Clark County’s COVID-19 activity remained in the moderate range for school reopening for the third week in a row, according to Clark County Public Health, which reported 21 new cases and no new deaths Tuesday.
The county’s COVID-19 activity level fell to 63.05 in data released Tuesday as school began in several local districts. The level measures the total number of new cases in a 14-day period per 100,000 population. The rate was 71.6 as of Aug. 24, 74.7 as of Aug. 17 and 88.0 as of Aug. 10.
A statement from Clark County Public Health released Tuesday urged people to wear face coverings and practice physical distancing during the upcoming Labor Day weekend to keep the downward trend going.
“Wearing face coverings and maintaining physical distancing are effective at slowing the spread of COVID-19,” Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer and Public Health director said in a statement from Public Health. “We need to do everything we can to continue to lower the infection rate so kids can safely return to the classroom.”
With COVID-19 activity at moderate levels, state health officials recommend that schools offer no sports or extracurricular activities and provide distance learning with the option for limited in-person learning for students who need it most, such as children with disabilities and students living homeless.
Clark County school districts have adopted remote learning for the upcoming year, and health officials have said the county would need to see activity levels remain in the moderate category for at least three weeks in a row after the Labor Day weekend before considering relaxing restrictions.
“Our actions over the holiday weekend could impact how quickly Clark County students can return to their schools in person,” said Dr. Steven Krager, Clark County deputy health officer.
The new cases push the total number of COVID-19 cases to 2,631 to date. There have been 51 deaths reported associated with the virus in Clark County, according to Public Health.
There are 19 people hospitalized with COVID-19 and six people hospitalized awaiting test results, according to Public Health.
Small private gatherings continue to be a common place where COVID-19 spreads, according to Public Health. In July, private gatherings of one to 10 people were the likely source of exposure for 22 percent of Clark County COVID-19 cases for which exposure data was available.
“Any gatherings should be limited to no more than five people from outside of the household – the largest gathering size allowed under Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan,” the Public Health statement said. “Face coverings should be worn anytime people are gathering with others from outside of their household, not just in public places.”
As of midnight Sunday, there were 74,635 cases in Washington and 1,915 deaths, with a 2.6 percent death rate, according to the Washington Department of Health.