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Vancouver, WA — Multiple Clark County health leaders are urging local residents to mask up, physical distance, and follow COVID-19 guidelines to slow down the present virus “explosion” in Southwest Washington.

“The COVID-19 case numbers are exploding,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Director of Clark County Public Health. “They are going up at an alarming rate.”

Eight weeks ago, the county averaged 28 cases per day, last week it averaged 120 cases per day, and Monday the health department reported Clark County added 310 new virus cases from the last three days. Melnick said this is the highest weekend number reported since the pandemic began.

The county reports that 42 percent of COVID-19 infections trace back to households, while small intimate gatherings make up 18 percent of the infection total.

At Monday’s press briefing, Melnick, along with Dr. Ray Lee, Medical Chief of Staff at PeaceHealth, and Dr. Hoa Ly, Medical Director at Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center, said they are calling on citizens to take personal responsibility to stop the virus spread.

Lee said “the stakes of our personal decisions before us right now cannot be higher” while Ly said his hospital is postponing some elective procedures to ensure more beds are available for the expected uptick in virus-related hospitalizations.

The health department said 50 people are currently hospitalized for COVID-19, and 76 percent of licensed hospital beds are currently occupied, which is four percent below the state’s desired 80 percent target.

“We are fully capable of making sacrifices for a higher calling,” Ly said. “We are capable of making difference for ourselves and our loved ones. The virus can only do what we allow it to do. This is in our power to defeat this virus if we choose to work together.”

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Clark County by the numbers — to-date:


Confirmed positive COVID-19 cases to-date: 6,470
Total negative tests to date: 89,681
Hospitalizations to-date: 432
Deaths to-date: 80
% of Deaths: 1.7%

Clark County Public Health’s Monday COVID-19 update: 

  • 6,470 cases to date
  • 1 new death (80 to date) — a woman in her 80s with underlying conditions
  • 482 active cases
  • 50 COVID-19 patients hospitalized
  • 6 persons under investigation (PUIs) for COVID-19 hospitalized 
COVID-19
Dr. Alan Melnick, Director, Clark County Public Health

A reminder about active cases: This reflects the number of confirmed cases who are currently in their isolation period. For most people, isolation is based on when symptoms began, not when they received the positive test result. Some individuals learn they are COVID-19 positive and only have a few days of isolation remaining.

Olympia, WA — Governor Jay Inslee issued broad new statewide restrictions and shutdowns for restaurants, gyms, theaters and all indoor gatherings during a Sunday morning address. 

Most of the orders are effective at 11:59 pm Monday, with the exception of restaurants and bars, which go into effect at 11:59 pm on Tuesday. The order expires on December 14.

“In order to slow the spread of rapidly increasing COVID cases in our state, and ensure that hospital and medical systems are not overwhelmed, we are taking the very difficult but necessary steps to protect public health,” Inslee said. “We recognize this will cause financial hardship for many businesses and we are exploring ways to mitigate the impacts.”

He ordered restaurants and bars to shutdown indoor service and to limit outdoor service to parties of five or less. Indoor gyms and fitness centers must also shutdown, along with movie theaters, bowling alleys and museums. Indoor gatherings with people outside your household will be prohibited unless participants have quarantined for 14 days, tested negative and quarantine for seven days prior or receive a negative COVID-19 test within two days of the planned gathering.

“Indoor social gatherings from people outside your home are prohibited unless they have been quarantined for 14 days,” Inslee said. “You can get the virus in your own home.”

This is the most extensive mandate since Inslee’s March emergency stay at home order. The new orders do not apply to K-12 schools or the court system. They also do not apply to child care.

“Today, Sunday, November 15, 2020, is the most dangerous public health day in the last 100 years of our state’s history,” Inslee said. “A pandemic is raging in our state. Left unchecked, it will assuredly result in grossly overburdened hospitals and morgues; and keep people from obtaining routine but necessary medical treatment for non-COVID conditions.”

Despite a statewide mask mandate, which was issued in June, and current restrictions on businesses, the pandemic has been rapidly spreading in Washington. The state, for the last two weeks, has been breaking previous infection records almost daily. 

