Clark County COVID-19 death toll rises to eight, 131 cases

The county is also releasing more details on which zip codes have the most confirmed cases

CLARK COUNTY — The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Clark County climbed by just one on Thursday, up to 131 since the outbreak began. But two more deaths were confirmed, bringing the total to eight.

The latest deaths were of a man in his 60s, and another man in his 70s. This marks the first time someone under the age of 70 has died from COVID-19 in Clark County.

Clark County Public Health says 1,203 residents have been tested for COVID-19 as of March 31.

During a telephone town hall with Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler on Wednesday evening, Clark County Public Health Officer Dr. Alan Melnick was asked about how area hospitals are coping with the increase in cases with COVID-like symptoms (CLI).

“We have 11 patients at Legacy Salmon Creek, eight at PeaceHealth Southwest, and two at PeaceHealth St. Johns,” Melnick said. 

As of Wednesday, Legacy was using 75 percent of its Intensive Care Unit beds, with four empty, according to Melnick. Things were better at PeaceHealth Southwest, with 42 percent of ICU beds in use, leaving 14 available, and 10 beds empty at PeaceHealth St. Johns in Longview, or 38 percent of capacity used.

Melnick said the county is working to get that information updated on their website as soon as possible.

The county has also, for the first time, released a map detailing the number of cases in Clark County by zip code. The data, Melnick said, will be updated each Friday.

This map shows confirmed COVID-19 case spread by zip code in Clark County. Image courtesy Clark County Public Health
This map shows confirmed COVID-19 case spread by zip code in Clark County. Image courtesy Clark County Public Health`

The next hurdle, according to Melnick, will be to increase testing capacity. 

“I know that PeaceHealth is moving sometime this week to be able to do in-house testing,” he said, “and The Vancouver Clinic, as well, is moving towards in house testing. And Legacy is, I believe, already doing that. So testing is increasing.”

Melnick added that there are ongoing discussions about potential for new bed space, should the need arise. Right now, the hope is that people staying home can flatten the curve enough to allow the area to get through the worst of the pandemic without overtaxing capacity.

On Wednesday, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee put out an appeal to businesses in the state to join the effort to produce protective equipment for healthcare providers, along with testing supplies. 

Jennifer Baker, president of the Columbia River Economic Development Council (CREDC) said they would host a teleconference on Friday morning for businesses interested in joining that effort.

“To talk about how you can register to sell your goods and services to the federal government,” she said. “What opportunities are there for you as a company to be able to support the national-level COVID response.”

CREDC has set up a webpage with links to resources for business owners looking for information on relief made available through the state and federal disaster declarations, the stimulus package, and other resources. You can also find information there if you feel your business could be helpful in pivoting to assist with efforts to make supplies for the effort.

Clark County COVID-19 case demographics

Cases, deaths by age

Age CasesDeaths
19 and younger20
20-29 years120
30-39 years130
40-49 years320
50-59 years260
60-69 years241
70-79 years122
80 and older95
unknown10

Cases, deaths by gender

GenderCasesDeaths
Female812
Male506

More information can be found here.

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