SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Ketchikan's COVID-19 Community Risk Level-2 Moderate

Operations in Ketchikan School District planned to resume on Monday, 10/19/20



October 16, 2020
Friday AM

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - One new positive case of Covid-19 was reported in Ketchikan Thursday. This individual was symptomatic and sought testing at a local health clinic. The source has been classified as community spread. This individual has been notified of the positive test result, has been directed to isolate, and is being monitored by healthcare providers. As of October 15, 2020, Ketchikan's Community Risk Level remains at Level 2-Moderate.

PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center - Ketchikan, Alaska

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Rent & Mortgage Assistance Continues - Open to Ketchikan Borough & City Residents

Thursday's case brings the cumulative Covid-19 case count in Ketchikan, including travelers, to 81. The number of positive cases of individuals residing or staying in Ketchikan is 69. Of the 69 cases, 5 are still active, and 64 have recovered.

One new positive case of Covid-19 was identified in Ketchikan Wednesday. This individual is a Ketchikan High Student who was symptomatic, and sought testing at a local health clinic. The case is under investigation as to the source. This individual has been notified of the positive test result, has been directed to isolate, and is being monitored by healthcare providers.

As part of their Covid-19 response plan, Ketchikan High School, including District Offices and Pre-Schools located at Kayhi were closed Thursday, October 15th, and will also be closed Friday, October 16th , as previously planned. The positive case of Covid-19 identified on Wednesday was determined by Public Health to also be Community Spread. This takes the number of Community Spread cases identified in the last week to three and results in an another increase in risk level to Level 2 - Moderate.

One new positive case was identified in Ketchikan on October 10, 2020. This person is an asymptomatic resident who had sought testing from a local provider. The cause of the positive result is under investigation. This individual has been notified of the positive test result, has been directed to isolate, and is being monitored by healthcare providers. Public Health officials have begun the contact investigation and will reach out to any person who may have come into contact with this individual. Public Health will notify and quarantine additional persons as appropriate.

There were five (5) new positive cases of COVID-19 reported in Ketchikan on October 07, 2020. This brought the total number of cases last week to eight (8). One case was travel related and the other seven (7) are close contact to a known positive. Of the eight individuals, 5 were symptomatic with primary symptoms of headache and body aches. All eight (8) cases are associated with a single location/outbreak and not community spread.

Last week, the positive test rate had risen to approximately 1.3%, indicating a greater prevalence of the virus in the Ketchikan community and causing the EOC to raise Ketchikan's Community Risk Level from Level 1-Low to Level 2: Moderate.

These were the first positive cases reported since September 14-15, 2020 at which time the risk level was Level-1 Low. One of those cases was a local resident and one was a traveler. As of September 15, 2020, the cumulative COVID-19 case count, including travelers, was 68. The number of positive cases of individuals residing or staying in Ketchikan was 56. Of the 56 cases, 2 were still active, and 54 have recovered.

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop any symptoms, no matter how minor - such as a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, headache, or bodyache - call your healthcare provider for medical advice or use the Testing Hotline and call 247-TEST (8378). 

Free Covid-19 Testing is available at the Berth 3 Drive Up facility during the hours of 9:30-11:30 am and 2:30-4:30 pm, Tuesday through Saturday.

Beth Lougee, Superintendent of the Ketchikan Gateway School District stated in a news release Thursday that Ketchikan High School will reopen October 16, 2020, for staff and public use. The school building was closed for 24 hours to allow for contract tracing, disinfecting, and deep cleaning after we received notification of a positive COVID case.

Per a previously-scheduled closure due to parent/teacher conferences, Ketchikan High School and the preschools housed in the high school building will not be in session on Friday, October 16th. 

