Clark County has seen a gradual increase in COVID-19 cases as the seasons change, with expectations of more respiratory illnesses as winter nears.
This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 132 people were hospitalized in Clark County due to COVID-19, a 4.8 percent increase from last week, as Clark County Public Health reported a weekly count of 224 positive cases, or 40.3 cases per 100,000 people.
Influenza and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, cases remain at 0 percent of hospital admissions and emergency visits so far.
Seasonal changes are often attributed to a spike in respiratory illnesses, but Communications Director Marissa Armstrong says these spikes can be unpredictable.
“The fall and into the winter is when we see respiratory illnesses in general increase,” Armstrong said. “We certainly wouldn’t be surprised if we started to see increases in COVID, influenza and RSV in the coming months.”
Armstrong encourages people to get their shots and remain up to date on their vaccines to reduce their risk. Gov. Jay Inslee concurred after testing positive for COVID-19 Thursday morning. This is the second time Inslee has contracted COVID-19 this year; he tested positive in February.
“COVID remains with us, and vaccination remains as important as ever,” Inslee said in a statement. “We are so appreciative that we have this vaccine that has the ability to keep you out of the hospital or worse. I’m glad I received it and encourage others to take advantage.”
In Washington, 25.6 percent of people are reported to be up to date with the recommended COVID-19 vaccine, while only 4.8 percent of people have received at least one dose of their flu shot within the current flu season. The state Department of Health recommends checking with your local pharmacy or provider for the most updated COVID-19 vaccine and flu shot.
“That’s why we encourage people to stay up to date and get updated on their vaccines so they can protect themselves and their loved ones throughout the respiratory illness season,” Armstrong said.
Clark County Public Health regularly updates changes in respiratory illness cases, which can be found on its COVID-19 data dashboard at: https://clark.wa.gov/public-health/covid-19-data
Chrissy Booker: email@example.com; 360-735-4567
This story was made possible by Community Funded Journalism, a project from The Columbian and the Local Media Foundation that is funded by community member donations. The Columbian controls all content. For more information, visit columbian.com/cfj.
This story was made possible by Community Funded Journalism, a project from The Columbian and the Local Media Foundation. Top donors include the Ed and Dollie Lynch Fund, Patricia, David and Jacob Nierenberg, Connie and Lee Kearney, Steve and Jan Oliva, The Cowlitz Tribal Foundation and the Mason E. Nolan Charitable Fund. The Columbian controls all content. For more information, visit columbian.com/cfj.