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News / Health / Clark County Health

COVID rates down in Clark County ahead of holiday weekend

Clark County hospitals remain near capacity

By Nika Bartoo-Smith, Columbian staff reporter
Published: December 22, 2022, 4:04pm

As holidays begin and winter weather settles in, respiratory viruses continue to overwhelm emergency departments in Clark County.

“Holiday celebrations are upon us, but COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses continue to circulate in our community. Before gathering with friends and family, consider taking an at-home COVID-19 test, especially if you’ll be around people who are at risk for severe illness,” said Marissa Armstrong, communications program coordinator for Clark County Public Health.

“If you test positive or if you’re not feeling well — even if you test negative for COVID-19 — stay home so you don’t get others sick.”

The county’s COVID-19 activity rate, which measures new cases per 100,000 population over seven days, declined from 88.7 on Dec. 15 to 66.5 as of Thursday, according to Clark County Public Health data.

The COVID-19 activity rate is down across the county, but health officials continue to ask the community to take measures to keep everyone safe.

“When gathering with others, consider wearing a mask in crowded or poorly ventilated places and be sure to wash hands frequently. Taking these simple steps can help keep you and your loved ones healthy this holiday season,” Armstrong said.

This week, 795 new cases were reported, bringing county totals to 109,748. Public Health reported three new deaths, bringing the county’s toll to 980. Deaths are usually recorded 10 to 12 days after they occur.

Clark County hospitals remain near capacity with 98.4 percent of hospital beds and 94.9 percent of intensive care beds occupied.

Patients with or suspected of having COVID-19 occupied 11.5 percent of hospital beds this week, down from 15 percent on Dec. 15. Patients with or suspected of having COVID-19 occupied 13.6 percent of ICU beds, up from 12.8 percent Dec. 15.

Hospitals in Clark County were treating 64 people with or suspected of having COVID-19 as of this week, down from 83 people Dec. 15. The rate of new hospital admissions over seven days slightly decreased to 9.4 per 100,000, down from 9.6 last week.

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

The CDC encourages everyone 5 and older to get an updated bivalent COVID-19 booster, which is available for free across Clark County.

For more information on where to schedule a vaccine or booster, visit VaccineFinder.org.

Columbian staff reporter