“We need to preserve our well being,” said Inslee. “I share your frustration, but we need to hold the pandemic down until the calvary arrives (referring to a vaccine).”

Two weeks ago, the state recorded a then-record 1,469 coronavirus infections. By Nov. 14, daily infections had increased more than 50 percent and stood at 2,233 infections, according to Dr. Kathy Lofy, State Health Officer. The day Inslee issued his stay-home order in March, there were 225 confirmed infections.

Outdoor social gatherings should be limited to no more than five people from outside your household, Inslee said. Religious services can continue, but must limit indoor attendance to 25 percent of capacity, or 200 people, whatever is less. Masks must be worn at all times and choirs, bands and congregational singing will be prohibited. Wedding and funeral ceremonies will be limited to 30 people. Receptions are prohibited.

Retail stores, including grocery stores, and malls must limit occupancy to 25 percent and must close food court seating.

Offices are required to mandate employees work from home, if possible, and must limit occupancy to 25 percent if they remain open. They must be closed to the public.

Long-term care facilities can accept visitors only in outdoor settings, with limited exceptions for end-of-life care and essential support personnel.

Personal services, such as barber shops and salons, are limited to 25 percent capacity. Real estate open houses are prohibited. Youth and adult sports are limited to outdoor only intrateam practices and athletes must wear masks.

Inslee acknowledged the financial hardship this will bring to businesses already suffering from existing mandates. He said the state has issued $25 million in grants, and there is an additional $50 million coming to help mitigate business challenges.

“This is not enough,” Inslee said. “We need the federal government to step up to the plate. Congress needs to help. And, we are looking at alternatives.”

Lofy is fearful of getting to 4,000 cases per day, which she said would overwhelm hospitals. 

Clint Wallace, an ICU nurse also spoke.

“We are exhausted, we are tired,” said Wallace. “It’s about adequate staffing, and COVID patients require more than normal patients. We are all close to burning out.”

Inslee
Latest daily statewide COVID-19 case numbers.

Olympia, WA — Governor Jay Inslee is expected to announce a series of restrictions Sunday to slow the spread of COVID-19 cases, including a ban on indoor service at restaurants and bars, as well as indoor social gatherings. In addition, the four-week mandates are to come with new restrictions on occupancy limits for retailers, according to the Washington Food Industry Association.

“The governor’s office is looking at some possible restrictions so we can get the COVID cases down again,” said Tammie Hetrick, President & CEO of Washington Food Industry Association.

According to Hetrick, the governor’s staff provided the association with early outlines of the mandates, but they have not unveiled all the specifics. Inslee is set to announce his plans in a Sunday morning at 11, as of this writing.

Inslee spokesperson Tara Lee said the four-week order will be effective this Monday, and has heavy restrictions on grocers, retailers and restaurants, as well as indoor social gatherings.

“We are not disputing the details and will provide more information on Sunday,” she wrote.

Hetrick said the governor’s staff had indicated Inslee was considering several new steps.

These steps include a ban on all indoor social gatherings and indoor service at bars and restaurants. Outdoor service will likely be restricted to five people. Current restrictions keep bars and restaurants at 50 percent capacity.

The new restrictions, according to Senator Ann Rivers (LD-18), also limit retailers, grocery and convenience stores, to 25 percent occupancy.

There is also a plan to update guidance on mask restrictions. It’s unclear what restrictions will be placed on gyms.

According to Clark County Public Health, two percent of COVID-19 cases are traced back to restaurants and grocery stores.

“One of the problems with COVID response is that our strategy has been one size fits all,” said Rivers. “We must shift to local control and local decision making for a tailored response. We can see from the information provided by Clark County public Health that restaurants are not where people are contracting COVID. On the contrary, the protective measures that have been taken are very effective. To shut down that significant sector of our economy when it is not contributing to the problem will only make things worse for us.”

