KETCHIKAN (KDN) — Ketchikan Public Health officials tallied six new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, while three individuals remained hospitalized due to the virus at PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center.
Two cases remained under investigation as to source as of early Tuesday evening, according to the COVID-19 data dashboard updated by Ketchikan Public Health. Between 5 p.m. Monday and 5 p.m. Friday, health officials classified one case as lost to contact.
A total of 75 cases were still considered active, per the dashboard.
Since the start of the pandemic, 635 local cases have been linked to close contact with a known positive, 174 were travel related, 249 were cases of community spread, 92 were connected to congregate or industry facilities, and 104 have been classified as lost to contact, the dashboard showed.
In the past seven days, 76 local cases have been tallied, and in the past two weeks, 154 cases have been logged on the dashboard.
Of the cases counted in the past week, 29 have involved fully vaccinated people, 17 have involved unvaccinated individuals and 13 have involved people not eligible to be vaccinated, according to the dashboard. Seventeen cases involved people whose vaccination status was unknown by Tuesday evening.
Thirty-five of the cases counted in the past seven days involved individuals who were symptomatic and eight involved asymptomatic people, according to public health information. The symptom status of 33 individuals whose cases were counted in the past week was unknown by Tuesday.
Ketchikan’s seven-day average total of newly reported cases per 100,000 people was 555.68 on as of Tuesday evening, according to the data dashboard
Fawn Mountain Elementary School update
A COVID-19 case involving “a member of the Fawn Mountain Elementary School family” was identified on Tuesday, and does not affect the school schedule on Wednesday, although the case prompted the quarantine of one classroom, according to an announcement posted on the school website by Principal Nick Higson.
“Based on initial contact tracing conducted by our District Nurse, Health Aide and our ongoing mitigation efforts we have quarantined one of the 4th grade classrooms,” Higson’s announcement read.
The notice continued, “Those who have been identified as a close contact in the 4th grade have been contacted and advised to quarantine for 10 days (through Sept. 30 and return to school/resume normal activity on Oct. 1 if asymptomatic) or be tested on Sept. 27 and may return to school, if asymptomatic, after a negative COVID test result is received.”
The announcement comes after the quarantine of all Fawn Mountain preschoolers following a case announced late this past week at the school.
Prince of Wales Island update
Health officials on Prince of Wales Island tallied two new cases on the island on Tuesday, according to a late afternoon message recorded on the Craig Public Health COVID-19 hotline.
“Of the new cases, one is a resident of Craig,” the message stated. “This case is considered secondary spread. One nonresident case is isolating in a community with less than 1,000 residents. This case is considered travel related.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, 23 cases were active on POW.
Statewide case information
The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services on Monday tallied a total of 861 new COVID-19 cases and six-virus related deaths, as hospitalization numbers remained high and several facilities around the state reported closed intensive care units.
Four of the deaths involved Anchorage residents; one man aged 80 or older, two men in their 70s and one woman in her 70s, according to a daily case statement published by DHSS on Tuesday afternoon.
A Soldotna woman in her 70s and a Dillingham Census Area woman in her 60s also died of COVID-19, according to DHSS, bringing the state’s virus death toll to 465 Alaskans and 15 nonresidents in the state.
As of midnight Monday, 196 individuals were hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19 cases around the state, making up 21% of all hospitalizations recorded in Alaska that day. An additional 11 people were hospitalized with suspected cases of COVID-19. Thirty-four patients were using ventilators due to the virus, according to DHSS.
A DHSS-maintained hospital status dashboard showed that adult intensive care units were in the "closed" status at several large facilities, including the Alaska Native Medical Center, Alaska Regional Hospital, Providence Alaska Medical Center, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Hospital and Central Peninsula Hospital.
ICUs were "near capacity" at PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center, Bartlett Regional Hospital, Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, Mat-Su Regional Medical Center.
Citing information from KMC Chief Administration Officer Dori Stevens, KMC Communications Specialist wrote to the Daily News on Tuesday that three of the facility’s four ICU beds were full as of that afternoon.
“We do have the ability to expand the critical care unit if needs increase,” Govvars noted in the email.
Of the 861 new cases counted on Monday, all but 26 involved Alaska residents, according to DHSS’ statement.
Areas with more than 10 newly reported cases on Monday included Anchorage (322); Wasilla (58); Fairbanks (55); Eagle River (48); Juneau (45); Palmer (30); Kenai (25); Utqiagvik (24); Chugiak (21); the North Slope Borough (19); the Bethel Census Area, North Pole and the Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula Borough (15 apiece), Sitka (12); Soldotna and the Northwest Arctic Borough (11 each); and Bethel (10).
Other Southeast communities to log new cases were Craig (eight), Ketchikan and the Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area (six each), Haines (five), Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon (two) and Skagway (one).
Nonresident cases were logged in Anchorage (seven); Sitka (two); and Juneau, Wasilla, Prudhoe Bay and the Denali Borough (one per community), according to DHSS. Thirteen nonresident cases were still being investigated for location by midnight Monday.
Alaska's overall test positivity rate was measured as 9.62% on Monday, the highest rate recorded during the pandemic to date. Previously, the highest positivity rate recorded in Alaska was 9.31%, seen on Nov. 18, according to online DHSS data.
— Compiled by Daily News Staff Writer Raegan Miller