Clark County saw a large increase of confirmed COVID-19 cases over the weekend, adding 32 to the county’s official count on Monday, the first day of reported cases since the county entered Phase 2 on Friday.
This is the second largest one-day jump in cases, behind an 83-case jump on May 26, when 80 cases connected to the outbreak at Firestone Pacific Foods in Vancouver were confirmed.
A recent outbreak at Pacific Crest Building Supply has accounted for 13 of the county’s overall cases, with some of those cases confirmed over the weekend. Another five infected Pacific Crest employees lived outside Clark County.
Thirteen employees at Pacific Crest, a Ridgefield cabinet manufacturer, have tested negative for the virus. Another 112 employees are still awaiting testing and results, which indicates the outbreak will likely grow.
The outbreak at Firestone remained at 132 cases among employees and close contacts.
Clark County currently has three people hospitalized for treatment of the novel coronavirus. The county added one more death over the weekend, a man in his 60s. Clark County has had 603 confirmed cases and 28 deaths.
The county had gone multiple weeks with no confirmed deaths, but three patients have died in the last week.
Businesses such as restaurants, retail stores, beauty salons and barbershops in Clark County began reopening Friday under Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s recovery protocols. The increased activity is likely to contribute to increased spread of coronavirus.
But even before Phase 2 was approved, Clark County Public Health Officer Dr. Alan Melnick said people were already starting to relax their adherence to physical distancing measures. New cases connected to Memorial Day gatherings might also start appearing now, given the incubation time of the virus. Oregon and Washington have seen upticks in their confirmed case counts recently.
On Sunday, Oregon confirmed 146 cases, the state’s single-highest daily tally since the pandemic began. On Monday, Oregon followed that up with 114 confirmed cases, the state’s second-highest daily report. Oregon’s increase in cases has been connected to workplace outbreaks, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting.
On Monday, Washington confirmed 312 additional cases. The state rarely had more than 300 confirmed cases in one day in May. Oftentimes, the state had fewer than 200 cases in a day. On June 5, the state had 441 confirmed cases, according to state Department of Health data. Those totals are reminiscent of case counts from late March and early April.
People are encouraged to wear masks in public when they can’t keep 6 feet of space from others. Gatherings are restricted to five people or fewer from outside your household.
In a prepared statement last week, Clark County Council Vice Chair John Blom warned that it was necessary to still follow safety measures as restrictions eased.
“I’m pleased to see Clark County move into Phase 2 of the reopening plan, allowing many of our businesses to reopen and our residents to get back to work,” Blom said. “But this doesn’t mean we’re back to business as usual. Gathering sizes are still limited and businesses must take steps to protect the health of their employees and customers.”