Thursday, June 30, 2022
June 30, 2022

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Clark County COVID-19 activity rate continues steady rise

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:

Clark County’s reported COVID-19 activity rate increased this week as disease activity continues to ramp up.

The COVID-19 activity rate, which measures new cases per 100,000 population over seven days, rose from 165.7 last week to 217.5 as of Thursday, according to Clark County Public Health data.

New hospitalizations this week rose from 7.4 to 7.8 per 100,000 residents over seven days, according to Public Health.

As of Tuesday, 94.7 percent of Clark County hospital beds and 84.6 percent of ICU beds were occupied. Hospitals reported that 28 beds — accounting for 15 percent of hospital beds and 31.5 percent of ICU beds — were occupied by people with or suspected of having COVID-19.

Four new deaths from COVID-19 were reported this week. The deaths include three men and one woman age 80 or older.

The new deaths push the total number of people who have died from COVID-19 in Clark County to 811. Deaths are added to the county’s total typically 10 to 12 days after they occur.

Public Health reported 1,157 new cases this week, with 881 confirmed by molecular testing, for 77,618 to date, and 276 using antigen testing, for 15,759. 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 King, Snohomish, Pierce, Thurston, Clallam, Jefferson and Walla Walla, 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.

At a news conference Wednesday, Washington’s public health leaders said they weren’t issuing mandates but are “strongly recommending” masks be worn indoors in crowded or confined places. Indoor masks are still required in hospital and health care settings, long-term care settings and correctional facilities.

As parts of the state move from low risk to medium risk, health officials said it’s likely a matter of time before more areas also see the pace of cases increase. Masks are still not required in medium-risk counties. Masks are recommended in all indoor public settings in high-risk counties, however.

“This is a time for you to be wearing a well-fitted appropriate mask to be able to protect yourself and those around you,” said Secretary of Health Umair Shah. “We really have an opportunity to get ahead of this and prevent from what we’re seeing across the country.”

COVID-19 vaccines and boosters provide the best protection against COVID-19, according to Clark County Public Health.

Children 5 to 11 years old are now eligible for a COVID-19 booster dose in Washington and can receive a booster dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine 5 months after completing their primary vaccine series.

In Clark County, only about 25 percent of children 5 to 11 years old have completed their primary vaccine series. Immunocompromised children should receive their booster at least 3 months after their primary series, according to Public Health.

The Washington State Department of Health reported that as of May 23, 66 percent of Clark County residents age 5 or older were fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Here are ways you can find a vaccine location near you:

Washington residents can now access eight free at-home COVID-19 tests through the federal government’s test kit program. To place an order, go to www.COVIDtests.gov. Orders require a name and address, and the tests will be delivered to your door by the U.S. Postal Service at no cost. If you need helping placing an order, call 800-232-0233.

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