Clark County Public Health said the top five likely sources of exposure come from the following:

  • Household member: 299 cases, or 42 percent
  • Private social gathering: 125 cases, or 18 percent
  • Office: 35 cases, or 5 percent
  • Health care setting: 32 cases, or 5 percent
  • Long-term care facility: 25 cases, or 4 percent 

Lacamas Magazine will air the Governor’s speech LIVE on Sunday at 11 am.

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COVID-19
Source: Clark County Public Health

Salem, OR — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Friday ordered a statewide two-week “freeze,” which restricts social gatherings and closes many businesses in an effort to help curb this third wave of COVID-19.

Beginning Wednesday, November 18, bars and restaurants will become takeout only. Indoor facilities such as gyms, museums and skating rinks are mandated to close entirely until the order is lifted in early December.

Her orders Friday are some of the most stringent in Oregon since her March stay-at-home order.

Under Brown’s latest order indoor and outdoor gatherings will be limited to no more than six people from two separate households. Grocery stores and pharmacies will also be required to limit their capacities, and churches are allotted indoor crowds no larger than 25 people.

Anyone traveling to Oregon is also required to quarantine for 14 days upon the arrival.

“I want to be honest,” Brown said Friday. “We are trying to stop this ferocious virus from spreading even more quickly and far wide, and to save lives.”

Brown said that some counties could remain in the freeze longer than two weeks, noting that Multnomah county’s orders are to last four weeks.

Brown
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Great Barrington, MA — The Great Barrington Declaration, which offers an alternative COVID-19 national and global strategy, was penned by professors at Harvard, Oxford and Stanford universities on October 4, and released to the public October 5, calls for “focused protection” by letting young and low-risk populations carry on with their lives, while protecting the immune compromised and elderly.

It’s been discussed and debated since its early October release, but is it based on proper science?

The Declaration was written by Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, Dr. Sunetra Gupta and Dr. Martin Kulldorff. 

Dr. Martin Kulldorff is a professor of medicine at Harvard University, a biostatistician, and epidemiologist with expertise in detecting and monitoring infectious disease outbreaks and vaccine safety evaluations.

Dr. Sunetra Gupta is a professor at Oxford University, an epidemiologist with expertise in immunology, vaccine development, and mathematical modeling of infectious diseases.

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya is a professor at Stanford University Medical School, a physician, epidemiologist, health economist, and public health policy expert focusing on infectious diseases and vulnerable populations.

The declaration was signed by more than 40 other medical and public health scientists and medical practitioners worldwide.

“As immunity builds in the population, the risk of infection to all – including the vulnerable – falls,” the declaration authors write. “We know that all populations will eventually reach herd immunity – i.e. the point at which the rate of new infections is stable – and that this can be assisted by (but is not dependent upon) a vaccine. Our goal should therefore be to minimize mortality and social harm until we reach herd immunity.”

Who initiated the Declaration?

Dr Kulldorff invited Doctors Bhattacharya Gupta to Massachusetts to record a video outlining an alternative to the current COVID-19 strategy. While meeting, the three spontaneously decided to also write a short declaration to summarize their thinking. 

Why was the Declaration written?

The Declaration was written from a global public health and humanitarian perspective, with special concerns about how the current COVID-19 strategies are forcing children, the working class and the poor to carry the heaviest burden.

The full text of the Great Barrington Declaration

“The Great Barrington Declaration – As infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies, and recommend an approach we call Focused Protection. 

“Coming from both the left and right, and around the world, we have devoted our careers to protecting people. Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health. The results (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health – leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden. Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice. 

“Keeping these measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.

“Fortunately, our understanding of the virus is growing. We know that vulnerability to death from COVID-19 is more than a thousand-fold higher in the old and infirm than the young. Indeed, for children, COVID-19 is less dangerous than many other harms, including influenza. 

”As immunity builds in the population, the risk of infection to all – including the vulnerable – falls. We know that all populations will eventually reach herd immunity – i.e.  the point at which the rate of new infections is stable – and that this can be assisted by (but is not dependent upon) a vaccine. Our goal should therefore be to minimize mortality and social harm until we reach herd immunity. 

“The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk. We call this Focused Protection. 

