VIDEO: Clark County officials address latest COVID-19 cases

Clark County Public Health Director Dr. Alan Melnick, others, hold Friday afternoon news conference

VANCOUVER — In the wake of the announcement of two confirmed COVID-19 cases in Clark County earlier Friday, Clark County Public Health Director Dr. Alan Melnick joined other county officials at a news briefing Friday afternoon.

Dr. Alan Melnick, the director of Clark County Public Health, takes questions from the media with Dr. Lawrence Neville, chief medical officer at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, at a press conference on COVID-19 Friday. Photo by Mike Schultz
Dr. Alan Melnick, the director of Clark County Public Health, takes questions from the media with Dr. Lawrence Neville, chief medical officer at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, at a press conference on COVID-19 Friday. Photo by Mike Schultz

Dr. Melnick was joined by Dr. Lawrence Neville, chief medical officer for PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, and Clark County Councilors Gary Medvigy and Temple Lentz at the news conference.

The new cases are a married couple – a man and a woman both in their 80s. The couple live in separate long-term care facilities but were in close contact. Both were transported to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center this week. They remain hospitalized.

One case is a resident of a small adult family home. We will not be identifying the name of that facility, in order to protect residents’ privacy.

All residents and staff of the adult family home are considered close contacts. They will be quarantined for 14 days and monitored by Clark County Public Health.

Clark County Councilor Temple Lentz delivers a state of emergency proclamation due to COVID-19 during a press conference. Photo by Mike Schultz
Clark County Councilor Temple Lentz delivers a state of emergency proclamation due to COVID-19 during a press conference. Photo by Mike Schultz

The other case is a resident at Van Mall, an assisted and independent living community.

Public Health staff is working to identify all potential close contacts – staff and residents – at Van Mall. They will be notified and quarantined for 14 days and monitored by Public Health.

Several first responders were potentially exposed during the transport. Those responders have been identified and, as of today, do not have symptoms but are being quarantined for 14 days.

Public Health recommendations

Clark County Public Health is recommending – but not requiring – that people at higher risk stay home and away from large groups of people as much as possible.

People at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19 include people:

  • older than 60.
  • who have serious chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and lung disease.
  • who have weakened immune systems.

Anyone who has questions about whether their condition puts them at risk for COVID-19 should consult their health care provider.

Clark County Councilor Gary Medvigy speaks for the council chair, during the COVID-19 press conference. Photo by Mike Schultz
Clark County Councilor Gary Medvigy speaks for the council chair, during the COVID-19 press conference. Photo by Mike Schultz

Everyday practices to prevent colds, influenza and other respiratory illnesses can also protect people against COVID-19. Public Health recommends people take the following actions to keep themselves healthy:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Use a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Stay home and away from others when sick.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.

Here is the video of Friday’s press conference: 

Information provided by Clark Co. WA Communications.

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