KETCHIKAN (KDN) — Ketchikan Public Health officials on Wednesday counted 13 new COVID-19 cases on the community's virus data dashboard, and a PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center online dashboard showed two people were hospitalized in the facility's COVID-19 unit.
As of Wednesday evening, 78 cases were active in Ketchikan, according to KPH.
In the seven days leading up to and including Wednesday, 72 local cases have been identified.
Ketchikan's seven-day average of newly reported cases per 100,000 people was 526.43 on Wednesday, according to the KPH dashboard.
Ketchikan's COVID-19 information dashboard can be found at www.kgbak.us/913/COVID-19-Response.
Ketchikan High School update
One new COVID-19 case connected to Ketchikan High School was announced on Wednesday afternoon in a letter to school staff and students from Principal Jason House.
"Our contact tracing is complete and any school-related close contacts have been notified," the letter stated. "In consideration of those facts and our other mitigation efforts, we will not need to close the school in response to this case."
School was not in session on Thursday due to the national Veterans Day holiday, but as of Wednesday, school will continue on scheduled on Friday under the substantial risk level of the Ketchikan School District's COVID-19 mitigation plan.
Schoenbar Middle School update
A COVID-19 case "involving a member of the Schoenbar Middle School family," according to a Wednesday afternoon announcement on the school's social media.
"This individual last attended school last week," the announcement noted. "Known close contacts from school have been contacted by SMS administration, public health or KGBSD nurses."
Ketchikan Charter School update
Ketchikan Charter School announced one new virus case connected to the school on Tuesday evening.
"The main building staff was notified of a positive case in our building," an online KCS statement read. "This positive case only affected a certain area of the school, and the school will remain open."
All close contacts were notified by the school at the direction of Ketchikan School District nurses, according to the announcement.
Those identified as close contacts "are asked to test on November 16, 2021, or continue quarantining until November 20, 2021," according to KCS.
"We continue to ask all parents to monitor their children's health, and if they have any symptoms, please keep them home until their symptoms improve," the statement noted.
The new case came after the school announced a single case this past Friday.
Upcoming local vaccination clinics
COVID-19 and flu vaccine clinics are planned for Saturday and Dec. 4, according to a flyer sent to the Daily News by Ketchikan Public Health.
Both clinics are scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Houghtaling Elementary School.
Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines will be available for ages 12 and older. Pediatric doses of the Pfizer vaccine also will be available for those aged 5 to 11 years old, according to the information.
Pfizer boosters for eligible individuals, as well as third doses for immunocompromised individuals, will be available.
Flu vaccines will be available for individuals over the age of six months old, according to the information.
Of the 18 COVID-19 tests collected in Metlakatla on Wednesday, one returned a positive result, raising the community's active case count to 29 as of that evening, according to a Metlakatla Indian Community notice.
Metlakatla remained at Community Alert Level 3.
"Bear with us as we work with the Annette Island Service Unit on updating mandates based on new science and a status of ongoing community mitigation readiness," the announcement read.
Since the start of the pandemic, 112 cases have been identified in Metlakatla, per MIC.
As of 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, 79 COVID-19 cases were active in Petersburg, while 104 tests were pending results in the community, according to Petersburg's online COVID-19 information dashboard.
In the seven days leading up to and including Tuesday, 64 cases have been counted in Petersburg. The community's seven-day test positivity rate was 20.2%, and 13.4% of residents had been tested for the virus in the previous 14 days.
The Petersburg dashboard showed that 25% of Petersburg Medical Center’s inpatient unit was full, there was one health care worker infection counted in the past week, and the PMC staffing level was "inadequate."
According to the Washington Post's online COVID-19 tracker, Petersburg's seven-day average of newly counted cases per 100,000 (1,321) ranked 10th highest in the country.
A separate Petersburg School District information dashboard showed that 18 cases were active and connected to Stedman Elementary School, six active cases were connected to Mitkof Middle School and 11 were active and connected to Petersburg High School.
Another 21 individuals at Stedman Elementary School were quarantining due to COVID-19, along with four at Mitkof Middle School and one at Petersburg High School.
A mask ordinance continues to be in place in Petersburg after being approved by the community's Borough Assembly on Friday.
Statewide case information
The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services announced 508 new COVID-19 cases and nine virus-related deaths, bringing the state's virus death toll to more than 800 Alaskans, according a Wednesday case statement from the department.
The statement did not specify whether the deaths were recent or had been identified through the review of death certificates. More than 80 deaths, most occurring in September or October, have been reported by DHSS this week.
Four of the deaths reported on Tuesday involved Anchorage residents, including a man in his 30s, a man in his 50s, two men in their 60s and a woman in her 70s, according to the statement.
Two of the deceased Alaskans were Wasilla residents — a man in his 50s and a woman in her 60s.
The deaths of a Delta Junction man and a Fairbanks man — both in their 60s — also were reported by DHSS.
To date, the virus-related deaths of 801 Alaskans and 30 nonresidents have been reported by DHSS.
Of the 508 new cases tallied by DHSS on Tuesday, 501 involved Alaskans and seven were found to be nonresident cases.
Areas with 10 or more new resident cases included Anchorage (162), the Bethel Census Area (65), the Greater Wasilla Area (45), Fairbanks (33), the Greater Palmer Area (18), Eagle River (17), Kodiak (15), Soldotna and Nome (11 each), and Kenai and Ketchikan (10 each).
Other Southeast communities with new resident cases included Petersburg (seven), Wrangell (five), the Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area (four) and Sitka (two), according to DHSS.
Anchorage charted three of the seven nonresident cases and Kenai counted one. Three cases were still under investigation by DHSS on Tuesday.
Hospital status information
Adult intensive care units at Alaska Native Medical Center and Mat-Su Regional Medical Center were closed on Wednesday, while ICUs were near capacity at Alaska Regional Hospital, Providence Alaska Medical Center and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Hospital, according to a DHSS hospital information dashboard.
The ICU at Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau was listed as open on the dashboard. Other large health care facilities did not provide status updates to the dashboard on Wednesday.
As of midnight Tuesday, 146 individuals were hospitalized due to COVID-19 — 141 with confirmed cases and five with suspected cases, according to DHSS. Of those individuals, 22 were using ventilators to breathe.
— Compiled by Daily News Staff Writer Raegan Miller