up from 3.06% on Tuesday.
— Compiled by Daily News Staff Writer Raegan Miller