Tag Archive for: COVID-19

Olympia, WA — Today Gov. Inslee and the Washington State Department of Health announced that Washington will align with new CDC guidance around physical distancing in schools.

Under the new guidance, students should maintain at least 3 feet of physical distancing from each other in classrooms. Previous guidance required 6 feet of distance. This change only applies to students; staff should continue to maintain 6 feet of distance from other staff and students.

There are some other circumstances when 6 feet of distance is still required for all students and staff:
• In common areas, such as auditoriums.
• When masks cannot be word, such as when eating.
• During activities when increased exhalation occurs, such as singing, band practice and PE.

When COVID-19 activity is high (more than 200 cases per 100k or test positivity higher than 10%), the state and CDC recommend that middle and high school students are group together and maintain at least 3 feet of distance between each other. When students cannot be grouped together, the CDC and DOH recommend 6 feet of distance.

The state guidance for schools has been reflected to update these changes. See the full guidance here: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1600/coronavirus/FallGuidanceK-12.pdf


Olympia, WA – Anyone 60 years old and older, along with restaurant, manufacturing and construction workers, will soon be eligible for a coronavirus vaccine in Washington, said Governor Jay Inslee.

The next group of state residents will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine starting March 31, giving two million more people the opportunity to get their shot.

“I’m happy about the general pace,” Inslee told reporters. “This timeline is much faster than we would’ve predicted a few months ago.”

The newly eligible group includes:

  • Anyone from age 60 through 64
  • Additional workers in congregate settings, such as restaurants, manufacturing and construction
  • Anyone with two or more underlying medical conditions, such as cancer or heart disease
  • People living in a congregate setting, such as a correctional facility or group home, and those experiencing homelessness.

These people join those 65 and up, 50 and up in a multigenerational household, and K-12 teachers and childcare workers. Additionally, pregnant women, people with disabilities that put them at higher risk for COVID-19 and high-risk critical workers, including agriculture, grocery store and public transit workers, became eligible Wednesday.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revised its guidelines for schools Friday, declaring three feet of distance between students is sufficient for all elementary and many middle and high schools.

This announcement lays the groundwork for districts to reopen full-time for in-person classes.

The CDC published new research that found limited coronavirus transmission in schools that require masks but not always six feet of distance, which had been the standard used to reopen schools around the nation. That was true even in areas with high community spread of the virus.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said that the issue is urgent.

“Indeed, because six feet has been such a challenge there, science has leaned in and there are now emerging studies on the question between three feet and six feet,” Walensky told Sen. Susan Collins during a hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.


What’s in the CDC guidance

As always, masks are recommended. At times when it’s not possible to accommodate masks, like when eating, CDC says six feet of distance should be maintained.

The agency recommends keeping student and teachers in distinct groups, or cohorts, throughout the day and maintaining 6 feet of distance between those groups, when possible. In middle schools and high schools where community transmission is high, CDC advises students to stay 6 feet apart, if cohorting is not possible.

CDC also recommends 6 feet of distance in common areas, like lobbies and auditoriums, and during activities like singing, shouting, band or sport practices. They say it’s better to move those kinds of activities, where increased exhalation occurs, outdoors or to well-ventilated spaces.

In classrooms, CDC says layout changes, like removing nonessential furniture and facing desks in the same direction, can help maximize distance between students. On school buses, the agency recommends seating students one child per row, skipping rows and opening windows to increase ventilation.

Vancouver, WA — Clark County Public Health announced today that the county’s COVID-19 activity rate dropped again to 88.8 cases per 100,000, which is down from 103.5 cases per 100,000 last week.

Today’s COVID-19 update:

  • 30 new cases 
  • 18,843 cases to date
  • 1 new confirmed death
  • 232 total deaths to date (208 confirmed, 24 suspect)
  • 259 active cases (in isolation period)
  • Clark County COVID-19 activity rate is 88.8 cases per 100,000 (down from 103.4 cases per 100,000 last week)
  • 19 COVID-19 patients hospitalized
  • 3 people hospitalized awaiting COVID-19 test results

Deaths are reported once the death record is finalized in the state database. On average, deaths are reported 10-12 days after they occur. A confirmed death means COVID is listed as cause of death or contributing factor on the death certificate and the case has a positive COVID test.


