Clark County’s reported COVID-19 activity rate dropped slightly this week as the epidemiological curve continues to plateau.
The COVID-19 activity rate, which measures new cases per 100,000 population over 7 days, fell from 26.2 last week to 24.4 as of Thursday, according to Clark County Public Health data.
Last week, Clark County Public Health began reporting the seven-day rate rather than 14-day rate to align with reporting from the Washington State Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The case rate this week is almost as low as it was during the week of July 22, 2021, when the case rate dropped to 23.8, the lowest rate reported since Public Health began reporting the statistic in July 2020.
Public Health reported 383 new cases this week, with 118 confirmed by molecular testing, for 73,816 to date, and 265 using antigen testing, for 14,601.
The Washington Department of Health is clearing a backlog of cases caused by reporting delays during the omicron surge. As a result, some cases added to the total this week may have occurred earlier. Because of this, the activity rate provides a more accurate picture of virus activity compared with the number of new cases reported in a week, according to Public Health. The activity rate reflects the number of cases reported in a week based on when a test was administered, not when results were reported.
Public Health reported 1.4 new hospitalizations per 100,000 residents over seven days this week, the same as last week.
As of Tuesday, 97.4 percent of Clark County’s hospital beds and 95.3 percent of its ICU beds were occupied. Hospitals reported that 26 beds — accounting for 5.2 percent of hospital beds and 4.7 percent of ICU beds — were occupied by people with or suspected of having COVID-19.
Five new deaths from COVID-19 were reported in Clark County this week. The deaths include one man in his 40s, one man in his 60s, one woman in her 70s and two women age 80 or older.
The new deaths push the total number of people who have died from COVID-19 in Clark County to 794. Deaths are added to the county’s total typically 10 to 12 days after they occur.
The Washington State Department of Health reported that as of March 28, 65.3 percent of Clark County residents age 5 or older were fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Community Levels — a data tool that determines a county’s COVID-19 risk level based on its current number of cases, hospitalizations and overall hospital occupancy — Clark County is at low risk, along with every county in Washington.
Recommendations for residents of low-risk counties include staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and getting tested if you have symptoms. Masks are not required in low-risk counties. However, masks and social distancing are still recommended for people at high risk for serious illness. Additionally, people who are exposed to COVID-19 or who are showing symptoms are still required to follow quarantine guidelines.
People who are 50 years and older and certain immunocompromised people can now get a second booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine at least four months after getting their first booster dose.
COVID-19 vaccines and boosters continue to be free, and Clark County medical clinics and pharmacies have adequate supply of vaccine, according to Clark County Public Health. People who are eligible for a second booster dose can contact their medical provider or a local pharmacy to schedule a vaccination appointment.