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Thursday, February 22, 2024
Feb. 22, 2024

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Clark County’s COVID-19 hospitalizations down slightly after two-week plateau

No new deaths reported as activity rate increases

By , Columbian staff writer

Clark County’s reported COVID-19 activity rate increased this week although hospitalizations decreased slightly.

The COVID-19 activity rate, which measures new cases per 100,000 population over 7 days, rose from 26 last week to 35.7 as of Thursday, according to Clark County Public Health data. It is the largest increase in disease activity since the rate began falling precipitously in February following the omicron surge.

Hospitalizations decreased this week after plateauing for two weeks. Additionally, no new deaths were reported this week. The last time no deaths were reported was the week of July 22, 2021, the same week the case rate fell to 23.8, the lowest rate reported since Public Health began reporting the statistic.

New hospitalizations this week fell from 1.4 to 1.2 per 100,000 residents over seven days, according to Public Health.

As of Tuesday, 98.4 percent of Clark County’s hospital beds and 94.2 percent of its ICU beds were occupied. Hospitals reported that 27 beds — accounting for 4.9 percent of hospital beds and no ICU beds — were occupied by people with or suspected of having COVID-19.

With no new deaths reported, the total number of people who have died from COVID-19 in Clark County stands at 795.

Public Health reported 339 new cases this week, with 279 confirmed by molecular testing, for 74,271 to date, and 60 using antigen testing, for 14,690.

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 remains at low risk along with every county in Washington despite rising case rates throughout much of the state.

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.

The Washington State Department of Health reported that as of April 18, 65.6 percent of Clark County residents age 5 or older were fully vaccinated against COVID-19.