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Thursday, February 22, 2024
Feb. 22, 2024

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Clark County’s COVID-19 activity rate decreases; county remains at low risk

By , Columbian staff writer

Clark County’s COVID-19 activity rate decreased this week. Hospitalizations increased slightly, but the county remains at low risk for disease transmission, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The COVID-19 activity rate, which measures new cases per 100,000 population over seven days, fell from 105.4 last week to 88.9 as of Thursday, according to Clark County Public Health data. Public Health reported 494 new cases this week, for 103,666 to date.

The CDC determines a county’s risk level based on its current number of cases, hospitalizations and overall hospital occupancy.

Recommendations for low-risk counties include staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and getting tested if you have symptoms. If you test positive for COVID-19, you should stay home for at least five days, according to the CDC.

People who are exposed to the virus no longer need to quarantine at home, regardless of their vaccination status; however, they should wear a mask for 10 days and get tested for the virus on day five, according to CDC guidelines.

If you test positive for COVID-19 with an at-home test, call the state’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-525-0127 to report your result.

New hospitalizations rose this week from 7 to 8.8 per 100,000 residents over seven days, according to Public Health.

As of Monday, 98.1 percent of Clark County hospital beds and 95.7 percent of ICU beds were occupied. Hospitals reported that 61 beds — accounting for 11.7 percent of hospital beds and 4.3 percent of ICU beds — were occupied by people with or suspected of having COVID-19, according to Public Health.

Clark County reported six deaths from COVID-19 this week. The deaths include one woman in her 60s, two men and one woman in their 70s and one man and one woman age 80 or older. Deaths are typically added to the county’s total 10 to 12 days after they occur.

The Washington State Department of Health reported that as of Monday, 63.5 percent of Clark County residents age 6 months or older were fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

If you test positive for COVID-19 and are at higher risk of becoming very sick, you may be eligible for treatments that can help prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death. Treatments such as antivirals and monoclonal antibodies are available, but treatment must begin within several days of testing positive or developing symptoms, according to Public Health.

Learn more about COVID-19 treatments on the state Department of Health website.