KETCHIKAN (KDN) — Ketchikan Public Health officials logged 46 COVID-19 cases between Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, while the community's tally of active infections jumped to 72, according to a Wednesday evening update of the community virus information dashboard.

Both Ketchikan Public Health's dashboard (last updated at 4:21 p.m. Wednesday) and a separate PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center dashboard, which reports the previous day's hospitalizations by 11 a.m. the following day, showed four people were hospitalized on Wednesday.

Local health officials have charted 73 cases in the past seven days and 121 cases in the past two weeks, according to the dashboard.

Ketchikan's average daily case rate — the average number of newly detected cases per 100,000 individuals over a seven-day period — was 533.74, more than five times over the threshold for the highest virus alert level set by the state Department of Health and Social Services.

The complete Ketchikan Public Health information dashboard can be accessed at www.kgbak.us/913/COVID-19-Response.

Positive test results collected from at-home COVID-19 antigen test kits are not included in Ketchikan's count of COVID-19 cases, according to state and local health officials.

Ketchikan High School update

A late Wednesday afternoon letter from Ketchikan High School Principal Jason House, addressed to staff and students, announced "additional" COVID-19 cases "impacting" the school.

The new cases follow "multiple" cases found to be connected to the school and announced in a Tuesday statement from House.

"Positive individuals have been identified and ordered to isolate," House wrote in the statement. "Contact tracing is ongoing and those individuals are being contacted as they are identified. Additionally, the Kayhi building will be sanitized tonight."

Kayhi will operate according to its regular schedule on Thursday, and activities will not be affected by the cases.

Schoenbar Middle School update

Three COVID-19 cases "involving members of the Schoenbar Middle School family" were announced by the school in a social media post on Wednesday evening.

The cases involved individuals who were last in school on Monday and Wednesday.

"Known close contacts from school have been contacted by SMS administration," the notice read.

The cases will not affect Schoenbar's schedule on Thursday.

Houghtaling drive-up testing site

More than 60 individuals received COVID-19 tests Sunday at a drive-up site serving school district staff, students and families at Houghtaling Elementary School, Ketchikan School District COVID-19 Communications and Public Relations Director Linnaea Troina wrote to the Daily News on Wednesday.

The site is operational from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. each Sunday, and began this past Sunday, according to a notice posted on the Ketchikan School District website.

Both molecular and antigen tests may be offered at the site.

"The healthcare worker onsite administering the tests speaks to the individuals wanting to be tested, and makes the call as to use antigen or PCR tests," Troina wrote to the Daily News on Wednesday afternoon. "If an antigen test is used, and results in a positive case, the healthcare worker will immediately perform a PCR test on that same individual."

Metlakatla update

The Annette Island Service Unit reported two new COVID-19 cases in Metlakatla on Wednesday as the community's virus risk level remained at Risk Level 2 - Moderate, according to a Wednesday notice released by the Metlakatla Indian Community.

As of Wednesday evening, 32 cases were active in Metlakatla.

"Please take individual steps to protect yourself, your family and

friends," the notice read.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 183 cases have been charted in Metlakatla, according to the MIC information.

Statewide case information

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services counted 1,597 new COVID-19 infections — 1,531 involving Alaskans and 84 involving nonresidents — between Monday and Tuesday, continuing a trend of sharply increasing case counts as the state recorded its highest positivity rate of the pandemic thus far.

All regions of the state were at the highest virus alert level on Tuesday, meaning that every borough or census area in Alaska had an average daily case rate higher than 100,000, according to a Wednesday afternoon statement from DHSS.

Areas with 10 or more new resident cases counted by DHSS between Monday and Tuesday included Anchorage (658); Fairbanks (170); Juneau (124); the Greater Wasilla Area (56); Sitka (44); Eagle River (42); the Kusilvak Census Area (40); North Pole (34); the Nome Census Area (27); Ketchikan (24); Kodiak (19); Kenai (17); Homer (15); Unalaska (14); Girdwood, Soldotna and Bethel (13 each); Dillingham, Chugiak and the Greater Palmer Area (11); and the Bethel Census Area and Nome (10 apiece).

Other Southeast communities to count new cases included Wrangell and the Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area (nine each), Haines (six), Metlakatla and Petersburg (four each), and Craig and Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon (three each), according to the DHSS information.

The nonresident cases were counted in Anchorage (22); Fairbanks (13); Juneau, Prudhoe Bay, Tok and Unalaska (six); Wasilla (three); Kenai and Nome (two each); and Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon (one).

Seventeen nonresident cases were still under investigation as to location by DHSS on Tuesday, according to the statement.

Alaska's test positivity rate — measured over seven days — was 14.7%, the highest measured during the pandemic, eclipsing the 12.78% positivity rate that was the standing record-high, recorded on Sunday, according to DHSS data.

As of midnight Tuesday, Alaska's average count of newly identified cases per 100,000 population, measured over seven days, was 583.3, the statement read. Tuesday's rate was the highest seen in the state since the first week of November.

Hospital status information

COVID-19 accounted for 4.7% of all hospitalizations around Alaska on Tuesday.

Fifty-six individuals were hospitalized with confirmed cases on Tuesday, and another five were being investigated for virus positivity, according to DHSS' statement. Eleven of the 61 total COVID-19 patients were using ventilators to breathe while hospitalized.

A DHSS-run hospital information dashboard showed that both the intensive care and inpatient units at Juneau's Bartlett Regional Hospital were closed on Wednesday.

The ICU at Alaska Native Medical Center also was closed, and ICUs were near capacity at St. Elias Hospital, Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, Alaska Regional Hospital and Providence Alaska Medical Center.

The Mat-Su Regional Medical Center's ICU was open, as was the ICU at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson Hospital, according to the dashboard.

— Compiled by Daily News Staff Writer Raegan Miller