Tuesday, July 14, 2020
July 14, 2020

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Clark County confirms 68 new COVID-19 cases

By , Columbian staff writer

Clark County Public Health confirmed 68 new COVID-19 cases Monday afternoon, the second-highest county tally reported in one day.

The count includes positive tests from over the weekend.

The 68 new cases are the second largest one-day confirmation of new cases for Clark County since May 26, when 83 new cases were confirmed, almost all of which were connected to an outbreak at Firestone Pacific Foods in Vancouver. That total also included positive tests from Memorial Day weekend.

Clark County Public Health has not received word on its Phase 3 application, and does not have a new timeline for when a Phase 3 decision could be made. A decision has been expected early this week.

COVID-19 infection is spiking across Washington and most of the U.S.

The county now has 826 confirmed cases to date and 29 deaths. The county has a rate of 15.1 newly diagnosed cases per 100,000 population, well under the state’s target to enter Phase 3 of 25 newly diagnosed cases per 100,000 population.

Even so, the influx of cases might pause Clark County’s Phase 3 application, which was expected to be decided on by early this week. Clark County has been in Phase 2 since June 5, and applied for Phase 3 on Friday, the first day it was eligible to apply.

Of 72 confirmed cases that have completed investigations with Public Health since June 22, 20 people were likely exposed through household transmission and 11 people were likely exposed at a private gathering with up to 10 people, according to Public Health data. The categories are not mutually exclusive and one case may fit into multiple categories.

There were 44 people who indicated that they had known contact with a confirmed or probable case during their exposure period, and 20 people indicated they traveled outside Clark County during their exposure period, generally to the Portland metro area.

Because of rising COVID-19 rates across the state, Gov. Jay Inslee has already paused all Phase 4 applications for the time being. Phase 4 is the last stage of Washington’s COVID-19 recovery plan.

When Clark County first attempted to enter Phase 2, it encountered a large outbreak at Firestone that delayed entering Phase 2 by a couple of weeks.

Phase 3 would allow for outdoor group sports activities with 50 people or fewer. Gyms and pools would be able to open at less than 50 percent capacity. Public gatherings of up to 50 people would be allowed, including spiritual or religious services.

Libraries and museums would be able to reopen in Phase 3. Movie theaters would be able to reopen at less than 50 percent capacity, and people could resume nonessential travel. Restaurants and taverns could increase from 50 to 75 percent capacity, and bar areas in restaurants and taverns could hold 25 percent capacity.