KETCHIKAN (KDN) — One new case of COVID-19 was recorded in Ketchikan on Friday, according to a 5 p.m. update from the local Emergency Operations Center.
The case involved an individual who had been under quarantine, and was tested at a local clinic due to experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
“Public Health has begun the contact investigation, and will coordinate with the positive individual to reach out to anyone identified as close contacts, and advise those close contacts to quarantine for 14 days,” according to the EOC press release. “Close contacts should receive a phone call either from Public Health or from the individual who tested positive.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic this spring, Ketchikan has recorded a total of 188 cases. Of those cases, 174 involve residents or those who remained in Ketchikan after testing. The other 13 involve those who traveled through Ketchikan after being tested.
Fifty cases were active in Ketchikan as of Friday evening; a drop from the 55 active cases reported on Thursday by the EOC.
Cumulatively, 23,365 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in Ketchikan. All tests administered at the Berth 3 drive-up clinic through Thursday had been processed, according to the EOC.
The local positivity rate — which is measured during a seven day period — was 3.67% on Friday.
According to a situation report released early Friday evening by EOC Incident Commander Abner Hoage, a total of 102 local cases of COVID-19 have been recorded during an outbreak that began on Oct. 26.
Of the 102 cases identified during this outbreak, 74 involve close contacts of known positive cases, 16 have been determined to be due to community spread and eight are related to travel, according to the situation report.
Fifty-eight of the 102 positive test results recorded during the recent outbreak are all connected to one cluster. The majority of those cases (82) involve individuals who reported themselves to the EOC as symptomatic.
Five of the 102 outbreak cases have been hospitalized within the past week, and one remained hospitalized on Friday.
Additionally, the Ketchikan Indian Community announced in a statement on Friday that the Tribal Health Clinic will be closed until Nov. 23 due to the local increase in COVID-19 cases.
Patients of the clinic are encouraged to use the KIC clinic's telehealth platform, which may be accessed at kicthe.doxy.me/kic.
EOC Public Information Office Kacie Paxton wrote in an email to the Daily News that the EOC "would not anticipate the temporary closure of the KIC Clinic to have any direct impact on hospital capacity."
Statewide case information
Alaska recorded two COVID-19 deaths on Thursday, including its first nonresident death.
One of the deaths involved an Anchorage resident in his 30s, while the nonresident death occurred in Soldotna, according to information from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.
Ninety-seven Alaskans have died of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic in March.
The 589 total cases counted on Thursday was the state's second-highest daily case count. Of those cases, 584 were Alaska residents and five were nonresidents, according to DHSS.
Also on Thursday, the state surpassed 21,000 resident cases; as of midnight Thursday, 21,275 cases involving Alaskans had been counted by DHSS.
As of midnight Thursday, DHSS reported the following COVID-19 statistics:
• New cases on Thursday: 589 (584 resident and five nonresident).
• Areas to record 10 or more cases on Thursday: Anchorage (242); Wasilla (50); Fairbanks (44); Soldotna (39); Palmer (28); Kenai (24); Juneau (22); Eagle River (19); North Pole (18); and Delta Junction (10).
• Nonresident case locations: Anchorage (one); Northwest Arctic Borough (one); and unknown locations (three).
• Cumulative state cases: 22,405 (21,275 resident cases and 1,130 nonresident cases).
• Active resident cases: 14,666.
• Active nonresident cases: 480.
• Total hospitalizations: 539.
• Current hospitalizations: 113 (100 involving COVID-19 positive individuals and 13 involving those under investigation for COVID-19).
• New deaths: Two.
• Total deaths: 97 (not including the one nonresident death).
• Statewide tests conducted: 852,037.
• Statewide risk level: High. Alaska's average daily case rate (measured per 100,000 Alaskans over a 14-day timespan) was 62.37, an increase from Wednesday's average case rate of 60.37.
• Statewide positivity rate across the past seven days: 9.24%, a dip from Wednesday’s all-time high of 9.66% positivity.
Weekly DHSS update
A weekly data summary released by DHSS on Friday afternoon reported that COVID-19 cases in Alaska increased for the sixth consecutive week. This past week, cases were 18% higher than the week prior.
“Cases are increasing in both urban and rural regions and increased in every region this week,” according to the report. “For the first time, all regions of Alaska have high community transmission and are at a high alert level.”
The DHSS report continued that “the largest increase in case rate was in the Southern Southeast region, which averaged 4.7 new cases a day this week, for a 14-day case rate of 23.7.”
The report also indicated that “hospitalizations for COVID-19 are rising and hospital capacity and staffing remain a concern.”
Testing throughout the state is insufficient compared to the volume of new cases being tallied, according to DHSS. The state’s 9.24% positivity rate is above the 5% threshold that health officials have said equates to sufficient levels of testing.