KETCHIKAN (KDN) — The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reported 55 resident COVID-19 cases in the Ketchikan Gateway Borough during the seven days leading up to Wednesday in an afternoon case statement released that day, along with eight nonresident cases.
Seven of the nonresident cases were listed as "purpose tourism," and the eighth case was still being investigated as of Wednesday, according to the statement.
One individual was hospitalized with COVID-19 on Wednesday at PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center, facility spokesperson Kate Govaars wrote to the Daily News via email that morning.
Cases reported in the Ketchikan area do not include those identified through the use of an at-home antigen test kit, according to health officials, and do not appear in new or total case counts.
Sixteen COVID-19 tests were conducted Tuesday in Metlakatla by the Metlakatla Indian Community's COVID Team, the Annette Island Service Unit, and the Annette Island School District, yielding three positive results, according to a Tuesday evening statement from MIC.
Three negative home tests also were reported to MIC, according to the update.
As of Tuesday, 10 cases were active in Metlakatla.
Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area update
Eleven COVID-19 infections were reported in the Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area during the past seven days, according to DHSS' Wednesday statement.
The census area encompasses Metlakatla and all communities on POW Island, as well as the communities of Kake, Hyder and Port Alexander.
Since the start of the pandemic, DHSS has reported 1,451 cases in the census area, along with 20 hospitalizations and eight resident deaths.
Statewide case information
DHSS reported 1,629 new COVID-19 cases and the virus-related deaths of 15 Alaskans during the seven-day period leading up to Wednesday, according to its statement.
The deceased included two Anchorage men in their 40s, an Anchorage man in his 50s, a Valdez woman in her 50s, an Anchorage woman in her 60s, a Kusilvak man in his 60s, a Wasilla man in his 60s, two Wasilla men in their 70s, an Anchorage man in his 70s, a Fairbanks man in his 70s, a Seward woman in her 70s, a Matanuska-Susitna Borough woman in her 70s, and a Kusilvak man aged 80 or older.
"Our thoughts are with their family and loved ones," the statement read.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, DHSS has reported 1,235 Alaska resident deaths due to COVID-19.
The 1,629 new cases identified this past week included 1,525 residents and 104 nonresidents in the state, according to DHSS.
Areas with 10 or more new resident cases reported during that seven-day period included the Anchorage Municipality (630); the Matanuska-Susitna Borough (161), City and Borough of Juneau (151), Fairbanks North Star Borough (127), Kenai Peninsula Borough (83), City and Borough of Sitka (69), Bethel Census Area (68), Ketchikan Gateway Borough (55), Northwest Arctic Borough (31), Chugach Census Area (20), Skagway Municipality (15), the Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area and the Kusilvak Census Area (11 each), and the Wrangell Borough and the Nome Census Area (10 each).
Cases also were counted in Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon (six) and Haines and Petersburg (five each), according to the statement.
Nonresident cases were counted throughout Juneau (26); Anchorage (13); Ketchikan (eight); the Denali Borough (six); Sitka (five); Petersburg, Eagle River, and Prudhoe Bay (three each); Homer, Wasilla and Palmer (two apiece); and Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon, the Northwest Arctic Borough, Seward, Delta Junction, and Fairbanks (one apiece).
Sixteen cases, all related to tourism, were attributed to a location "at sea," according to the statement from DHSS.
Six cases were still being investigated for location.
In total, DHSS has identified 247,865 resident cases and 8,224 nonresident cases.
As of midnight Tuesday, 41 individuals were hospitalized due to COVID-19 around the state., with four of those people using ventilators to breathe while hospitalized.
Virus-related hospitalizations made up 3.2% of all hospitalizations in Alaska on Tuesday, according to DHSS.
Alaska's overall community case rate, defined by DHSS as the average number of cases identified per 100,000 people per seven days, was 209.22 on Tuesday, according to the statement — an increase from the week previous.
DHSS has divided community case rates into four tiers, replacing the risk level model that had been used throughout the pandemic until this past month.
As of midnight Tuesday, six areas had a community case rate higher than 400, four areas had a rate between 200 and 399, 10 areas had a rate between 100 and 199, six areas had a rate between 50 and 99, and two areas had a rate of 49 or less.
Ketchikan's community case rate was measured at 402.1, online DHSS information showed.
As of midnight Tuesday, 72.1% of eligible Alaskans had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Also on Tuesday, according to DHSS' latest update:
• The Aleutians East Borough continued to have the highest rate of residents with at least one dose of a vaccine, sitting at 97%, while 32% of residents eligible for a booster had received one in that borough.
• The Southeast Fairbanks Census Area, the North Slope Borough and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough were the only three areas of the state with less than 50% of eligible residents had received at least one dose of a vaccine. Those numbers were 41%, 44% and 47%, respectively.
• 75% of eligible residents in the Ketchikan Gateway Borough had received at least one vaccine dose, falling just below the Kodiak Island Borough (76%) and matching the Haines Borough (also 75%).
• 72% of eligible residents in the Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area had received at least one vaccine dose on Tuesday, ranking ahead of the Petersburg Borough (71%) and matching the Northwest Arctic Borough (also 72%).
• Three regions of Alaska tied for the highest rate of residents who have received their first (or only) booster dose: the City and Borough of Sitka, Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon and the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area, all at 47%.
— Compiled by Daily News Staff Writer Raegan Miller