KETCHIKAN (KDN) — The Ketchikan Public Health COVID-19 information dashboard did not update with new case information as of presstime Wednesday.

A separate dashboard managed by PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center showed no individuals in the hospital's COVID-19 unit as of Wednesday morning.

The KPH dashboard can be accessed at kgbak.us/913/COVID-19-Response.

Upcoming youth vaccination clinic

A Pfizer vaccination clinic for children aged 5 to 11 is set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 13 at Houghtaling Elementary School, according to KPH Nurse Manager Jennifer Bergen.

Children must have a parent or guardian with them at the clinic to receive a vaccine.

Bergen noted that flu vaccines also will be available at the clinic, and appointments are preferred.

Appointments can be made at myhealth.alaska.gov. As of Wednesday afternoon, 260 appointments were still available.

Metlakatla update

Of the 36 COVID-19 tests conducted in Metlakatla on Wednesday, seven returned positive results, bumping the community's active COVID-19 case count to 12 as a 72-hour lockdown continued.

The lockdown, which took effect midnight Tuesday, forbids gatherings and requires all businesses that have not had a safety plan approved by the mayor to close, according to a Wednesday notice from the Metlakatla Indian Community.

"The general public must quarantine at home until the contact tracing procedures are completed," the notice read.

As of Wednesday, the case investigations were ongoing.

Individuals are asked to "limit your essential errands" during the lockdown, the notice stated.

The lockdown may continue until the cases are contained.

To date, 90 cases have been reported in Metlakatla, according to MIC.

Petersburg update

Petersburg Borough officials announced in a press release on Wednesday that all borough and municipal buildings are closed to the public due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the community.

The Wednesday statement, signed by Petersburg Borough Manager Stephen Giesbrecht, described Petersburg's COVID-19 situation as "escalating," and stated that "various large group gatherings have contributed to widespread community exposure."

The facilities affected by the closure include the Municipal Building, the police department lobby, power and lighting building, the library, the community development building, aquatic center, community gym and related facilities, baler, harbor office, assisted living facility, fire station and all in-person Assembly meetings, per the statement.

As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, Petersburg's COVID-19 dashboard showed that 48 cases were active in the community, and 93 COVID-19 tests were pending results. The community's overall positivity rate was just more than 21%.

COVID-19 cases also have affected Petersburg's three schools.

Petersburg High School was offering both in-person and remote learning on Wednesday — with antigen testing required before the first period of the day for all students, according to a statement on the Petersburg School District website. The school was fully remote on Tuesday.

A Petersburg School District information spreadsheet showed that five cases involving Petersburg High School staff or students were active as of noon Wednesday, and 11 people were quarantining in connection to virus exposure at that school.

At Petersburg's Mitkof Middle School, two cases were active and another 11 people were quarantined.

At Stedman Elementary School, six cases were active and 19 individuals were quarantined, according to the district.

COVID-19 in Alaska

Children across Alaska were eligible to receive the first of two smaller Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses starting on Wednesday, following the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's approval of the vaccine's recommendation by an advisory panel.

During a public question-and-answer event held on social media Wednesday afternoon, Alaska Chief Medical Officer Anne Zink compared the vaccines to car seats.

"Car seats aren't perfect either, but we buckle our kids up when we put them in the car," Zink said.

Zink said that children in the 5-11 year old age group "have amazing, robust immune systems," one of the reasons why the pediatric vaccine dose is smaller than the dose given to those aged 12 and older.

A presentation shared by Zink during the session showed that three in 10 U.S. parents would choose to vaccinate their child immediately, prior to consulting a health care provider. More parents are expected to schedule appointments to speak with providers about the shot.

Statewide case information

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reported 668 new COVID-19 cases and the virus-related deaths of three Alaskans.

The deaths were that of a Soldotna man in his 60s, a Copper River Census Area man aged 80 or older, and a Fairbanks woman aged 80 or older, according to a late Wednesday afternoon statement from DHSS.

To date, 711 Alaskans have died of COVID-19 during the ongoing pandemic.

Of the cases recorded on Tuesday, 660 involved Alaska residents and eight involved nonresidents.

Areas with 10 or more new resident cases reported on Tuesday included Anchorage (201); Fairbanks (111); the Greater Wasilla Area (72); North Pole (34); Eagle RIver and the Greater Palmer Area (26 each); Petersburg (16); Tok, Soldotna and Juneau (12 each); and Kenai and the Fairbanks North Star Borough (11 each).

Other Southeast communities with new resident cases counted by DHSS on Tuesday were Ketchikan (six) and the Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area (two), according to DHSS.

Two nonresident cases were charted in Juneau, while one case per community was counted in Fairbanks, Wasilla, Palmer, Soldotna, Seward and Unalaska.

Hospital status information

As of midnight Monday, COVID-19 made up just over 18% of all hospitalizations reported in Alaska.

There were 195 individuals hospitalized with confirmed cases, and another five hospitalized with suspected virus cases, according to DHSS information.

Adult iintensive care units at Alaska Native Medical Center and Alaska Regional Hospital were in the closed status, per a DHSS maintained hospital information hub.

Mat-Su Regional Medical Center and Central Peninsula Hospital both had ICUs listed as closed.

Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson Hospital was shown to be open. Other health care facilities did not report the status of their ICUs on Wednesday, according to the dashboard as of Wednesday morning.

To date, 2,814 Alaskans and 116 nonresidents in the state have been hospitalized due to COVID-19.