Ketchikan’s local COVID-19 dashboard is back online — but with a few changes. The re-launch comes as cases surge around the state with 86% of recent Alaska cases linked to the more-contagious delta variant.
Ketchikan’s COVID-19 dashboard gives an up-to-date data on cases, hospitalizations and the sources of infections. It also shows whether patients are symptomatic, their vaccination status and the average rate of new cases in the community.
Though some of that data had been available on the state’s public health dashboard, that information isn’t updated as quickly. Some metrics, like the number of active cases, were not reported by state health authorities.
State data is also updated less frequently, with new case information added to the dashboard just three days a week. The new local dashboard will be updated each weekday. That’s according to a statement from the community’s fire chief and emergency manager.
Until it shut down on July 23, the community’s online COVID-19 was run by Ketchikan’s emergency operations center. The new dashboard is run by state nurses at Ketchikan Public Health Center and hosted on the Ketchikan borough’s website. Local officials have emphasized the need to hand over pandemic response duties to state authorities.
Some things look a little different. For instance, Ketchikan’s locally-determined COVID-19 risk level is no longer listed. Prior to the EOC shutdown, local mayors, managers and other senior officials set the community’s pandemic threat level after consulting a variety of health indicators. Businesses and schools looked to that community risk level for advice on capacity restrictions, masking recommendations and other response measures.
State and federal maps provide information on COVID-19 transmission. But those don’t take into account things like hospital capacity, whether contact tracing is successful, and other metrics that provided context and helped influence the locally-determined risk level.
As of Friday, state officials say all regions of Alaska are in high pandemic alert status as determined by their average resident case rate. Given the rising case numbers and the risk of transmission across Southeast Alaska, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone wear a mask indoors.
Also absent from the new dashboard is data on the local positivity rate, which shows the percentage of COVID-19 tests in the community that come back positive. But that data is available on a statewide dashboard.
The new dashboard is live on the borough’s website at kgbak.us/covid19.