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Sunday, February 25, 2024
Feb. 25, 2024

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Clark County COVID-19 activity rate, hospitalizations continue to increase

By , Columbian staff writer

Clark County’s reported COVID-19 activity rate and hospitalizations increased this week as disease activity continues to accelerate.

The COVID-19 activity rate, which measures new cases per 100,000 population over seven days, rose from 70.3 last week to 122 as of Thursday, according to Clark County Public Health data.

New hospitalizations this week rose from 3.4 to 4.2 per 100,000 residents over seven days, according to Public Health.

As of Tuesday, 97.9 percent of Clark County hospital beds and 95.9 percent of ICU beds were occupied. Hospitals reported that 49 beds — accounting for 9.3 percent of hospital beds and 6.1 percent of ICU beds — were occupied by people with or suspected of having COVID-19.

Three new deaths from COVID-19 were reported this week. The deaths include two men in their 60s and one man age 80 or older.

The new deaths push the total number of people who have died from COVID-19 in Clark County to 799. Deaths are added to the county’s total typically 10 to 12 days after they occur.

Public Health reported 781 new cases this week, with 578 confirmed by molecular testing, for 75,276 to date, and 203 using antigen testing, for 15,065. The actual number of new cases is likely higher due to unreported at-home tests, according to Clark County Public Health officials.

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

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 except for Walla Walla, Pacific and King, which are at medium risk.

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, though 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 will soon become medium risk. Masks are still not required in medium-risk counties. Masks are recommended in all indoor public settings in high-risk counties, however.

The Washington State Department of Health reported that as of May 2, 65.8 percent of Clark County residents age 5 or older were fully vaccinated against COVID-19.