”Adopting measures to protect the vulnerable should be the central aim of public health responses to COVID-19. By way of example, nursing homes should use staff with acquired immunity and perform frequent PCR testing of other staff and all visitors. Staff rotation should be minimized. Retired people living at home should have groceries and other essentials delivered to their home. When possible, they should meet family members outside rather than inside. A comprehensive and detailed list of measures, including approaches to multi-generational households, can be implemented, and is well within the scope and capability of public health professionals. 

”Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal. Simple hygiene measures, such as hand washing and staying home when sick should be practiced by everyone to reduce the herd immunity threshold. Schools and universities should be open for in-person teaching. Extracurricular activities, such as sports, should be resumed. Young low-risk adults should work normally, rather than from home. Restaurants and other businesses should open. Arts, music, sport and other cultural activities should resume. People who are more at risk may participate if they wish, while society as a whole enjoys the protection conferred upon the vulnerable by those who have built up herd immunity.”

On October 4, 2020, this declaration was authored and signed in Great Barrington, United States, by:

Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard University, a biostatistician, and epidemiologist with expertise in detecting and monitoring infectious disease outbreaks and vaccine safety evaluations.

Dr. Sunetra Gupta, professor at Oxford University, an epidemiologist with expertise in immunology, vaccine development, and mathematical modeling of infectious diseases. 

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, professor at Stanford University Medical School, a physician, epidemiologist, health economist, and public health policy expert focusing on infectious diseases and vulnerable populations.

Clark County Public Health Response

Lacamas Magazine asked Clark County Public Health to respond to the Great Barrington Declaration. This is their official statement:

“The way to herd immunity is through vaccination; not by letting people contract a deadly disease. And we are a long way from herd immunity.

”It’s estimated that less than 15 percent of the US population has been infected with COVID-19, yet more than 220,000 people have died. To reach herd immunity, we suspect we’ll need at least 60-70% of the population to become infected. That would mean millions of additional infections and several hundred thousand more deaths – and that’s if the immunity from a COVID-19 infection lasts. And for those who survive COVID-19, we still don’t know the lasting health impacts those individuals will endure.

“While the idea of isolating the vulnerable and opening up society for everyone else may sound appealing to some, it’s not practical. If the virus is spreading in a community, it can make its way to vulnerable populations. Young healthy people can and do contract COVID-19. Then they take it home to their family members, to school to their classmates and teachers, and to work to their colleagues. Vulnerable people still interact with others. They may live with other people or have caregivers. They still need groceries and medical care. They cannot be completely insulated from the rest of the community. We can protect our most vulnerable by wearing face coverings, maintaining physical distancing and practicing good hand hygiene – the things necessary for slowing the spread of the virus in our community.

”Tom Frieden, the CDC director from 2009 to 2017, wrote an opinion piece on herd immunity and COVID-19 for the Washington Post. It’s worth a read: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/tom-frieden-herd-immunity-wrong-solution-coronavirus/2020/10/16/acb4ae8a-0fe6-11eb-8074-0e943a91bf08_story.html

”For a look at herd immunity a little closer to home: The CDC is doing a large-scale geographic seroprevalence survey that looks for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies among people who had blood collected and tested by commercial labs in certain areas of the U.S. Western Washington is one of the regions. The latest data (samples collected July 6-7) show a seroprevalence estimate of 1.3%, and the seroprevalence has consistently been less than 2.5% in Western Washington. You can check out the data from the survey here: https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#serology-surveillance.”

Video Links

Do the three authors have any conflicts of interest? 

According to their website, Dr. Kulldorff works on research grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration and the non-profit Fund for Public Health in New York City, some of which is related to COVID-19. He has never accepted or received any funding from pharmaceutical companies, nor from any other large corporation. 

Dr. Bhattacharya research funding over the past 22 years of his career has come almost entirely from grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Agriculture, and participation on contracts with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) via a government contracting research group, Acumen, LLC. He has never accepted or received any funding from pharmaceutical companies, nor from any other large corporation. 

