<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=192888919167017&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Tuesday, November 28, 2023
Nov. 28, 2023

Linkedin Pinterest

Technical glitch results in undercount of weekend Clark County COVID-19 case numbers

Public Health says its report of 341 new cases over three days is 'artificially low'

By , Columbian Metro Editor

Clark County Public Health reported 341 new COVID-19 cases since Friday as the pandemic’s autumn surge continues, but officials warn the actual number of new cases is higher.

Several providers submit positive test results to Clark County Public Health via fax, but the agency reported Monday that it had a problem with its fax system over the weekend that prevented some positive test results from coming through.

“Our case numbers today are artificially low,” Public Health said in a social media post. “We’re working with providers to collect positive test results while we work to get the fax issue resolved. We will include any unreported cases in tomorrow’s report.”

Even at an artificially low level, however, the 341 new cases represent the highest three-day total reported by Public Health, up 10 percent from the previous three-day record of 310 new cases on Nov. 16.

The new COVID-19 cases bring the county’s total to 7,610 to date.

No new deaths were reported Monday. COVID-19 has been blamed for 89 deaths since March. Ten people died from COVID-19 last week.

On Monday, there were 499 active cases, which are people still in their isolation period. That number is down from 546 active cases Friday, according to Public Health data.

Hospitalizations held steady, with 65 people hospitalized with COVID-19 and seven hospitalized awaiting test results. People with or suspected of having COVID-19 occupy 11.5 percent of all licensed hospital beds in Clark County.

Facing a surging number of COVID-19 cases, Public Health had announced it would no longer attempt contact tracing for those who have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. On Monday, the agency went a step further and said its staff might even not be able to interview all new COVID-19 cases, either.

“Public Health is still striving to call every person who tests positive. However, given the increasing case numbers, not all cases will be reached for an interview,” the agency said in a press release. “Public Health has begun prioritizing the most recent cases. Those cases who are not reached within two days of the positive test result will not likely receive a call from Public Health.”

“We’re working with our local health care providers to ensure everyone who tests positive receives the appropriate information, even if Public Health is unable to reach them,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County Public Health director and county health officer. “The Public Health website also contains information for COVID-19 cases and their close contacts, as well as links to additional resources.”

Support local journalism

Your tax-deductible donation to The Columbian’s Community Funded Journalism program will contribute to better local reporting on key issues, including homelessness, housing, transportation and the environment. Reporters will focus on narrative, investigative and data-driven storytelling.

Local journalism needs your help. It’s an essential part of a healthy community and a healthy democracy.

Community Funded Journalism logo
Columbian Metro Editor