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Sept. 20, 2021

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Clark County reports 65 new COVID-19 cases, one new death on Thursday

New Public Health data shows that vaccination rates vary widely across the county

By , Columbian Metro Editor

Clark County reported 65 new COVID-19 cases and one new death on Thursday, as new data shows widely varying vaccination rates across the county.

The fatality was a woman in her 60s with an underlying condition, according to Clark County Public Health. Her death brings the county’s death toll from COVID-19 to 277 to date. Deaths are added to the county’s total 10-12 days after they occur. Four deaths have been recorded this week.

The new cases include 61 that were confirmed using molecular (PCR) testing, for a total of 23,972 to date, and four probable cases diagnosed with antigen testing, for a total of 1,457 to date, according to Public Health data.

The county has been averaging about 52 new cases a day since Friday, down from a fourth wave peak of about 95 new cases a day in the week ending May 7, according to Public Health data.

The number of active cases rose to 432 on Thursday, up from 427 on Wednesday. Active cases are confirmed and probable cases still in their isolation period.

Hospitalizations fell Thursday, with 38  people hospitalized with COVID-19, down from 41 on Wednesday, and no patients hospitalized awaiting test results, down from one person on Wednesday. The percent of licensed beds occupied by people with or suspected of having COVID-19 fell to 3.8 percent on Thursday, down from 7.1 percent on Wednesday.

Public Health had initially reported only 22 hospitalizations but reported later that lower number was in error and updated the count.

The latest data comes as a Public Health releases data showing that vaccination rates vary widely across Clark County, with the lowest vaccination rate in the area with the highest rate of COVID-19 infections.

A social media post by Public Health on Wednesday said that about 46 percent of all county residents have “initiated” vaccinations, meaning they have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Vaccination rates are only 22.5 percent among all residents in the 98675 ZIP code, according to Public Health. That area — which includes Yacolt, Amboy, Moulton and Dole — also has the highest density of COVID-19 cases based on population had 559 cases as of Tuesday, or a rate of 7,106.5 cases per 100,000.

The highest vaccination rate was 55.6 percent among all residents in the 98642 ZIP code, which includes Ridgefield and areas north of Salmon Creek and west of Interstate 5. That area ranked in the third of area ZIP codes with the lowest COVID-19 infection rates, according to Public Health data.

Vaccination information

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, there were only 124 cases of COVID-19 in vaccinated people reported as of May 25, the same day the county reported a total of 24,327 COVID-19 cases to that date.

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.