Ten of the 32 new cases since Friday were linked to a Ridgefield cabinet maker
Clark County’s entry into Phase 2 of reopening comes with a sharp increase in new COVID-19 cases.
According to Clark County Public Health, the county added 32 more cases since last Friday, bringing the overall total to 603. One additional death of a man in his 60s brought the number of deaths to 28.
Eighteen employees at Pacific Crest Building Supply in Ridgefield have tested positive for COVID-19, with 13 testing negative. Thirteen of those are Clark County residents, and 10 are new since last Friday. A total of 112 employees are still awaiting testing results.
The increase in cases represents the sharpest rise in COVID-19 for Clark County since May 26, when 83 new cases were reported. 80 of those were connected to the Firestone Pacific Foods fruit packing facility outbreak, which remained at 132 confirmed cases over the weekend.
With an incubation period of 2-14 days, the increase in cases could potentially be tied to Memorial Day gatherings that happened across the area. A number of other gatherings connected to recent protests have led to more concern for area health officials, who are urging anyone with symptoms to get tested.
The county is working to contact all confirmed cases in order to obtain a list of close contacts, who will then be contacted and advised to isolate for at least 14 days from their last date of contact with the patient.
Despite the rise in cases, the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 has remained low. According to county data, there are five people with confirmed cases in area hospitals, accounting for 1.7 percent of the total number of people hospitalized.
Hospitals in Clark County have 41 percent of certified beds available, so the area is well positioned for any surge in cases.
Statewide, Washington health officials have reported 23,729 confirmed cases, with 1,159 deaths related to COVID-19. Out of more than 400,000 total tests, just under 6 percent have tested positive for the virus.
While the rate of new daily cases has remained relatively steady since mid-April, the number of daily deaths due to COVID-19 has fallen sharply since mid-May, averaging less than 10 per day statewide.
Hospitalization rates have also continued to remain relatively low, and the number of people hospitalized with COVID-like illnesses (CLI) has fallen from nearly 15 percent in early April, to just over 2 percent today.
Under Phase 2, restaurants are allowed to host up to 50 percent of their usual capacity for dine-in service. Hair salons, pet groomers, retail stores, and barber shops are also allowed to reopen with safety restrictions. Gatherings of up to five people are also allowed.
Starting today, businesses are required to have employees who interact with customers or each other wear a mask while at work. Customers are also being encouraged to wear masks while shopping or eating out, and businesses can refuse service to anyone not wearing at least a cloth mask.