Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Jan. 20, 2021

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Clark County COVID-19 activity level falls into ‘moderate’ range

Lower activity aids efforts to return students to school, though new cases are trending back up

By , Columbian Metro Editor

Clark County’s COVID-19 activity level fell for the third week in row, moving the county into the “moderate” range for state school reopening guidelines, though new cases are trending upward.

Clark County Public Health reported on Monday that the county was at 324.87 cases per 100,000 population over 14 days, down from an activity level of 386.08 the previous week.

Under revised standards from the state, COVID-19 activity is considered “moderate” with 50 to 350 new cases per 100,000 population over 14 days and test positivity between 5 and 10 percent.

The good news reflects declining disease activity since mid-December, but it also comes as Public Health is reporting an increased number of new cases compared with the last week of 2020. The 14-day period starts six days prior to the reporting date of Jan. 4, so the uptick in cases since Dec. 31 are not included the most recent activity level figure.

Testing data reflects the beginning of the mid-December decline, with a positivity rate of 9.41 percent on 9,175 tests administered between Dec. 13 and 19, the most recent data available.

Public Health reported 123 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, pushing the county’s total to 13,815 cases to date and putting the average daily number of new cases at 180.6 since Dec. 30.

The number of deaths from COVID-19 remained unchanged at 144 to date, according to Public Health data.

There were 1,004 active cases as of Tuesday, up from 976 Monday. Active cases are people with positive test results who are in their isolation period and still capable of spreading the disease.

Hospitalizations rose. There were 76 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Clark County on Tuesday, up from 60 the day before. There were four people hospitalized awaiting test results.

The state guidelines, which are advisory only, suggest a phasing in of in-person learning, beginning with elementary students not already in-person and middle school students with “moderate” COVID-19 activity.

If schools can demonstrate the ability to limit transmission in schools, the state guidelines recommend adding in high school students after middle school students.