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Vancouver, WA — Clark County Public Health just released their latest COVID-19 update. The last update was issued Thursday, Aug. 26. Clark County has hit its highest COVID-19 activity rate (523 cases per 100,000) since the pandemic broke out in March 2020.

Cases

• 1,602 additional cases (confirmed and probable) since last update

• 29,725 confirmed cases to date (+1,243 since last update)

• 2,730 antigen probable cases to date (+359 since last update) 

• 1,561 active cases (in isolation period)

• 23.3% of hospital beds are occupied by COVID-19 cases and persons under investigation for COVID-19 (awaiting test results)

• 134 COVID-19 cases and 1 person under investigation for COVID-19 hospitalized

Deaths

• 306 total deaths to date (274 confirmed, 32 suspect)

• 1 new confirmed death since last update: Man in his 50s with underlying conditions

Rates

• COVID-19 activity rate is 523.0 cases per 100,000 over 14 days (up from 397.4 cases per 100,000 last week). 

• COVID-19 new hospital admission rate is 13.6 per 100,000 people over 7 days (up from 9.4 per 100,000 last week)

Learn more on the COVID-19 data webpage: https://clark.wa.gov/public-health/covid-19-data 

You can find more frequent case updates on the state Department of Health data dashboard: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19/DataDashboard.

Vancouver, WA — COVID-19 virus activity continues to surge in Clark County and across the state, reported Clark County Public Health today. 

This week, virus activity in Clark County jumped to 288 cases per 100,000 over 14 days.

Points the health department is making about curbing the spread:

• Help slow the spread of the virus by staying home when you’re sick.

• Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, including those who are fully vaccinated or had COVID-19 in the past, should seek testing and stay home while awaiting test results. They should not gather with people they do not live with and should not go to work, school, church or other public places. 

• Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 should stay home and away from others until they complete their isolation period. For people with symptoms, that’s when they’ve been fever-free for at least 24 hours (without fever-reducing medicine) and other symptoms are improving and at least 10 days have passed since symptoms began.

• If you need to be tested for COVID-19, contact your health care provider. If you do not have a provider or cannot access testing through your provider, check out the health department website for additional testing locations: https://clark.wa.gov/public-health/covid-19-testing

OLYMPIA, WA — All K-12 and higher education employees statewide, as well as some childcare providers are now required to be vaccinated, Gov. Jay Inslee said today at a press conference.

Inslee also reissued a statewide indoor mask mandate to include everyone, regardless of vaccination status. The order previously applied only to unvaccinated individuals.

Inslee’s new COVID-19 mask mandate goes into effect Monday, Aug. 23.

His educator vaccine requirement applies to:

  • K-12 educators, school staff, coaches, bus drivers, school volunteers and others working in school facilities
  • Employees in higher education institutions
  • Childcare and early learning providers who serve children from multiple households

Today’s new vaccine requirement is a condition of educator employment and applies to public, private and charter schools. Tribal schools are exempt from the order. Students are not mandated to get the vaccine. Educators and staff have until October 18 to get fully vaccinated.

Inslee said today’s announcement follows a massive surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations statewide, breaking previous records set last September. 

The Department of Health recommends face mask use in crowded outdoor settings, such as concerts, sporting events, fairs and farmers markets.

Vancouver, WA — COVID-19 virus activity continues to increase rapidly in Clark County as the current rate has more than doubled in two weeks and is 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, said Clark County Public Health.

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, they said.

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 percent of cases statewide through July 31 were not fully vaccinated. In Clark County, nearly 97 percent of cases through June were not fully vaccinated.

