Clark County investigating COVID-19 outbreak linked to Vancouver bar

A total of 18 cases have been linked back to Orchards Tap Bar and Grill

VANCOUVER — Clark County Public Health is tracking an outbreak of COVID-19 linked to a Vancouver bar and grill.

Anyone who was at Orchards Tap Bar and Grill on NE Fourth Plain Blvd at 106th Ave between June 19-25 may have been exposed, the agency said in a release.

“Given the number of customers who have tested positive, we’re concerned others may be at risk of getting sick,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer and Public Health director. “We want everyone at risk to get tested so we can isolate those who are contagious and quarantine all of their close contacts as quickly as possible. These steps are necessary to prevent the virus from spreading further.”

To date, Clark County Public Health has linked 18 cases to the business, including 14 customers and four employees.

Orchards Tap Bar and Grill voluntarily closed on June 25, and Public Health began its investigation on June 29 after an employee tested positive. Three additional employees tested positive in the days that followed.

Case interviews showed the most recent case linked to the business was reported on July 2.

Anyone who was at the business between June 19-25 is being asked to contact their healthcare provider and request a test. Those individuals should also self isolate at home for at least 14 days from the last time they were at the business.

The warning comes as Clark County sees a surge in new cases. No numbers were reported on Friday due to the federal holiday, but the county surpassed 900 total known infections on Thursday, with more than 160 new cases just in the past week.

Melnick urged people in the area to avoid public gatherings over the holiday weekend, calling the resurgence in cases and the July 4 holiday a “perfect storm” for the outbreak.

On Friday, Public Health noted that the increase cannot be tied solely to more testing.

In the week ending June 20, there were 3,668 total tests, with 56 positives, making a positivity rate of 1.53 percent.

The following week, there were just under 4,700 tests conducted, but the positivity rate more than doubled to 3.28 percent.

That was the highest rate since mid-April, and more than during the outbreak at Firestone Pacific Foods in Vancouver, or Pacific Crest Building Supply in Ridgefield.

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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