The following events are cleared to occur according to Superintendent Lougee:

  • Ketchikan District Office personnel/departments housed in the high school building
  • CNA Clinicals for high school CNA students - Friday, 10/16 - offsite 
  • Drama Debate Forensics (DDF) Virtual Meet - Friday, 10/16 from 4pm-8pm and Saturday, 10/17 from 11am-8pm
  • PSAT - Saturday, 10/17 from 8am-noon (doors open at 7:30am)
  • Drive Thru Flu Clinic (Note this is NOT drive-thru COVID testing, as stated in the Ketchikan Daily News) - Saturday, 10/17 from 10am-2pm
  • Other activities and practices as regularly scheduled

Normal operations in the Ketchikan School District will resume on Monday, 10/19. 

Ketchikan District staff and students who were instructed by public health to quarantine should not return to school until after they complete their quarantine periods according to Superintendent Lougee's news release.

Statewide, more cases (1,256) were reported in Alaskans this week than any previous week, beating last week’s record number of new cases (891) by more than 40%. Alaska continues to see a sharp acceleration in new cases according to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Service.

Alaska Department of Health and Social Service's Case trends and predictions released 10/15/20/

  • More cases (1,256) were reported in Alaskans this week than any previous week, beating last week’s record number of new cases (891) by more than 40%. Alaska continues to see a sharp acceleration in new cases. 

  • The sharp acceleration affected urban and rural regions. The largest increases in case rates were in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Region, Anchorage Municipality and Fairbanks North Star Borough. The Northwest Region continues to have the highest two-week average case rate of any region of the state and saw increases this week. 

  • The daily state case rate as of October 10 data is 21.4, up from 16.3 on October 3, a 31% increase. This number is cases per 100,000 people averaged over the last 14 days. The state alert level is high. 

  • Compared to other states’ case rates, Alaska’s average case rate per capita over the last 7 days (25.5 average daily cases over the last week per 100,000) remains at the thirteenth highest of US states, just below Wyoming (27.3) and worse off than Missouri (24.4). If Anchorage were its own state, its 7-day case rate (34) would put it at rank #6, between Utah and Idaho, and if Fairbanks were a state, its 7-day rate of 40.7 would make it #5 in the nation, just behind Wisconsin. The Bethel Census Area would be #4 with a 7-day rate of 49, while the Northwest Arctic Borough’s 7-day case rate of 75 puts it at a higher average case rate this week than any state average in the US. Nationally, cases have been rising since mid-September, and increases have been seen in most states this week. 26 states currently have 7-day average case rates over 15 per 100,000 and an additional 17 states saw increases in their 7-day average case rate this week. 

  • The reproductive number, a measure of contagion, is currently estimated to be approximately 1.18, a significant increase from 1.03 two weeks ago. A reproductive number of 1 means that each person who is diagnosed with COVID-19 gives it on average to one other person, so this increase means that Alaskans with COVID-19 are spreading it more readily than they were two weeks ago. A reproductive number of more than 1 also means that the epidemic is growing, and the goal is to have enough people wear masks, stay at least 6 feet from others, and stay home and get tested when they are sick that Alaska’s reproductive number decreases to well below 1. Our reproductive number was below 1 as recently as late August. 

  • An updated model epidemic curve predicts Alaska’s cases will continue to accelerate over the next week. Two weeks ago, cases were now expected to double every 105 days, with a daily projected growth rate of 0.66%. This projection has worsened, with cases now expected to double around every 20 days and a daily projected growth rate of around 3.5%. 

  • Nonresident cases, which peaked in late July, decreased over August and until this week had remained at an average of around 3 new nonresident cases per day; this week around 5 new nonresident cases were identified per day. 

  • Alaska continues to have the fewest COVID-19 related deaths per capita of any US state, but now has more total deaths than both Vermont and Wyoming. 


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Governor's Updated Interstate and International Travel Guidance Goes into Effect Friday - Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy, with the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, yesterday issued updated guidance on COVID-19 Health Mandate 10 on Interstate and International Travel, providing clear requirements related to international and interstate travel, while still providing mitigation factors to prevent, slow, and otherwise disrupt the spread of the virus. - More...
SitNews - Friday AM - October 16, 2020



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Ketchikan, Alaska

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