Cases

• 964 additional cases (confirmed and probable) since last update

• 28,507 confirmed to date (+772 since last update)

• 2,007 antigen probable cases to date (+192 since last update) 

• 1,070 active cases (in isolation period)

• 12.1% of hospital beds are occupied by COVID-19 cases and persons under investigation for 

COVID-19 (awaiting test results)

• 68 COVID-19 cases and 2 people under investigation for COVID-19 hospitalized

Deaths

• 300 total deaths to date (267 confirmed, 33 suspect)

• 4 new confirmed deaths since last update: man in his 30s with underlying conditions, man 80+ years old with underlying conditions, man in his 70s with underlying conditions, woman 80+ years old with underlying conditions

Rates

• COVID-19 activity rate is 191.1 cases per 100,000 over 14 days (up from 120.8 per 100,000 last week). 

• COVID-19 new hospital admission rate is 6.4 per 100,000 people over 7 days (up from 3.2 per 100,000 last week)

Here are more details on the Clark County Public Health COVID-19 data webpage: https://clark.wa.gov/public-health/covid-19-data 

If you’re not yet vaccinated, the health department recommends seeking a location near you today and get vaccinated.

• Search on VaccineLocator.doh.wa.gov

• Search on VaccineFinder.org

• Call 833.VAX.HELP

• Text your zip code to 438829 (GETVAX)

Seattle, WA — Gov. Jay Inslee today announced a requirement for most state workers, and on-site contractors and volunteers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. State employees and workers in private health care and long-term care settings will have until October 18 to be fully vaccinated.

The requirement applies to state workers, regardless of teleworking status. This applies to executive cabinet agencies, but the governor encouraged all others such as higher education, local governments, the legislative branch, other statewide elected officials and organizations in the private sector to do the same.

“It is the mission of public servants and those providing health care to serve our fellow Washingtonians. These workers live in every community in our state, working together and with the public every day to deliver services,” Inslee said. “We have a duty to protect them from the virus, they have the right to be protected, and the communities they serve and live in deserve protection as well.”

The governor made the announcement at a press conference on Monday at Kaiser Permanente in Seattle. He was joined by Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, King County Executive Dow Constantine, Kaiser Permanente Washington President Susan Mullaney, Washington State Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah, and Seattle-King County Public Health Officer Dr. Jeffrey Duchin.

“State employees, health care and long-term care workers are extremely pivotal in the fight against COVID-19, and we hope these steps will further our goal of getting as many people vaccinated,” Secretary of Health Dr. Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH, said. “We should all be concerned with the increases of COVID-19 cases in our state and we know that vaccines are our best tool to end this pandemic.”

The announcement comes as Washington is experiencing a severe increase in COVID cases and hospitalizations in every county, due to the Delta variant, with the overwhelming majority of cases and hospitalizations being among unvaccinated Washingtonians.

Prior to the governor’s announcement, Kaiser Permanente WA mandated that it would be requiring all its employees to be vaccinated.

“The growing threat of the Delta variant has put our unvaccinated communities in a serious and precarious situation. We have at our disposal the key to ending this deadly surge and even the pandemic — vaccines,” said Susan Mullaney, president of Kaiser Permanente Washington. “As the largest integrated health care provider in the state of Washington, Kaiser Permanente has taken the important step of requiring that all employees and physicians be fully vaccinated. We look forward to working with the governor, the state, labor partners and our fellow health care systems to protect our state.”

King County leads the state in vaccinations, with approximately 81.5% of eligible residents 12 years of age and older having initiated their vaccination series, 12% higher than the statewide average as of August 2.

“No patient should have to worry about getting COVID-19 from their health care provider, period,” said Jeff Duchin, King County Public Health officer. “Requiring COVID-19 vaccination for health care personnel protects not only patients and health care workers, but also their families and our community — including those who cannot be vaccinated or do not respond to the vaccine due to being immunocompromised. I thank Governor Inslee for taking this important action as the threat of COVID-19 is increasing locally and nationally.”

This new requirement includes well-defined exemptions to the vaccine. Individuals with legitimate medical reasons or sincerely held religious reasons will be exempt. The exemptions do not include personal or philosophical objections.