COVID-19 activity is determined by calculating the number of new cases per 100,000 residents in the county over 14 days. Public Health calculates the current COVID-19 activity level in Clark County once a week and posts the updated rate on the website every Tuesday.

Recent COVID-19 activity levels (rate is calculated weekly):

  • Feb. 8: 262.2 cases per 100,000
  • Feb. 15: 209.8 cases per 100,000
  • Feb. 22: 137.0 cases per 100,000
  • March 1: 105.4 cases per 100,000
  • March 8: 103.4 cases per 100,000
  • March 15: 88.8 cases per 100,000

According to Clark County Public Health, Governor Inslee and Washington State Department of Health today announced updates to the Phase 1b vaccination tiers and provided a tentative timeline for advancing to the next tiers.

“We are not yet advancing to the next tier,” the health department said. “Washington state remains in Phase 1b Tier 1.”

Here are the changes and tentative timeline announced today:

Phase 1b Tier 2 – opening March 22

  • All critical workers in certain congregate settings (change: no longer tiered by age; list of qualifying congregate settings has been expanded)
  • People age 16 or older who are pregnant (new qualification)
  • People age 16 or older who have a disability that puts them at higher risk (change: moved up from a later tier)

Phase 1b Tier 3

  • Opening April 12: People with 2 or more comorbidities age 50 or older
  • Opening April 26: People with 2 or more comorbidities age 16 or older

Phase 1b Tier 4 – opening April 26 

  • People who live in congregate housing
  • Staff and volunteers who work in congregate settings not covered in 1B tier 2

More information, including details about who is included in the above groups, is available here: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1600/coronavirus/SummaryInterimVaccineAllocationPriortization.pdf


Olympia, WA — The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) released this statement in response to President Biden’s directive to get all teachers nationwide at least one shot of COVID-19 vaccine during the month of March.

This is the DOH Statement:

“As you heard today, President Biden announced a directive to all states to get every pre-K educator, K-12 teacher, and licensed childcare worker at least one shot of COVID-19 vaccine in the month of March.

“The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) recognizes the importance of vaccinating educators, school staff, and childcare workers. School staff and childcare workers were already in the next group to become eligible for vaccines, and our state was moving to vaccinate them in a matter of weeks. This announcement represents a faster timeline than originally planned, and the department is engaging partners on a robust plan to support this directive.

“DOH is working quickly to get clarity from the Biden Administration to ensure roll-out in our state will result in ample vaccine supply through various providers and equitable access for education and childcare workers. Vaccine supply will likely primarily be delivered through the federal pharmacy program, and the directive indicates all vaccine providers should prioritize these workers.

“DOH remains committed to continued vaccination for older adults and others who are currently prioritized for vaccinations under the current plan. DOH also remains committed to vaccinating all Washingtonians as quickly and equitably as possible.

“DOH acknowledges these announcements may cause a mix of excitement, concern, and confusion for different communities. The department will share more information in the days ahead as DOH learns more from our federal partners.“


Vancouver, WA —  Clark County Public Health reports that the county’s activity rate is 105.4 cases per 100,000, which is down from 137 cases per 100,000 a week ago.

This list illustrates the steady decline since middle January. Recent COVID-19 activity levels (rate is calculated weekly):

  • Jan. 25: 401.2 cases per 100,000
  • Feb. 1: 310.5 cases per 100,000
  • Feb. 8: 262.2 cases per 100,000
  • Feb. 15: 209.8 cases per 100,000
  • Feb. 22: 137.0 cases per 100,000
  • March 1: 105.4 cases per 100,000

The latest daily COVID-19 data is as follows:

  • 31 new cases 
  • 18,408 cases to date
  • No new deaths
  • 223 total deaths to date (201 confirmed, 22 suspect)
  • 237 active cases (in isolation period)
  • 19 COVID-19 patients hospitalized
  • 3 people hospitalized awaiting COVID-19 test results

In addition, the percent of COVID-19 tests coming back positive dropped below 5% during the most recent week for which we have data (Feb. 7-13), representing two weeks of decreasing positivity rates.

The number of tests administered has also slowly decreased, with about 5,300 tests being administered in the most recent week of data. However, test data is preliminary and may change as additional negative results are reported. 

