KETCHIKAN (KDN) — The Ketchikan Emergency Operations Center on Friday charted four new COVID-19 cases — all involving symptomatic individuals — while one individual was hospitalized in the COVID-19 unit at PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center according to a Friday press release.
According to the EOC release, two of the Friday cases involved close contacts of a known positive case, and two were still under investigation.
Of Ketchikan’s 452 cumulative cases, 252 have been linked to close contact with a known positive.
As of Friday evening, 17 cases of COVID-19 were still active in Ketchikan.
The local positivity rate dropped from 2.17% on Thursday to 1.93% on Friday, the EOC dashboard showed.
Results were pending from 37 local virus tests — down from 44 pending tests on Thursday.
“During the contact investigations, Public Health will coordinate with the positive person to reach out to anyone who may be a close contact and instruct them to quarantine,” according to a Friday evening EOC press release.
Ketchikan remained at Community Risk Level 2 (Moderate).
The release also noted that the “EOC has recently approved many mitigation plans for community events,” and encouraged Ketchikan residents to continue using mitigation measures such as wearing a face covering, avoiding large or indoor gatherings and frequent hand washing.
Ketchikan High School update
Kayhi is set to return to on-site learning with 100% capacity on Monday, after being closed since Tuesday due to a cluster of positive virus cases tracing back to weekend events at the school, according to the EOC.
In-person extracurricular activities and practices also will resume as scheduled on Monday.
Additionally, two “members of the Ketchikan High School family have tested positive for COVID-19 over the last two days,” according to a Friday letter from Kayhi Principal Jason House to Kayhi staff and families.
“Based on contact tracing conducted by Public Health and our district nurses, as well as our ongoing mitigation efforts, we will not need to close the school in response to these cases,” the letter read.
Statewide case information
Alaska’s total number of coronavirus cases surpassed 68,000 on Wednesday.
According to the state Department of Health and Social Services, 68,148 individuals have tested positive in Alaska during the COVID-19 pandemic to date.
DHSS charted 299 virus cases on Wednesday and Thursday, with all but five of those cases involving residents.
Alaska was still at a high alert level on Thursday, as was the Southern Southeast region.
Southern Southeast’s average daily case rate — the count of newly identified cases per 100,000 people during a two week timeframe — on Thursday was 17.34, up from 15.9 on Wednesday. The region’s average daily case rate has not been as high since late February, according to DHSS data on Friday.
DHSS defines the Southern Southeast area as encompassing Ketchikan and the Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area.
Southern Southeast’s average daily case rate was higher than four other areas at the high alert status, including the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta (14.31),the Anchorage Municipality (14.73), the Kenai Peninsula Borough (16.36) and the Interior region (17.21), according to DHSS.
Northern Southeast remained at the intermediate alert status, with an average daily case rate of 5.95, according to DHSS. Northern Southeast had the second-lowest average daily case rate in Alaska, behind the Southwest region, with a rate of 4.29.
As of midnight Thursday, DHSS reported the following COVID-19 statistics:
• New cases on Wednesday and Thursday combined: 299, with five of those cases involving nonresidents.
• Areas to record 10 or more cases: Anchorage (85), Fairbanks (80), Wasilla (50), North Pole (27), Palmer (18) and Eagle River (10).
• Southeast areas with new cases recorded by DHSS: Ketchikan (seven) and the Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area and Juneau (two each).
• Nonresident case locations: Two nonresident cases were charted in Juneau. Wasilla and Prudhoe Bay each counted one case, and one remained under investigation as to location.
• Cumulative state cases: 68,148 total cases (65,409 resident cases and 2,739 nonresident).
• Total hospitalizations: 1,535.
• Current hospitalizations: 48 Alaskans were hospitalized and had tested positive for COVID-19, while five were hospitalized and still being investigated for the virus. Six of those 53 hospitalized Alaskans were using ventilators.
• New deaths: 0.
• Total deaths: 341 resident deaths and six nonresident deaths.
• Statewide tests conducted: 2,100,065 tests.
• Statewide risk level: High.
• Statewide average daily case rate: 20.85, down from 21.33 on Wednesday.
• Statewide positivity rate across the past seven days: 2.63%.
— Compiled by Daily News Staff Writer Raegan Miller