To keep staff, families and communities safe, there will be no test-out option for employees. Past opt-out testing policies in congregate facilities for unvaccinated staff have not been efficient at preventing outbreaks that impact employees, clients and families, resulting in the loss of life of dedicated staff. Providing a test-out option would be both a financial burden for staff and taxpayers and ineffective at protecting the lives of Washingtonians.

Employees who refuse to be vaccinated will be subject to dismissal from employment for failing to meet legal job qualifications. The state will work with labor organizations on meeting collective bargaining obligations and adhering to civil service rules.

Vancouver, WA — Clark County Public Health issued a statement today recommending the use of face masks in indoor settings, in conjunction with today’s guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Here is the health department statement:

Today, the CDC issued updated guidance on face coverings as more is learned about the highly infectious delta variant driving increases in virus activity across the country.

The COVID-19 vaccines continue to be highly effective at preventing severe illness that can lead to hospitalization and death, even among those infected with the delta variant. A small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated may still get COVID-19, but infections in fully vaccinated people tend to be mild. 

Most COVID-19 cases continue to be among people who are unvaccinated. However, some people who are fully vaccinated and get infected with the delta variant may be able to spread the virus to others. 

As a result of increased virus activity and new information about the delta variant, the CDC is recommending that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear face coverings indoors when in areas with substantial or high virus activity. Clark County is currently categorized as having substantial virus activity.

Given the current virus activity in Clark County, Public Health is recommending face coverings for everyone in indoor settings, in alignment with CDC guidance.

The Washington State Department of Health is reviewing the CDC guidance and may make updates to state guidance on face coverings. 

The CDC is also recommending everyone wear masks in K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status and community virus activity. The state Department of Health establishes the guidance for schools in our state. Public Health is awaiting updated school guidance from the state.

Getting vaccinated continues to be the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against COVID-19 and slow the spread of the virus in our community. Public Health strongly recommends everyone 12 years and older get vaccinated.

Vancouver, WA — In their latest COVID-19 report, Clark County Public Health said the number of new cases doubled over the previous seven days (July 7-14). The July 15 update included 151 total new cases in a one-week period; this week, we have 302 new cases.

Cases

• 302 additional cases (confirmed and probable) since last update

• 24,931 confirmed cases to date (+251 since last update)

• 1,626 antigen probable cases to date (+51 since last update) 

• 301 active cases (in isolation period)

• 5.3% of hospital beds are occupied by COVID cases and persons under investigation for COVID-19 (awaiting test results)

Deaths

• 292 total deaths to date (260 confirmed, 32 suspect)

• No new deaths since last update 

Rates

• COVID-19 activity rate is 50.1 cases per 100,000 over 14 days (down slightly from 53.3 cases per 100,000 last week). 

• COVID-19 new hospital admission rate is 2.8 per 100,000 people over 7 days (up from 2.2 per 100,000 last week)

To learn more, visit the Clark County Public Health webpage: https://clark.wa.gov/public-health/covid-19-data 

The Clark County Health Department is now issuing weekly COVID-19 reports. The last update was issued Thursday, July 1. Here is the latest data:

  • 138 additional cases (confirmed and probable) since last update
  • 24,540 confirmed cases to date (+111 since last update)
  • 1,564 antigen probable cases to date (+27 since last update) 
  • 155 active cases (in isolation period)
  • 2.6% of hospital beds are occupied by COVID-19 cases and persons under investigation for COVID-19 (awaiting test results)

Deaths

  • 288 total deaths to date (254 confirmed, 34 suspect)
  • 1 new confirmed death since last update: a woman 80+ years old with underlying health conditions

Rates

  • COVID-19 activity rate is 67.5 cases per 100,000 over 14 days (down from 95.4 cases per 100,000 last week)
  • COVID-19 new hospital admission rate is 1.8 per 100,000 people over 7 days (down from 2.2 per 100,000 last week)

Learn more at the Clark County COVID-19 data webpage: https://clark.wa.gov/public-health/covid-19-data 

Olympia, WA — Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement today ahead of Washington’s upcoming June 30 reopening for individuals and businesses preparing to return to normal capacity and operations.