Clark County Public Health updates this data weekly (on Tuesdays) on their COVID-19 data webpage to reflect the most recent numbers available: https://clark.wa.gov/public-health/covid-19-data

Vancouver, WA — Clark County’s COVID-19 vaccine allocation is increasing substantially this week, according to Clark County Public Health.

This is their statement today:

Through 11 weeks, Clark County received an average of 4,175 first doses of COVID-19 vaccine from the Washington State Department of Health. The vaccine was distributed to health care facilities, pharmacies and community vaccination sites throughout the county.

This week, Clark County health care providers will receive 14,140 first doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

Clark County Public Health will work with several of the local health care facilities receiving vaccine to refer people from the county’s waiting list for vaccination appointments. Health care facilities will also schedule appointments with their patients.

Last week, Public Health released data comparing first-dose COVID-19 vaccine allocations for 15 counties – the five counties with the largest, smallest and median size populations. The data showed that Clark County was receiving less vaccine per capita than other counties. The disparity was impacting the county’s ability to get residents vaccinated and hindering efforts to ensure equitable access to vaccine.

The Washington State Department of Health notified Clark County Public Health that additional Pfizer vaccine was available for this week. Public Health worked with local health care providers to place additional vaccine orders.

In addition to the vaccine allocated to health care providers, Clark County Public Health is sending mobile vaccination teams to several housing authority facilities today and tomorrow. Volunteers will vaccinate seniors living in the facilities.

Later this week, mobile teams will also return to adult family homes to provide second doses to residents and staff who received their first doses from mobile teams in early February.

Public Health continues to work with community partners to plan for additional mobile and fixed-location vaccination sites. Public Health intends to position sites in locations where residents have not been able to easily access vaccine and among communities and populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

By Erica Aquadro

If we didn’t know it before, we know it now: kids are resilient. Since COVID-19 reared its ugly head about a year ago, most of us have been challenged in ways we never could have anticipated and that includes our children. As parents, we do our best to shield our kids from the fear and uncertainty that accompanies a global pandemic, but it’s not always possible to keep them in the dark. Our children have had to adapt to remote-learning models, degrees of isolation, and—in some cases—shifting family dynamics. If you have a shared custody arrangement, it’s also possible that your family has experienced some new form of parenting dispute in the past year. Parenting disputes can be especially trying during this time because we’re encountering situations that have never arisen before and our family’s health and wellness are at stake. 

While we can’t completely insulate our kids from the reality of the (sometimes dire) situation, we can do our best to stay positive and set a good example for them. So much of their ability to thrive in this ‘new normal’ depends on our ability to support them and give them grace. It’s their first pandemic, after all. We should go easy on them. 

As we navigate this ever-changing post-COVID world, here are some ways you can help your kids manage stress in the midst of changing family dynamics and novel parenting conflicts. 

Present a United Front:

Ideally both parents will be on the same page about any adjustments to the schedule or parenting plan before it reaches the children. Involving the children in discussions or planning before any changes are concrete or agreed puts them in a very difficult position.  It can be extremely confusing and stressful for children to hear one thing from one parent and something else entirely from the other. Unless and until a plan or change is final or agreed, it’s in your children’s best interests for them to be uninvolved and unaware.    

Consistency and Quality Time:

It may seem far-fetched to maintain a consistent schedule at a time like this, but even the little things can help reinforce their routine and give them some semblance of stability.  This goes hand in hand with spending quality time together. Something as simple as having breakfast together every day or reading a book to your kids before bed can give them a chance to regroup and relax. Even if you can’t do the same thing at the same time together every day, just spending five minutes doing something they want to do can have a huge impact. It can also be especially grounding for us as parents; it puts things into perspective. 

Don’t Burden Them with Adult Information:

In some ways, it can be healthy for kids to see that their parents are human and get sad sometimes because we can show them it’s normal to experience emotions. It also gives us the opportunity to demonstrate appropriate ways to express themselves and, most importantly, pick themselves up and move forward. That said, when you’re in the midst of a parenting dispute (especially during a pandemic), you’re going to be dealing with a lot of emotional and financial stresses. If you find yourself needing support, lean on your family and friends or mental health professionals to help you get through it – not your children. Chances are there will be times when you’re upset with your ex-spouse or co-parent and the last thing you want to do is burden your children with irritations about their other parent. That parent is always going to be your children’s mother or father and you want to support that relationship because that’s what’s best for your children and, by extension, your relationship with your children. 

