Thursday, March 23, 2023
March 23, 2023

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Clark County COVID-19 infection rate rises since last report

No new deaths reported in latest data from Clark County Public Health

By , Columbian staff reporter

The COVID-19 infection rate in Clark County rose this week, following a week without an update during the Thanksgiving holiday.

The COVID-19 activity rate, which measures new cases per 100,000 population over seven days, rose from 47.9 on Nov. 17 to 74.5 as of Thursday, according to Public Health data.

Public Health reported 407 new cases this week, for a total 108,087 cases to date. No new deaths were reported this week, with county totals at 965 reported deaths. Deaths are typically reported 10 to 12 days after they occur, according to Public Health.

Clark County hospitals remain near capacity with 97.3 percent of hospital beds and 89.8 percent of intensive care beds occupied.

Emergency departments across the county continue to be overwhelmed with patients, seeing a surge of three respiratory diseases: COVID-19, flu and RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, Dr. Alan Melnick said during an online news conference called by Clark County Public Health. Health officials urge people to avoid the emergency departments and instead visit an urgent care clinic or call your primary care doctor unless it is an emergency.

Patients with or suspected of having COVID-19 occupied 10 percent of hospital beds this week, up from 7.5 percent on Nov. 17. Patients with or suspected of having COVID-19 occupied 16.9 percent of ICU beds, up from 10.2 percent Nov. 17.

Hospitals in Clark County were treating 56 people with or suspected of having COVID-19 as of this week, up from 42 people Nov. 17. The rate of new hospital admissions over seven days rose to 8.8 per 100,000, up from 6.8 last week.

The CDC recommends that everyone 5 years and older get an updated bivalent COVID-19 booster.

“The bivalent vaccine continues to demonstrate effectiveness, and more so than people who just had the primary series,” Melnick said. “That’s why we’re urging people, if they’re eligible, to get the bivalent, the newest version, of the COVID-19 vaccine.”

Currently, only around 20 percent of the eligible population in Clark County has received an updated COVID-19 booster, according to Washington State Department of Health data.

COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are available all across the county. For more information on where to schedule a vaccine or booster visit

If you test positive for COVID-19 with an at-home test, health officials ask that you report it to the state’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-525-0127. The CDC recommends that you stay home for at least five days upon testing positive and wear a mask if going out for five additional days.

Washington State Department of Health has decommissioned the Washington State Coronavirus Response website as of Thursday. Site visitors will now be redirected to the Department of Health COVID-19 landing page. The combining of online resources accompanies the end of the COVID-19 emergency order. All public health content on the old site will reportedly be moved to the Department of Health website.