KETCHIKAN (KDN) — Ketchikan reported no new positive test results for COVID-19 on Thursday, while the state reported that record numbers of new and active cases were recorded on Wednesday.
Ketchikan continues to have a total of 29 positive results to date, with results from 260 tests pending as of Thursday evening, according to the Ketchikan Emergency Operations Center.
A total of 3,999 tests have been administered locally — 2,318 tests in local clinics; 973 tests at the EOC’s drive-through testing site; and 708 through the travelers testing site.
Forty-four new positive test results were recorded statewide on Wednesday, according to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. Twenty-five of the cases involve Alaska residents; 19 cases involve nonresidents.
In addition, Alaska had 291 active cases on Wednesday, an increase from 273 the day before. A total of 513 Alaskans are listed as having recovered from the novel coronavirus.
Of the new positive results recorded Wednesday, Anchorage and Fairbanks each had six cases. Homer recorded three positives, and Eagle River and North Pole each had two cases. Bethel, Northern Kenai Peninsula, Palmer, Seward, Valdez and Wasilla each recorded one new case.
For nonresidents, nine seafood workers in the combined Bristol Bay and Lake & Peninsula boroughs area received positive test results on Wednesday, according to DHSS. Two nonresident individuals each in Wrangell (seafood industry) and Anchorage (seafood industry, visitor) tested positive. The Kenai Peninsula Borough (seafood) and Valdez-Cordova Census Area (other industry) each had one positive.
Despite the increases in new and active cases, the overall amount of hospitalization for COVID-19 remains low statewide. According to DHSS, 14 individuals who either were COVID-19 positive or under investigation for the disease were hospital patients on Wednesday — two fewer than on Tuesday.
Although Gov. Mike Dunleavy hasn’t had a statewide press conference regarding the COVID-19 pandemic since April 10, Alaska Chief Medical Officer Anne Zink and other state officials participated in a Facebook Live event with Ketchikan EOC Incident Commander Abner Hoage and EOC Public Information Officer Kacie Paxton on Thursday evening.
The event, which included questions posed by Ketchikan residents, covered a range of topics such as COVID-19’s effects on plans for the upcoming school year, testing and other requirements for travel aboard Alaska Marine Highway System ferries, testing requirements for air travelers coming into Alaska and the process for air travelers upon arrival at Ketchikan International Airport, and the rationales behind Alaska’s policies for testing and other COVID-19 mitigation measures.
Also discussed were types of testing available in Ketchikan, and the concepts of herd immunity and how long an individual who has had a positive result for COVID-19 might remain immune from contracting the virus again in the future.
The event can be viewed on the City of Ketchikan’s Facebook page.