Ketchikan increases COVID-19 risk level to ‘very high’

Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 10:33 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Ketchikan raised its community risk level to “very high” on Tuesday after experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases this past week.

A public notice from the Ketchikan Emergency Operations Center expressed its concern about the widespread outbreak among its citizens, which led to the decision.

Overall, the EOC said the total case count, including travelers, is 539. The number of positive cases of individuals residing or staying in Ketchikan is 518. Of the 518 cases, there are 77 active, 2 deaths and 439 recovered.

According to the city’s COVID-19 dashboard Tuesday evening update, Ketchikan holds a positivity rate of 4.43%, based on data from the past 14 days.

As a result of the risk level 4 announcement, Sealaska Heritage Institute shared a press release Wednesday morning stating the postponement of the 2021 Southern Regional Native Youth Olympics Traditional Games previously scheduled in Ketchikan from May 22-23.

The EOC strongly recommends the following mitigation measures during risk level 4 – very high:

  • Public: Wear masks and practice strict social distancing outside of a private residence.
  • Schools: Reference the Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District plans and policies at its website.
  • Travel: Follow Alaska Health Advisories 2 and 3. Recommend travel only for critical infrastructure and critical personal needs.
  • Business and Government: Recommend closed except critical infrastructure or designated essential positions and telework.
  • Bars, Restaurants, Personal Services, Gyms: Recommend all closed.
  • Gatherings: No gatherings of greater than 20 people.
  • Congregate facilities: No non-essential visits.

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