COVID-19 virus activity continues to increase rapidly in Clark County, with the rate more than doubling in two weeks. Public Health is urging everyone to get vaccinated and wear face coverings indoors to help slow the spread of the virus.
An additional 964 cases have been reported to Public Health in the last week, for an average of 138 cases per day. One month ago, Clark County was averaging about 21 cases per day. The virus activity rate increased this week to 191 cases per 100,000 people over 14 days – that’s nearly four times the rate three weeks ago.
COVID-19 case rates are rising in all age groups, with the highest rates among young adults 20-39 years old. Case rates among 10-19-year-olds have been increasing over the last month, with the biggest increase occurring in the last two weeks. Rates for this age group are now nearing the highs during the peak of the pandemic.
Hospitalization rates are also increasing and are now nearing the highs reached in December and January. Statewide data shows that most people being hospitalized with COVID-19 are not fully vaccinated. A recent report from the state Department of Health shows that 95% of people hospitalized with COVID-19 through July 24 were not fully vaccinated.
“The data continues to show that the vaccines provide the best protection against COVID-19, particularly against hospitalization and death,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer and Public Health director. “With virus activity rising and hospitals getting busier, it’s more important than ever to get vaccinated.”
In Clark County, about 57% of people eligible to get vaccinated (12 years and older) are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and about 63% have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Low vaccination rates, more contagious variants, and increased group interactions are contributing to the rise in cases, which are largely occurring among residents who remain unvaccinated against COVID-19. Nearly 96% of cases statewide through July 31 were not fully vaccinated. In Clark County, nearly 97% of cases through June were not fully vaccinated.
A small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated may still get COVID-19, but infections tend to be mild. Some people who are fully vaccinated and get infected with the delta variant may be able to spread the virus to others.
The delta variant, which is more contagious than previous strains of COVID-19, has been identified in Clark County. The Department of Health estimates the delta variant may account for more than 90% of COVID-19 cases statewide.
Given the high virus activity in Clark County, Public Health is encouraging everyone, regardless of vaccination status, to wear face coverings indoors.
Melnick and Dr. Steven Krager, Clark County deputy health officer, joined health officers representing 35 local health jurisdictions in the state to issue a joint statement about face coverings. The health officers are recommending all residents wear face coverings anytime they are in indoor public settings and don’t know the vaccination status of those around them.
“This step will help reduce the risk of COVID-19 to the public, including customers and workers, help stem the increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in many parts of the state and decrease the spread of the highly contagious delta variant,” the health officers said in the joint statement.
COVID-19 vaccine is widely available at local pharmacies and medical offices. To find vaccine locations:
- Search VaccineLocator.doh.wa.gov
- Search VaccineFinder.org
- Call 833.VAX.HELP
- Text your zip code to 438829 (GETVAX)
More information about COVID-19 vaccines is available on the Public Health website.
Source: Clark County Health