Clark County COVID-19 activity rates, hospitalizations continue to climb steadily

Clark County’s reported COVID-19 activity rate increased this week as disease activity reached levels not seen since mid-February.

The COVID-19 activity rate, which measures new cases per 100,000 residents over seven days, rose from 149.6 last week to 165.7 on Thursday, according to Clark County Public Health data.

New hospitalizations this week fell from 6.6 to 7.4 per 100,000 population over seven days, according to Public Health.

As of Tuesday, 97.6% of Clark County hospital beds and 98% of intensive care beds were occupied. Hospitals reported that 51 beds – representing 9.5% of hospital beds and 11.8% of intensive care beds – were occupied by people with or suspected of having COVID-19.

Six new deaths from COVID-19 have been reported this week. The deaths include two men in their 60s, three men in their 60s and a woman aged 80 or older.

The new deaths bring the total number of people who have died of COVID-19 in Clark County to 807. Deaths are added to the county total usually 10 to 12 days after they occur.

Public health reported 1,100 new cases this week, including 856 confirmed by molecular testing, up from 76,737 so far, and 244 using antigen testing, up from 15,483. The actual number of new cases is likely more high due to unreported home testing, according to Clark County public health officials.

If you test positive for COVID-19 with a 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 level of COVID-19 risk based on its current number of cases, hospitalizations and overall hospital occupancy — Clark County remains low risk with every county in Washington except King, Snohomish, and Jefferson, which are medium risk, and Clallam, which is high risk, making it the first county in Washington to achieve high-risk status since March.

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, although masks and social distancing are still recommended for those at high risk for severe illness. In addition, people exposed to COVID-19 or showing symptoms should always follow quarantine guidelines.

If the disease activity rate and hospitalizations continue to rise, Clark County will soon become medium risk. Masks are still not mandatory in medium-risk counties. However, masks are recommended in all indoor public places in high-risk counties.

The Washington State Department of Health reported that as of May 9, 65.9% of Clark County residents age 5 or older were fully vaccinated against COVID-19.