Monday, March 1, 2021
March 1, 2021

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Clark County’s New Year’s COVID-19 surge continues to ebb as vaccination plans evolve

Clark, Cowlitz and Skamania counties to be assisted by federal incident management team

By , Columbian Metro Editor

Clark County reported 90 new COVID-19 cases and no new deaths Wednesday as Public Health announced federal officials will deploy a Type 1 incident management team to Southwest Washington to help plan and manage community vaccination sites.

The incident management team will serve Clark, Cowlitz and Skamania counties, working to establish multiple community vaccination sites in the region, including some mobile sites that would allow for vaccination at high-risk workplaces.

Other community partners, such as health care providers and schools, will be involved in the process as well, the county said in a press release Wednesday.

“We are thrilled to have Pacific Northwest Incident Management Team 3 in Southwest Washington,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer and Public Health director. “Through a coordinated effort between the incident management team, the three counties and community partners, we will be able to more quickly and efficiently get people in Southwest Washington vaccinated against COVID-19.”

Details about the vaccination sites, including locations and opening dates, are not yet available, the county said. Updates are promised in the coming days.

News about the stepped-up vaccination plans came as Clark County approaches the milestone of 16,000 COVID-19 cases. The total on Wednesday was 15,961. There has been an average of about 119 new daily cases since Friday, continuing a downward trend from previous weeks.

The number of deaths from COVID-19 were unchanged Wednesday at 164. Four deaths were reported Tuesday, according to Public Health data.

The number of active cases and hospitalizations also fell. There were 770 active cases on Wednesday, down from 794 on Tuesday. The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 dropped to 57 on Wednesday, down from 65 the day before. The number of people hospitalized awaiting test results held steady at eight, according to Public Health data.

People included in Phase 1a or Phase 1b Tier 1 (B1) of the state’s vaccination plan are now eligible to be vaccinated. People who are eligible and need help accessing COVID-19 vaccine can submit a request form on the Public Health website.

All requests must be submitted through the webform. Public Health is connecting eligible people to local health care facilities with the COVID-19 vaccine. Public Health is not administering COVID-19 vaccine at its Center for Community Health offices.

Public Health began accepting requests from people eligible in Phase 1b Tier 1 on Tuesday morning. In the first 24 hours, Public Health received more than 11,000 request forms. Given the large number of requests and the continued limited vaccine supply, it may take several weeks before those who submitted forms are contacted by a facility. Public Health will not be able to provide individual updates on the status of requests.

People who used the state’s Phase Finder tool to determine whether they are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination must still submit a request form on the Public Health website if they need help accessing vaccine. The Phase Finder tool does not connect eligible people to facilities with vaccine and it does not send information to Clark County Public Health.