“Washington has come a long way since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the country was found in our state January 2020, and that is in no small part due to Washingtonians’ dedication and resilience in protecting themselves and their communities throughout the pandemic.

“Because folks listened to science and stayed home to stay healthy, wore masks and got vaccinated, we can now safely fully re-open our state’s economy and cultural centers after 15 long months. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m proud of how Washingtonians came together, persevered and sacrificed to fight this virus, and now we’re finally in a place that is safe enough to end this chapter.

“Even though Wednesday marks a new stage in our continued efforts to defeat this pandemic, we still have work to do. Continued success depends on everyone getting vaccinated and encouraging any loved one who has not yet received this lifesaving vaccine to do so, and quickly.

“Let’s keep it up, Washington – get vaccinated and stay safe.”

Secretary of Health Umair Shah, MD, MPH, thanked Washingtonians for their dedication to personal and community safety, but emphasized that the work to defeat the COVID-19 virus is not done.

“Washington was one of the first in the country to begin the fight against COVID-19. Thanks to the hard work and sacrifices of everyone in the state we have one of the most effective responses in the nation. I am so grateful for our partners in public health, health care, government, businesses and communities across the state, as well as the public,” Shah said. “Your tireless efforts have saved lives and made reopening possible. While this step forward is exciting, it does not mean the virus is gone or our work is over. Vaccination, testing and precautions like wearing masks if you are unvaccinated will be needed more than ever as businesses try to resume normal operations. If you have been waiting to get vaccinated, do it now in order to safely enjoy reopening and protect your loved ones and people around you.”

Commerce Director Lisa Brown praised the resilience of Washington’s business community and emphasized the tie between economic recovery and continued increase of vaccination rates.

“We know our businesses are deeply dedicated to reopening safely and ensuring the health of their employees and customers. And Commerce remains committed to a strong economic recovery across all our communities – particularly those that were hit disproportionately hard by the pandemic,” Brown said. “But our economic recovery remains tied to our success fighting COVID-19. We hope this milestone inspires anyone who can get their vaccine but hasn’t done so yet to take that important step and help us become more resilient now and into the future.”

Indoor and outdoor guidance effective June 30

Effective 12:01 AM on June 30, all industry sectors previously covered by guidance in the Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery or the Safe Start Reopening Plan may return to usual capacity and operations, with limited exceptions for large indoor events (any event with more than 10,000 simultaneous participants in an indoor, enclosed space.)

Reopening guidance:

  • Vaccine verification/negative testing: Recommended but not required for large indoor and outdoor events
  • Capacity limitations: No restrictions in restaurants, bars, stores, businesses, theaters etc. (except large indoor events)
  • Physical distancing: No requirements
  • Facial coverings: Not required for vaccinated individuals, unless required by individual business
  • Travelers: Follow CDC recommendations
  • Some exceptions will include schools and childcare centers that will continue to have some facial coverings and physical distancing requirements.

Olympia, WA — Washingtonians who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will no longer be subject to the face mask mandate in most indoor and outdoor settings, effective immediately. 

Gov. Jay Inslee said the state is adopting the latest guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which states that fully vaccinated citizens no longer need to wear masks except in crowded indoor settings like schools, buses, planes, hospitals, and homeless shelters, among others. He also plans to have the state completely open by June 30.

The CDC said people are fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which requires one dose.

Inslee hopes easing the state’s mask restriction will encourage people to get vaccinated.

“This is a heck of a benefit for people who have been annoyed by this mask,” said Inslee. “This is a ticket to freedom, that shot is a ticket to freedom from masks, and we hope people will avail themselves to it.” 

Inslee said businesses can still legally require customers to wear masks if they choose, and they can also inquire about a customer’s vaccination status, which may legal challenges given privacy health laws.

“Our hope is that it will increase people’s interests in fighting COVID,” said Inslee, “because it will give people an additional incentive to getting vaccinated.

Inslee
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