A sticker from a vaccine clinic held at PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center in December 2020. (Eric Stone/KRBD)

Ketchikan’s hospital hit an all-time high for COVID-19 patients Monday evening with nine positive patients hospitalized. But hospital officials say they’re not sounding any alarms. There is adequate space, staff and protective equipment to deal with the influx.

The number of positive patients had fallen to eight by Tuesday afternoon, according to PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center spokesperson Kate Govaars. The eight patients range in age from their 40s to their 80s. Six are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, she said, and two are fully vaccinated.

“While I cannot speak to the specifics of the two patients, generally, vaccinated patients who require hospitalization have compromised immune systems where they may not achieve as high of an immune response from the vaccine or they have preexisting conditions that may be complicated by a COVID-19 infection,” Govaars said.

As of 2 p.m., the 25-bed critical access hospital had all but eight beds filled, though Govaars noted that the specific number changes frequently.

The hospital is operating normally, she said. That means “crisis standards of care,” have not been activated. And she said the hospital has enough staff, space and protective gear to handle additional patients.

Govaars urged the community to prevent COVID-19 by getting vaccinated, wearing a mask, avoiding crowds and washing hands regularly.

“Preventing COVID-19 is much simpler — and more effective — than treating complications related to COVID-19,” she said. “Prevention cannot be overemphasized.”