The numbers went up even before the Labor Day weekend, raising concerns among public health officials
CLARK COUNTY — Clark County added 182 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the past week, bringing the overall total to 3,075 since the outbreak began. The rate of new cases adds up to an average of 26 per day. If that continues, it would risk putting the county back into the high risk range for school reopenings.
After a significant delay caused by a switch to a new reporting system at the state level, Clark County Public Health today released updated testing numbers that show the rate of positive tests has increased dramatically in recent weeks, even as the total number of tests declines.
During the week ending Aug. 22, a total of 5,252 tests were conducted, with 2.89 percent returning a positive result for the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes COVID-19.
The following week, 4,572 tests were conducted, with 3.41 percent returning positive.
In the week ending Sept. 5, just ahead of the Labor Day holiday weekend, 4,022 tests were done, with 5.12 percent coming back positive, a 50 percent increase from two weeks earlier.
Data for the two weeks following Labor Day weekend are not yet available. The rate of new cases has risen from just over 60 per 100,000 residents over a two-week period in early September to just under 70 per 100,000 people.
That keeps Clark County in the moderate risk category for school reopenings, with high risk being anything over 75 new cases per 100,000 residents over a 14-day period. In order to stay under that number, the county would need to maintain an average of fewer than 27 new cases per day.
Since last Friday, there have been 182 new cases in the county, for an average of 26 per day.
Clark County Public Health said it’s a little too early yet to know if gatherings over the Labor Day weekend may be increasing the prevalence of the virus in the area. The county has also not noted any significant outbreaks tied to a Sept. 4 religious gathering at the Vancouver Waterfront Park.
“It usually takes a few weeks to see the impacts, given the incubation period (up to 14 days) and the amount of time it takes for folks to seek testing and get results,” wrote Marissa Armstrong, a senior communications specialist with CCPH in an email to Clark County Today. “The poor air quality may also complicate things if people hunkered down and delayed seeking testing.”
As of Friday there were 24 confirmed cases in Clark County hospitals, with 13 other people hospitalized with a suspected COVID-19 infection. That represents 5.9 percent of available hospital beds. That number has risen in the past two weeks, but remains below the 10 percent threshold set by the state.
Bridge Chiropractic update
The Public Health department has been busy working to contact people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 by an employee who tested positive at Bridge Chiropractic Clinic, located at 13800 NE 20th Ave in Salmon Creek. The business operates under the umbrella of ChiroOne Wellness Centers of Illinois.
Clark County Public Health confirmed on Wednesday that an employee of the business had tested positive earlier this week, after working closely with clients on Sept. 8-11. Nearly 300 customers may have been exposed.
As of today, Armstrong said two other employees at the clinic are considered probable cases. A rapid results antigen test came back positive, but the county won’t consider them confirmed cases until after a PCR test, which looks for the virus RNA, also comes back positive.
Armstrong says 237 of the customers considered close contacts have been successfully notified. Twenty-eight others either declined to speak with case investigators, or didn’t respond to four separate phone calls and a text message. One other person denied having been to the facility, and 26 more are still in the process of being contacted.
The Washington Department of Health confirmed today that they received a complaint in June, and another in July, regarding staff at Bridge Chiropractic not using masks or other protective equipment, or enforcing social distancing.
Following the second complaint, DOH says they provided “technical assistance” to the clinic, advising them of the state requirements and potential consequences.
An additional complaint was received later that same month, prompting DOH to begin an investigation through the state Chiropractic Commission on July 30. Despite that, another complaint was received in August, and authorized for investigation on Aug. 27.
The Commission determined this week to expand their investigation following more allegations from clients that emerged after the confirmed case.
The state’s Department of Labor and Industries also said Friday they opened a separate investigation on Thursday evening, after being notified of the outbreak by Clark County Public Health.