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Wednesday, May 31, 2023
May 31, 2023

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Clark County records 25 new COVID-19 deaths, setting a new record

Deaths come as new cases and hospitalizations, while still high, dip slightly from last week’s levels

By , Columbian Metro Editor

Clark County recorded 25 deaths from COVID-19 this week, setting a new record, as new cases and hospitalizations dipped slightly from last week’s levels, according to the latest data from Clark County Public Health.

The deaths, which are added to the county’s total 10-12 days after they occur, included two men in their 50s, four men in 60s, three men in their 70s, five men age 80 or older, one woman in her 30s, one woman in her 40s, two women in their 60s, one woman in her 70s and six women age 80 or older, according to Public Health data. Information about underlying conditions was not available.

The 25 new deaths follow 24 last week and push the death toll from COVID-19 in Clark County to 398 to date.

Public Health reported 1,120 new cases over seven days, with 938 cases confirmed with molecular PCR testing, for 32,937 cases to date, and 182 probable cases diagnosed with antigen testing, for 3,212 to date. Combined, the county averaged 160 new cases a day, down from 174 last week and 228 in the seven days ending Sept. 2.

The rate of new cases rose this week to 521.2 per 100,000 population over two weeks, up from 506.1 last week but below the 549.3 record set on Sept. 9.

The rate of new hospitalizations fell slightly, with 17.2 new admissions per 100,000 over seven days, down from 20.2 last week, according to Public Health data.

Hospitals reported occupancy levels this week that remained high but were lower than last week. Public Health data showed 95 percent of the county’s hospital beds and 90.5 percent of its ICU beds were occupied as of Tuesday. Of those, 27.4 percent of all beds and 52.4 percent of the ICU beds were occupied by people with or suspected of having COVID-19.

Data on the vaccination status of hospital patients isn’t available for the entire county, but PeaceHealth reported that as of Tuesday, PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center was caring for 85 COVID-19 patients, with 71 of them not fully vaccinated and 14 fully vaccinated.

PeaceHealth reported one fully vaccinated patient in the ICU on a ventilator at its Vancouver hospital, but 19 who were not fully vaccinated. There were zero fully vaccinated patients in the ICU not on a ventilator, and three who were not fully vaccinated. There were 13 fully vaccinated patients hospitalized outside of an ICU, and 49 who were not fully vaccinated.

The Washington Department of Health reported that its latest sampling showed the delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, accounted for 100 percent of cases in the state. The report showed that as of Wednesday, the number of samples containing the delta variant climbed to 88 in Clark County, surpassing the alpha variant, which had been dominant in Clark County for much of the year, showing up in 68 samples to date.

Department of Health data showed vaccination rates are continuing to rise in Clark County, with 67.7 percent of eligible residents age 12 or older with at least one dose of vaccine and 61 percent fully vaccinated as of Monday. For all ages, 57.6 percent of the county had at least one dose and 51.9 percent were fully vaccinated.

Statewide, the Department of Health reported that its records show 75.8 percent of Washingtonians age 12 and older had at least one dose and 68.9 percent were fully vaccinated, using data that also includes vaccines administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense. Data for those two agencies is unavailable at the county level.