Dr. Gupta’s research funding over the last 30 years has principally been through fellowships and investigator awards from the Wellcome Trust and the European Research Council.  She has also received funding from the UKRI, the Royal Society, the Leverhulme Trust, the Emily and Georg von Opel Foundation and the Oxford Martin School. She and Dr. Craig Thompson have developed a novel method for producing a universal influenza vaccine (derived from a mathematical model) and this has now been licensed and is going through early testing. She does not hold any consultancy contracts or stock shares in any commercial company. 

Other Responses

Critics of the declaration say the event where it was signed was hosted by the American Institute for Economic Research, a conservative free-market think tank located in Great Barrington, and is politically motivated.

“From a public health and ethical viewpoint, the fact that the Great Barrington Declaration is now the Trump administration’s official policy is deeply troubling,” Dr. Gavin Yamey, a physician and professor of global health and public policy at Duke University, wrote October 14 in TIME. He says this “letting the virus rip” approach is “dangerous and inhumane.”

The Infectious Diseases Society of America issued a statement denouncing the Great Barrington Declaration, calling the herd immunity strategy to COVID-19 “inappropriate, irresponsible, and ill-informed.”

The Director-General of the World Health Organization said during an October 12 media briefing: “Never in the history of public health has herd immunity been used as a strategy for responding to an outbreak, let alone a pandemic. It is scientifically and ethically problematic.”

The Great Barrington Declaration signers aren’t backing down, and continue to defend their positions.

The authors also acknowledge that many online signatures are not actual doctors or experts in this field.

Vancouver, WA — Clark County Public Health said today that “COVID-19 is spreading throughout our community at an alarming pace.” This week, the health department said the COVID-19 activity rate increased to more than 171 cases per 100,000 people over 14 days.

Disease transmission is occurring at an accelerated pace across the state, as well.

“As the holidays near, we’re concerned our case counts will continue to rise as people attend gatherings and spend more time indoors,” the health department said in a statement.

Health guidelines to disrupt this transmission in our community by taking simple steps to slow the spread of COVID-19 include the following:

  • Wear a face covering anytime you’re around people you don’t live with (even friends and family).
  • Maintain physical distancing.
  • Stay home as much as possible.
  • Limit the number, size and frequency of gatherings – and only attend gatherings that are essential.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Stay home if you’re sick.

Tuesday COVID-19 update

  • 166 new cases (5,783 cases to date)
  • 4 new deaths (77 to date)
  • 349 active cases
  • Rate is 171.55 cases per 100,000 (up from 131.42 cases per 100,000 last week)
  • 45 COVID-19 patients hospitalized
  • 8 persons under investigation (PUIs) for COVID-19 hospitalized
COVID-19
www.artfuljuxtaposition.com

The four deaths we’re reporting today are as follows:

  • Man in his 70s with no underlying health conditions
  • Man 80+ years old with underlying health conditions
  • Man in his 70s with no underlying health conditions
  • Woman in her 70s with underlying health conditions

The health department also put out this reminder about active cases: This reflects the number of confirmed cases who are currently in their isolation period. For most people, isolation is based on when symptoms began, not when they received the positive test result. Some individuals learn they are COVID-19 positive and only have a few days of isolation remaining.

Camas, WA — Camas School District (CSD) Superintendent Dr. Jeff Snell confirms that six staff members have been infected with COVID-19, but “there have been no outbreaks at schools or other facilities.” 

He said the district provides an updated dashboard, which is emailed to parents.

“… It references our COVID-19 dashboard which shows any cases we’ve had and resulting quarantines,” he said.

The latest update says that district currently serves 600 students in-person.

UPDATE: Transition to Increased, In-Person Learning Experiences

Camas School District has issued the following statement:

Our trend of high COVID-19 activity levels has continued which is extremely frustrating as it delays our full-hybrid transition.  Despite the trends, we have been able to safely and successfully grow the number of small group learning experiences for students this fall.  These small groups have focused on students who receive special services, our youngest learners, and students with significant struggles in the remote learning model for various reasons.  Serving small groups of students on campus aligns with the Washington Department of Health (WA DOH) recommendations for high COVID-19 activity level.  An important reason for our success has been the ability of staff to implement the five mitigation strategies from the CDC that include the following.