Seek Extra Support for Your Children:

Even if your child is happy and healthy, parenting disputes (with or without a pandemic) can be very stressful and challenging. Enrolling your child with a child psychologist or counselor is a great way to allow your child to get the support he or she needs. Even if your child only meets with a professional once or twice, it’s important to give your child the opportunity to have a safe place to share his or her feelings. You may also learn some valuable tools and information from your child’s psychologist or counselor that will help you better support your child.  Keep in mind, however, you should involve your co-parent in the decision to seek support for your child and choose the right provider together.  

Take Care of Yourself

Remember to give yourself a break from time to time. We, as parents, are only human and sometimes the best thing we can do for our kids is to take care of ourselves. Our kids feed off our energy and, if we run ourselves ragged, we are not setting a good example for how to manage our needs and wellbeing. We have the awesome gift and responsibility of shaping our children’s lives. Let’s take the opportunity to give them the best of ourselves and forgive ourselves when we make a misstep. Tomorrow is a new day. 

Authored by Vancouver family law attorney, Erica Aquadro. Erica is a mom of three and member of both the Oregon & Washington State Bar(s). She focuses her practice exclusively on family law issues such as divorce, parenting and custody issues, child and spousal support.

Vancouver, WA — Clark County Public Health has been researching concerns and questions about the amount of COVID-19 vaccinations coming into Clark County and released their findings today. 

The health department looked at the amount of vaccine being allocated by the state to counties, and compared the allocation for 15 counties: The five counties with the highest, lowest and median population sizes. 

“While Clark County has the fifth highest population in the state, we ranked near the bottom (14th out of 15) in the allocation of first doses per 1,000 residents and first-dose allocation as a percentage of the total county population,” the health department said in a statement. “Through 11 weeks, the state has allocated 45,950 first doses of vaccine to Clark County. That’s 94.1 doses per 1,000 people or doses for 9.4% of our population. The next largest county, Spokane County, has received 30,325 more first doses than Clark County, but has only 35,000 more residents. Spokane County has received 145.9 doses per 1,000 people or doses for 14.6% of their population.”

The counties with the lowest and median size populations ranked higher in doses per 1,000 people. But the largest counties – King, Snohomish and Pierce counties – all received considerably more vaccine doses per 1,000 than Clark County (132.4, 121.1 and 111.9 doses per 1,000 respectively).

The only county in their 15-county comparison that has received fewer doses per 1,000 people than Clark County is Ferry County, which has a population of about 7,600 people.

“This allocation data comparison reinforces what we have suspected: Clark County is receiving less vaccine per capita than other counties,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer and Public Health director. “This disparity is impacting our ability to get Clark County residents vaccinated and is hindering our efforts to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccine in our community.”


Clark County Public Health has been working closely with local health care providers, community partners and neighboring counties to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible and develop plans for community vaccination sites, as vaccine supply allows. 

“We’re working with community partners to identify key populations who are being underserved or disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, are identifying locations throughout the county where we could host accessible community vaccination sites, and are lining up the necessary volunteers and staffing to operate those sites,” the health department said. “Our biggest barrier has been vaccine supply.” 

Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler addressed these same concerns today at a Congressional hearing.

“The news that Southwest Washington counties are being shorted COVID vaccines is absolutely unacceptable,” said Herrera Beutler. “I made this known when I had the opportunity to question Washington state’s Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah today at a congressional hearing.”  

As an example, she said Lewis County has a high population of elderly residents, but in terms of vaccine distribution is the worst in the state’s 39 counties. 

“And Clark County is the fifth largest county in the state, but is ranked 14th out of 15 counties in first dose allocations amongst counties with the highest, lowest, and median population sizes,” she said. “The state has to do better.”

In addition to the efforts by Clark County Public Health, local health care providers have the capacity to vaccinate several thousand people per week. 

“Clark County is ready to expand our vaccination efforts, once we receive the vaccine supply needed to serve our community,” said the health department.