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News / Health / Clark County Health

Clark County reports 18 new COVID-19 deaths as disease activity begins to increase

Disease activity increased this week for the first time since late October

By Dylan Jefferies, Columbian staff writer
Published: December 16, 2021, 2:04pm

Clark County reported 18 deaths from COVID-19 and 660 new cases in the past week as disease activity rebounded, according to Clark County Public Health.

The deaths include one man in his 30s, one man in his 40s, one man in his 50s, one man and two women in their 60s, seven men and one woman in their 70s, and two men and two women age 80 or over, according to information released Thursday.

The number of deaths reported this week surpassed last week, when 16 deaths were reported, the highest number of deaths recorded in a week since mid-October.

To date, 579 people have died from COVID-19 in Clark County. Deaths are added to the county’s total 10 to 12 days after they occur.

The uptick in deaths came as the number of new cases decreased slightly from last week, with 526 cases confirmed by molecular testing, for 41,742 to date, and 134 diagnosed using antigen testing, for 4,953. Combined, the new cases work out to an average of about 94 new cases per day, down from about 98 new cases per day last week.

The number of active cases still in their isolation period fell to 702 this week, down from 792 last week, according to Public Health.

The COVID-19 activity rate, which measures new cases per 100,000 population over 14 days, increased this week for the first time since late October, rising from 237.2 per 100,000 last week to 273.6 as of Thursday. The rate peaked at 549.3 on Sept. 9. Any rate higher than 200 is considered high by health officials.

The rate of new hospital admissions dipped slightly this week, falling to 6.4 per 100,000 residents over seven days, down from 6.8 last week, according to Public Health data.

As of Tuesday, 93.9 percent of Clark County’s hospital beds and 89.2 percent of its ICU beds were occupied. Hospitals reported that 58 beds – accounting for 10.7 percent of total beds and 15.4 percent of ICU beds – were occupied by people with or suspected of having COVID-19.

The Washington Department of Health reported that as of Dec. 10, 66.3 percent of Clark County residents age 12 or older were fully vaccinated against COVID-19.