  • Consistent and correct use of masks
  • Social distancing to the largest extent possible
  • Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
  • Cleaning and disinfection
  • Contact tracing in collaboration with the local health department
COVID-19
www.resultsfitnesstraining.com

With the scheduled start of kindergarten in small groups next week CSD will continue to expand the number of students experiencing some type of in-person learning experience. The plan is to build on this success and continue to increase in-person experiences cautiously and thoughtfully through small groups of students.  

Approximate # of Students Served Through In-Person ExperiencesPercentage of Total Enrollment
Summer 20202003%
September 20203004%
October 20206009%

The CSD statement continues:

Current guidelines recommend to wait to transition to a full hybrid learning model (in-person and remote learning experiences for K5 and secondary students) until our COVID-19 activity level is in the moderate range.  Given the current rates, the soonest this could be possible is the week of 11/30 for our elementary students.  As we get further into the 2020-21 school year more data is becoming available about transmission rates in schools.  In a recent article from the Seattle Times (Early data suggests some schools can safely reopen, Washington state health officials say) the WA DOH was cited in reference to this data and in-person learning experiences.  We recognize how important these experiences are for our students and will consider adjustments to our reopening plans to align with any updated guidance from public health.  

This has been such a challenging time for students, staff and families to navigate. We understand and appreciate all of the concerns that come up in managing risks and making decisions as to the best course for each student, their families, staff, and our entire community.  We have scheduled another Town Hall for November 16th from 6 – 7 PM to share updates and answer questions.  ZOOM Information to come.

The public can view all details of their transition plan including timelines, resources, past notifications, presentations, and a COVID-19 dashboard that tracks COVID-19 cases in Camas School District at http://www.camas.wednet.edu/covid-19/2020-reopening/

The Camas School District provided an update regarding their plans to transition to in-person learning, which is being hampered by increasing COVID-19 cases in Clark County. In addition, the administration provided an update on the upcoming February replacement levy. Here’s the direct statement from CSD:

Transition to Increased, In-Person Learning Experiences

Unfortunately, our community COVID-19 Activity Level rates continue to trend in the wrong direction. This is our sixth consecutive week in the high activity level, which continues to delay our transition to a full hybrid model. Current guidance from the Washington State Department of Health in the high activity level is to deliver learning services remotely and identify small groups or cohorts of students for in-person learning services based on those students with the highest need, such as students with disabilities, students living homeless, those farthest from educational justice, and younger learners. Since August, we have increased the number of small groups for in-person learning services throughout the district. Building on that success, we announced this week our next targeted group will be our kindergarten students in groups of 10 or less beginning November 9. 

Why Kindergarten? Kindergarten is the foundation and start of the K-12 experience. It is such an important year for our youngest learners, and developmentally there are opportunities we just can’t replicate in a remote environment.

“Bringing small groups of kindergarten students into classrooms for in-person education is a cautious and incremental approach that fits within state health department guidance,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County Public Health director and county health officer in a press release on October 25. “With small group sizes and continued preventive measures, such as mask-wearing and physical distancing, we believe in-person education is safe for both students and staff because children this young are less likely to transmit the virus to others.” 

You can view all the details of the transition plan including timelines, resources, and presentations at http://www.camas.wednet.edu/covid-19/2020-fall-reopening/

The Big Five

The CDC indicates that in order for schools to achieve the lowest possible risk of transmission, we must implement five mitigation strategies to the extent possible, practical, and feasible, as outlined below: 

  • Consistent and correct use of masks
  • Social distancing to the largest extent possible
  • Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
  • Cleaning and disinfection
  • Contact tracing in collaboration with the local health department

Replacement Levies in February

Local levies are an essential revenue stream for our district and are approved by voters for a set number of years. In 2017, our community approved two levies, a programs & operations levy and a capital technology levy, which will expire at the end of 2021. Our School Board continued their discussion about replacing these expiring levies in the upcoming February election. Our school district has long benefited from strong community support. That support enabled us to build the district we have today. In addition to local levies, voters have also approved local bonds that have built the amazing schools and facilities we have in our district. Because of the way we’ve scheduled our bonds, taxpayers will see a reduction in their tax rate even with the approval of replacement levies in February. Our Board has explored two options for the replacement levies and plans to finalize their decision at the November 9 board meeting.

