Clark County’s reported COVID-19 activity rate and hospitalizations increased this week as disease activity continues to trend upward.
The COVID-19 activity rate, which measures new cases per 100,000 population over seven days, rose from 35.7 last week to 70.3 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.
New hospitalizations this week rose from 1.2 to 3.4 per 100,000 residents over seven days, according to Public Health. It is also the largest reported increase in hospitalizations since they began falling in February.
As of Tuesday, 98.5 percent of Clark County hospital beds and 94.7 percent of ICU beds were occupied. Hospitals reported that 30 beds — accounting for 5.5 percent of hospital beds and 7 percent of ICU beds — were occupied by people with or suspected of having COVID-19.
Last week, no ICU beds were occupied by people with or suspected of having COVID-19, according to Public Health data.
One new death from COVID-19 was reported this week, a man in his 60s.
The new death pushes the total number of people who have died from COVID-19 in Clark County to 796. Deaths are added to the county’s total typically 10 to 12 days after they occur.
Public Health reported 599 new cases this week, with 427 confirmed by molecular testing, for 74,698 to date, and 172 using antigen testing, for 14,862.
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.
If the disease activity rate and hospitalizations continue trending upward, Clark County could soon become medium-risk, meaning masks and social distancing would be more strongly recommended in indoor settings.
The Washington State Department of Health reported that as of April 25, 65.7 percent of Clark County residents age 5 or older were fully vaccinated against COVID-19.