This transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S. Virus particles are shown emerging from the surface of cells cultured in the lab. The spikes on the outer edge of the virus particles give coronaviruses their name, crown-like. Image captured and colorized at NIAID’s Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML) in Hamilton, Montana. Credit: NIAID

UPDATED–Monday, 2:45 p.m.

Petersburg’s COVID case count continues to climb.

The Petersburg Medical Center reported 67 cases as of this morning. That’s just one case shy of the outbreak last spring that peaked at 68 cases on March 3rd.

54 of the cases are new within the last week.

As of this afternoon, there are 28 cases in the school district among staff and students.

The local school district’s COVID dashboard reported 13 active cases at the elementary school plus 19 on quarantine; six cases at the middle school plus three on quarantine; and nine cases at the high school plus three on quarantine.

The district is continuing with in-person learning for now although Superintendent Kludt-Painter Friday said they were on the verge of not being able to maintain it.

One community case is a healthcare worker and PMC staffing is recorded as “inadequate” to respond to the surge on the Dashboard. Medevac capabilities are listed as “limited”.

The medical center’s testing positivity rate has been around 20 percent for several days.

There are 55 tests pending as of Monday.

The school district is providing take home antigen tests for families when needed through their school offices. The results take about 30 minutes.

Petersburg Medical Center is also providing tests for travelers Monday through Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. People with symptoms or who are close contacts can call 907-772-5788 to schedule a test.

Currently, all borough buildings remain closed to the public.