OLYMPIA, WA – Governor Jay Inslee announced new COVID-19 restrictions Tuesday to slow the spread of coronavirus at college residential facilities, including face masks in living spaces, limits on visitors, and on the number of people allowed in sleeping rooms.

“We’ve just got to get these spikes under control,” Inslee said during the afternoon news conference.

He cited 800 new coronavirus cases tracing back to college dorms and apartments at the University of Washington campus, Washington State University and at other colleges statewide.

As of Monday, 601 University of Washington students have been diagnosed with coronavirus, including 295 cases at 18 fraternities and sororities on the university’s Greek row, which Inslee addressed today.

Washington State University administrators have been cracking down on large parties.

The new mandates announced Tuesday by Inslee include:

  • Face masks are required at all times at college residential facilities, except outside dorms or bedrooms.
  • No more than two people are allowed per bedroom – no congregate sleeping porches are allowed.
  • Visitation is limited to five people outside of the house at one time (must be masked and physically distanced).
  • Only one visitor is allowed in a dorm or bedroom (must be masked and physically distanced).
  • Only five people or visitors are allowed at one time in one place. He said there will be no Apple Cup watching with more than five people (must be masked and physically distanced).
  • Colleges must provide isolation and quarantine facilities to Greek system houses, off-campus congregate houses, students living in dorms and personnel if they don’t have a place to go.
  • For institutions without residential facilities, plans must be developed with the relevant local health jurisdiction to address isolation and/or quarantine needs among any of their staff and students who are unable to isolate or quarantine in their usual residence.
  • All meals must follow current guidance – grab-and-go or single tables.
  • The new measures also include suggestions on public safety enforcement agency partnerships.

The Department of Health warns of a possible new wave of infections this Fall and Winter if people do not take necessary precautions.

Vancouver, WA — Clark County Public Health released their weekend report today stating another 124 people have tested positive for COVID-19 – for an average of about 41 new cases per day (Fri-Sun). However, the department has removed 12 previously counted cases from the county total.

“During our data reconciliation process, we discovered 12 cases among people who live in another county and whose cases have been transferred to the health departments in those counties,” the department said in a statement. “With those changes, a total of 4,230 Clark County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 to date.“

Currently, Clark County has 150 active COVID-19 cases. As a reminder, the number of active cases reflects the number of confirmed cases who are currently in their isolation period. For most people, isolation is based on when symptoms began, not when they received the positive test result. Some individuals learn they are COVID-19 positive and only have a few days of isolation remaining.

There are 19 COVID-19 patients and nine persons under investigation (PUIs) for COVID-19 hospitalized. Additional hospital data is available on our website, such as the percent of hospital beds occupied and percent of beds occupied by COVID-19 patients and PUIs. The health department has also added data on the percent of ICU beds currently occupied. For more information, visit: https://www.clark.wa.gov/public-health/novel-coronavirus

COVID-19
www.electlarryhoff.com

Close Contact Guidance

If you were in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, please stay home.

“Even if you feel OK, you may still be infected and be able to spread the virus to others,” advises the health department. “We ask all close contacts who were around the person who tested positive – going back two days before their symptoms began – to stay home for 14 days from their last exposure.“

Close contacts are classified as follows:

  • Were within 6ft of the sick person for more than 15 minutes
  • Were near the sick person’s coughs or sneezes
  • Live in the same home as the sick person
  • Cared for the sick person

If during the Public Health case investigation you are identified as a close contact to someone who tests positive, you can expect a call from an attending nurse. But you don’t have to wait to hear from If you know you were exposed, help slow the spread of the virus by staying home.

This handout has more information for those who may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19: https://clark.wa.gov/sites/default/files/dept/files/public-health/novel_coronavirus/CCPH_COVID-19_Exposed_%28English%29.pdf