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Sept. 20, 2021

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Clark County reports 50 new COVID-19 cases, one death as case counts fall

Latest Public Health data shows county has passed below a key benchmark tracking disease activity

By , Columbian Metro Editor

Clark County recorded 50 new COVID-19 cases and one death Tuesday as updated data shows disease activity in the county falling below what has been a key benchmark for reopening.

The new death was recorded as the rate of new cases per 100,000 over 14 days fell to 194.1 in the latest data from Clark County Public Health, down from 228 cases per 100,000 last week and a fourth-wave peak of 276.6 cases on May 10.

A case rate below 200 per 100,000 has been one of two key measures the state had used to determine reopening guidelines before Gov. Jay Inslee announced the state would reopen by June 30, or sooner if statewide vaccination rates reached 70 percent for those age 16 and older.

Clark County continues to lag in the second measure, which tracks the rate of new hospital admissions per 100,000 over seven days. The county reported 7 hospital admissions per 100,000 this week, up from 6.6 per 100,000 last week.

Test positivity dropped in the most recent data available, for the period of May 16-22, with 5.82 percent of tests coming back positive, down from 7.76 percent the week before, according to Public Health data.

The new cases included 35 that were confirmed by molecular (PCR) testing, for a running total of 23,890 to date, and 15 probable cases diagnosed by antigen testing, for a total of 1,441 to date, according to Public Health data.

The county has been averaging about 53 new cases a day since Friday, according to Public Health data, down from previous weeks. The number of active cases fell to 441 on Tuesday, down from 448 on Monday.

Hospitalizations held steady, with 41 people hospitalized with COVID-19, down from 42 on Monday, and three people hospitalized awaiting test results, up from two on Monday, according to Public Health data, which showed that the county’s ICU bed occupancy by all patients had fallen to 84.8 percent on Tuesday, down from 92.4 percent on Monday.

The fatality recorded Tuesday was a man in his 60s with an underlying condition, according to Clark County Public Health. His death brings the total number of deaths from COVID-19 to 274 to date. Deaths are added to the county’s total 10-12 days after they occur. Two deaths were recorded last week and seven the week before.

Data for Clark County and the state show that COVID-19 vaccines are extremely effective at preventing COVID-19 infections as well as hospitalizations and deaths. According to county data from May 25, only about 0.07 percent of fully vaccinated Clark County residents have contracted COVID-19.

Anyone age 16 or older is eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and anyone age 12 or older is eligible to be vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine, though a parent or legal guardian must accompany minors ages 12 to 15. Underage teens are advised to check with vaccination sites about what sort of parental consent might be needed.

Vaccinations are available without an appointment in Clark County, including the Tower Mall vaccination site, 5403 E. Mill Plain Blvd. in Vancouver. The Tower Mall site will close at the end of June.

More information about opportunities for vaccination is available on Clark County Public Health’s COVID-19 vaccine information website. Appointments at a number of locations throughout Clark County can be scheduled through 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.