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May 7, 2021

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Clark County COVID-19 activity rate jumps 34 percent

Public Health reports 99 new confirmed and probable cases and one new death on Tuesday

By , Columbian Metro Editor

Clark County reported 99 new COVID-19 cases and one death Tuesday as the latest data on the disease activity rate rose 34 percent over last week’s level, according to Clark County Public Health.

The fatality was a man in his 50s, according to Public Health. It’s not known if he had any underlying conditions. His was the 255th death from COVID-19 to date. Deaths are added to the county’s total 10 to 12 days after they occur.

Public Health reported the county’s rate of new cases rose to 198.1 per 100,000 population over 14 days, up from a rate of 147.6 reported April 20 and well above the 2021 low of 88.8 reported March 16. While still in the state’s “moderate” range, the current rate is the highest since mid-February, when it hit 209.8 as it declined from a peak of 473.7 on Jan. 18.

Positivity rates also have been increasing since a low in mid-March, with the latest data from the week of April 4-10 showing 5.55 percent of tests returning positive, or 375 out of 6,757 tests administered. The positivity rate was 4.37 last week, according to Public Health data.

The increasing case numbers come with the introduction of the B.1.1.7 variant, which spreads more easily and quickly than other variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The variant has been detected in Clark County, and the state Department of Health estimates that about 50 to 60 percent of all COVID-19 cases in the state are due to that variant.

Public Health reported 90 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed by molecular (PCR) testing, raising the county’s total to 21,101 cases, with nine new probable cases diagnosed using antigen testing, pushing that total to 945 cases to date.

Combined, the new cases represent an average of 95.5 new cases a day since Friday, up from an average of 87 cases a day last week and about 71 cases a day the week ending April 16, according to Public Health.

The number of active cases, which counts both confirmed and probable cases still in their isolation period, rose to 646 on Tuesday, up from 635 on Monday, according to Public Health data. There were 31 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Clark County on Tuesday, down from 32 on Monday, and four people hospitalized awaiting test results, up from two on Monday.

Anyone age 16 or older is eligible to be vaccinated, though underage teens are advised to check with vaccination sites about what sort of parental consent might be needed prior to vaccination.

To schedule an appointment at a number of locations throughout Clark County, including mass vaccination sites, visit the Washington Department of Health Vaccine Locator.

Those who do not have internet access or need help scheduling an appointment can call Public Health from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 888-225-4625. Call center representatives can assist with scheduling. Language assistance is available.

As of Saturday, 176,052 people in Clark County had received a first vaccination, representing 35.27 percent of county residents, according to the Washington State Department of Health. The state reported that 122,478 people, or 24.53 percent of the population, had been fully vaccinated.