Clark County COVID-19 cases continue surge as vaccine opportunities expand

Mark Bowder, The Columbian, Vancouver, Wash.

Apr. 15—Clark County reported 84 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases Thursday as Washington opened up its vaccination program to anyone age 16 or older.

The new cases include 67 confirmed cases, pushing the county's total to 20,201, according to Public Health data. There have been an average of about 60 new cases a day reported since Friday, up from an average of about 46 new cases a day the previous week.

Case numbers have been rising since hitting a low of about 29 cases a day in early March, prompting warnings that area residents should continue wearing masks, socially distancing and washing and sanitizing hands — even if vaccinated.

In addition to confirmed cases, Public Health reported 17 new probable cases Thursday, pushing that total to 781 cases. Officials began reporting that number this week, tracking cases identified by faster but less accurate antigen tests. Confirmed cases are diagnosed by molecular (PCR) tests.

The number of active cases, which tracks both confirmed and probable cases still in their isolation period, rose to 491 on Thursday, up 33 from Wednesday.

No new deaths from COVID-19 were reported Thursday. There have been 248 deaths reported to date; three deaths were reported Wednesday. Deaths are usually added to the county's tally 10 to 12 days after they occur.

Hospitalizations fell, with 15 people hospitalized with COVID-19 on Thursday, down from 19 on Thursday, and no one waiting on test results, down from six people Wednesday.

Public Health officials have said the county's vaccine stock remains good as the vaccines open up to anyone age 16 or older. The county has received 9,220 first doses and 7,920 second doses to be administered through Sunday, not counting vaccine allocated directly to pharmacies by the federal government.

As of Saturday, 217,684 vaccine doses had been administered in Clark County, with 146,438 Clark County residents with at least one dose and 99,266 Clark County residents fully vaccinated, according to Public Health data.

To schedule an appointment, visit the Safeway/Albertsons website. The scheduling link is also available on the Public Health COVID-19 Vaccine webpage. Those who do not have internet access or need help scheduling an appointment can call Public Health at 888-225-4625. Language assistance is available.