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Aug. 19, 2022

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Clark County COVID-19 case rate falls sharply this week

Public Health data shows rate of new hospitalizations also falling

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:
3 Photos
Jordan Bates of Aristo Healthcare, left, administers a dose of COVID-19 vaccine to a person experiencing homelessness at St. Joseph Catholic Church on Thursday. The clinic was part of the Washington State Department of Health's "Health-in-motion Care-a-van", which is a mobile vaccine clinic that made two stops in Vancouver.
Jordan Bates of Aristo Healthcare, left, administers a dose of COVID-19 vaccine to a person experiencing homelessness at St. Joseph Catholic Church on Thursday. The clinic was part of the Washington State Department of Health's "Health-in-motion Care-a-van", which is a mobile vaccine clinic that made two stops in Vancouver. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Clark County reported a sharp drop in its COVID-19 disease activity rate this week as the omicron surge continues to ebb.

The COVID-19 activity rate, which measures new cases per 100,000 population over 14 days, decreased from 1,017 per 100,000 last week to 527.4 as of Thursday, a 48 percent drop. Any rate above 200 is considered high by health officials.

While the decrease in the disease activity rate is significant, it remains roughly as high as the peak of September’s delta wave, according to Clark County Public Health data.

Hospitalizations also decreased this week, but hospitals remain near capacity.

New hospitalizations this week fell from 24 per 100,000 residents over seven days to 18.4 per 100,000 over seven days, according to Public Health.

As of Tuesday, 97.8 percent of Clark County’s hospital beds and 93.3 percent of its ICU beds were occupied. Hospitals reported that 77 beds — accounting for 13.9 percent of hospital beds and 6.7 percent of ICU beds — were occupied by people with or suspected of having COVID-19.

Ten new deaths were reported in Clark County this week. The deaths include one woman in her 30s, one man in his 50s, one woman in her 60s and two men and five women age 80 or older.

The new deaths push the total number of people who have died from COVID-19 in Clark County to 744. Deaths are added to the county’s total typically 10 to 12 days after they occur.

Public Health reported 657 confirmed COVID-19 cases, for 68,375 to date. Public Health subtracted 52 probable cases from its totals, bringing the total number of probable cases to 14,241.

The total number of probable cases were lowered by 52 this week due to data cleanup efforts. In those efforts, individuals who had tested positive with an antigen test and then later tested positive with a PCR test  are removed from the probable total and added to the confirmed total.

Combined, the new cases work out to an average of about 86 new cases per day, down from about 317 new cases per day last week. The actual number of new cases is likely higher due to unreported at-home tests, according to Clark County Public Health officials.

The number of active cases still in their isolation period decreased to 1,083 this week, down from 2,361 last week, according to Public Health.

The Washington State Department of Health reported that as of Feb. 4, 64.2 percent of Clark County residents age 5 or older were fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Getting vaccinated remains the best way to protect yourself from severe COVID-19 symptoms, according to Public Health officials. Hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19 occur disproportionately among the unvaccinated.

Between Feb. 13 and Feb. 19, new cases among unvaccinated people were 6.5 times higher than among fully vaccinated people, and three times as many unvaccinated people were hospitalized as fully vaccinated people, according to Public Health data. Between Jan. 30 and Feb. 5, nine times as many unvaccinated people died from COVID-19 as fully vaccinated people, according to Public Health data.

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