KETCHIKAN (KDN) — Ketchikan Public Health reported two new positive test results for COVID-19 — with 84 cases continuing to be listed as active locally on Wednesday.
The Public Health online dashboard also listed one individual as hospitalized locally.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Ketchikan Public Health had reported 46 new positive test results over seven days, and 148 over 14 days.
During the seven-day period, 16 of the cases were attributed to close contact with another individual who had tested positive, none were travel-related, nine were attributed to community spread, three involved a congregate setting and four remained under investigation. Another five cases were “lost to contact,” according to Public Health.
Thirty-five of the 46 cases over seven days were symptomatic, three were asymptomatic, and the symptom status of eight cases was unknown.
Seventeen of the individuals involved in the 46 cases posted over the seven-day period were unvaccinated, and eight were not eligible for vaccination, according to Public Health. Sixteen were fully vaccinated, and the vaccination status of five of the individuals was not reported/unknown.
Ketchikan School District schools are continuing at the high operating risk level through Friday. The district’s overall risk level is set on Fridays, and is based upon the number of active cases in the community at the time the level is determined. An active case count above 50 cases results in an operating risk level set at “high.”
In early September, the federal Centers for Disease Control issued an advisory about a temporary shortage of supplies for rapid test kits.
On Wednesday, the free community testing site at the Alaska Marine Highway System terminal in Ketchikan was open for testing, but was out of supplies for the rapid tests that it had been offering.
Individuals seeking tests Wednesday at the drive-up site, which is operated by Beacon Occupation Health and Safety Services under contract with the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, were told that test samples are being sent to another lab, and that results would be available within 48 hours. With the rapid test kits, results can be available in 15 minutes.
A Beacon representative contacted Wednesday afternoon indicated that the circumstance would be continuing until further notice. The Ketchikan drive-up testing site is open from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays, according to a sign at the site.
Other testing options in Ketchikan include the travelers testing site at the Ketchikan International Airport, in addition to Ketchikan Public Health, Ketchikan Indian Community, Northway Family Healthcare, Power of Wellness, Creekside Family Health Clinic and PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center. According to the Ketchikan Gateway Borough COVID-19 testing information website, tests at the non-airport locations are scheduled by phone.
Prince of Wales Island update
Craig Public Health on Wednesday afternoon reported that five new COVID-19 test results were counted on Prince of Wales Island on Tuesday and Wednesday.
One case involved a nonresident individual who was isolating in Craig, according to the Craig Public Health Hotline, which indicated that the source of the infection was determined to be travel-related. The other four cases involved residents of communities with populations of less than 1,000 people. Three cases were determined as secondary spread; one was community spread.
As of late Wednesday afternoon, 37 cases were considered to be active on Prince of Wales Island, according to the Craig Public Health hotline, which on Monday had noted that 12 new cases had been identified on the island between Friday and Monday.
“Due to the surge in local cases, Public Health is asking positive cases to assist with the location of their close contacts when possible,” stated the hotline message on Wednesday. “When there is a workplace exposure, we are asking employers to assist in this process. Craig Public Health nursing will be able to return to contact tracing for all cases at a later date. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, this is how we're operating at this time.”
On Tuesday, Craig City School District Superintendent Chris Reitan wrote a memo to CCSD parents and guardians noting that an individual associated with Craig High School had tested positive for COVID-19 and had been in school this past Friday, and that some of the high school’s students had been identified as close contacts of the individual.
After describing the criteria used for the close-contact determinations, Reitan wrote that, as of Tuesday, the district has three grade levels — kindergarten, fourth grade and sixth grade — and about one-quarter of its high school students currently in quarantine.
Contacted by the Daily News on Wednesday afternoon, Reitan said the information noted in the Tuesday memo remained valid as of Wednesday.
In his memo, Reitan thanked parents and guardians of CCSD students “in advance for your patience and flexibility as we collaboratively work through this difficult time.”
The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reported 1,095 new positive test results in Alaska on Tuesday — far ahead of the previous single-day record of 933 cases on Dec. 4. A total of 1,068 of those cases involved Alaska residents, with the remaining 27 cases involving nonresidents.
Since the pandemic began, Alaska has reported 94,105 cases of COVID-19 involving residents and another 4,314 nonresident cases for a total of 98,419 cases as of midnight Tuesday.
A total of 201 COVID-positive patients were in Alaska hospitals on Tuesday, according to DHSS. Thirty-four patients were on ventilators.
Statewide, 21 of the 125 adult ICU beds were available.