Clark County Public Health confirmed eight novel coronavirus cases Friday afternoon. None of the cases are linked to outbreaks at Firestone Pacific Foods in Vancouver or at Pacific Crest Building Supply in Ridgefield.
Clark County has confirmed 630 cases and 28 deaths. No new deaths have been reported since Monday. There are four people hospitalized for the virus in Clark County.
At least 13,206 people have been tested in Clark County, according to Public Health.
On Friday, ilani Casino Resort confirmed that an employee tested positive for COVID-19, according to The Daily News. The employee, who lives in Cowlitz County, has been isolated, and ilani is working with health officials to identify and isolate other close contacts.
There are 132 confirmed cases linked to Firestone, and 23 cases linked to Pacific Crest, but nine of Pacific Crest’s employees live outside Clark County.
On Monday, Clark County confirmed 32 new coronavirus cases, the second-highest daily report by the county, since the pandemic began. On Tuesday, two cases were confirmed. On Wednesday, four cases were confirmed. Thursday brought another uptick, with 16 cases confirmed.
According to The Seattle Times, infections have risen by 20 percent across Washington in the nearly three weeks since Memorial Day. In that same time period, Clark County has seen a 39 percent rise in cases.
The state Department of Health is studying whether this rise in cases in tied to localized outbreaks such as Firestone and Pacific Crest or if the rise is tied to greater community transmission. Washington counties and other states have started reopening businesses and loosening restrictions, which risks greater community spread.
Clark County has had 208 confirmed cases reported since Memorial Day, but 155 of those cases — around 75 percent — are tied to Pacific Crest and Firestone.
Health experts have not yet been able to link protests across the state and nation to increased case counts, and have been quick to note that many people were gathering, and not minding physical distancing guidelines, before protests began.
Health experts have so far been supportive of nonviolent protests, which began following the May 25 death of George Floyd after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.
Ranu S. Dhillon, an infectious disease expert at Harvard Medical School, told The Washington Post that protests are risky, but essential.
“Protesting against systemic injustice that is contributing directly to this pandemic is essential,” Dhillon told The Post. “The right to live, the right to breathe, the right to walk down the street without police coming at you for no reason . . . that’s different than me wanting to go to my place of worship on the weekend, me wanting to take my kid on a roller coaster, me wanting to go to brunch with my friends.”