KETCHIKAN (KDN) — The Ketchikan Emergency Operations Center recorded one new positive COVID-19 test result on Wednesday, bringing Ketchikan's total number of cases to 400.
The case involves a symptomatic individual, according to a late Wednesday afternoon press release from the EOC.
The case was determined to be community spread – the 74th such case charted in Ketchikan to date.
Of the 400 total cases counted in Ketchikan as of Wednesday, 220 involved close contact with a known positive, 96 were travel-related, 74 were community spread and eight were linked to a congregate setting or industry, per the EOC dashboard.
Results from 33 tests were pending on Wednesday.
The Community Risk Level was still Level 1 (Low) on Wednesday.
COVID-19 in Alaska
State health officials on Wednesday urged Alaskans to keep following coronavirus mitigation measures as the state begins to see another rise in cases.
"We plateaued for quite a while, and now we're starting to see this increase that's happening," said Alaska Chief Epidemiologist Joe McLaughlin during a Wednesday public question and answer session.
Cases of COVID-19 in Alaska began to decline in January, but have begun to slowly increase after a months-long stall.
McLaughlin said that there could be a potential for another wave of the virus in Alaska and the rest of the United States.
"We (the U.S.) have historically trailed behind Europe a little bit on the order of about three weeks or so, with respect to trends overall," McLaughlin said. "This is just something we're concerned about, and we want to make sure Alaskans are aware that the case counts are going up a bit."
McLaughlin said that the state's test positivity rate also is on the rise. As of the latest announcement from the state Department of Health and Social Services on Wednesday, it was 2.9% — higher than it has been recorded since late last year.
Alaskans between the ages of 20 and 39 are driving new infections, McLaughlin noted.
As of Wednesday, more than 12,000 of Alaska's total cases have involved Alaskans in that age bracket.
Cases involving individuals between the ages of zero and 19, and 40 and 59 are "pretty much tracking each other very closely," McLaughlin said, with roughly 7,600 and 7,770 cases in each group, respectively.
"What we need to do is just stay the course really, and make sure that everybody is following the basic mitigation strategies," he said.
McLaughlin also said that vaccination rates will be key to reducing mitigation measures and returning to a sense of normalcy.
"Vaccine hesitancy is one of our primary impediments in our ability to get back to normal," McLaughlin said.
The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services did not update its dashboard in full by press time on Wednesday, but its data did show that 163 new resident cases were charted on Tuesday.
DHSS' most recent data showed that three areas recorded more than 10 cases – Anchorage (56), Wasilla (30) and Fairbanks (21).
New cases also were recorded in Petersburg (five), Juneau (four), Ketchikan (three), and Metlakatla and Sitka (one apiece), according to DHSS.
As of its latest update on Tuesday, 28% of Alaskans over the age of 16 had been fully vaccinated, and 63.5% of those aged 65 or older were fully vaccinated.
DHSS' dashboard showed that, as of its latest update, 62,901 total cases of COVID-19 had been tallied in Alaska.
— Compiled by Daily News Staff Writer Raegan Miller