28 new COVID-19 cases, one more death, confirmed in Clark County

The person who died was a man in his 80s who had previously been hospitalized

CLARK COUNTY — The number of people testing positive for COVID-19 in Clark County more than doubled on Thursday, according to the public health department, with 28 new confirmed cases bringing the total to 48.

One other person died from the disease, bringing the total to five deaths related to COVID-19 in Clark County since the outbreak began. 

“Two factors are likely contributing to this increase in cases,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer and Public Health director. “First, we’re able to identify more cases because testing is available to more people than it was a few weeks ago. Second, the disease is spreading more in our community. We don’t know which is the bigger factor for the increase.”

The positive results came from a combination of tests done by the state public health lab, as well as health care providers and private labs throughout the state. All were from samples collected in the last two to 10 days.

The most recent victim was a man in his 80s, who had previously been hospitalized. He had no known contact with any other confirmed cases.

Melnick said there are no known outbreaks of COVID-19 within long-term care facilities in the county.

While information about the 28 confirmed cases released today is still being gathered, the county was able to give age ranges.

  • 20 to 29 years: 1
  • 30 to 39 years: 4
  • 40 to 49 years: 5
  • 50 to 59 years: 7
  • 60 to 69 years: 6
  • 70 to 79 years: 4
  • 90 to 99 years: 1

Melnick said on Wednesday that his office is no longer actively monitoring people who have been in contact with a confirmed case. While they will reach out to all close contacts, they will simply be given information on remaining isolated for at least 14 days from their last contact with a known case.

The best defense remains social distancing, keeping at least six feet away from others when out in public. The governor has issued an order that people should remain in their homes through April 8, unless they are working a job deemed essential, or need groceries. You’re advised to limit grocery shopping to only the essentials, and do so once per week if possible.

Washing hands for at least 20 seconds, with soap and warm water, has been shown to be the best defense against the virus that causes COVID-19. If you’re in public, try your best to avoid touching your face, especially your nose and mouth. If you can’t wash your hands, using hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol, and making sure it remains on your hands for at least a full minute should be sufficient.

Healthcare providers are urging people to remain home if they are experiencing symptoms, and only come to the hospital if you feel you are in dire need of medical attention. 

Symptoms and testing

While testing is available to more people than it was earlier this month, supplies remain limited in Clark County. For this reason, health care providers have to prioritize who receives testing. Not everyone with symptoms will be tested.

People with mild symptoms should stay home and away from others until 72 hours after fever is gone and other symptoms improve. People with worsening symptoms or those with conditions that may increase their risk for serious illness – 60 years or older, underlying health conditions or weakened immune systems – should contact their health care provider. Health care providers will determine whether patients need to be evaluated in person and tested for COVID-19.

Additional information about COVID-19 symptoms and what individuals should do if they have symptoms is available on the Public Health novel coronavirus website.

Public Health will continue to update its novel coronavirus website with new case numbers by 11 a.m. daily. Updates will also be posted on the Public Health Facebook and Twitter accounts. News releases will be issued for other significant changes, such as clusters of deaths or cases, and other Public Health announcements.

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About The Author

Chris Brown comes to Clark County Today with 15 years of local news experience as a reporter, editor, and anchor at KXL News Radio and KOIN-6 TV in Portland. In 2016, he won an Oregon Association of Broadcaster's award for Best Investigative Reporting for a series on America's Violent Youth. He has also been awarded by the Associated Press for Best Breaking News coverage as editor of Portland's Morning News following the 2015 school shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. The second oldest of eight home-schooled children, Brown graduated from high school two years early. After several odd jobs, he earned an internship at KXL Radio, eventually working his way into a full-time job. Brown has lived in Clark County his entire life, and is very excited at the opportunity to now focus full-time on the significant stories happening in his own back yard, rather than across “the river.’’ After a few years in Vancouver, he recently moved back to Battle Ground with his wife and two young daughters. When he's not working to report what's happening in Clark County, Brown enjoys spending time with his family, playing music, taking pictures, or working in the yard. He also actually does enjoy long walks on the beach, and sunsets.

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