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Morning Press: 1918 influenza pandemic; COVID-19 testing expands; mental health facility slated for Vancouver

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In case you missed them, here are some of the top stories from the week:

In 1918, influenza swept through Clark County, Washington

Vancouver was an Army town in 1918, and on Nov. 11 of that year joyful residents held a parade to celebrate the end of World War I. While soldiers marched in the streets, they later returned to Vancouver Barracks, where they were otherwise under a strict quarantine.

Residents had also recently been under a statewide quarantine. But local officials allowed the war-weary residents to emerge from it as Clark County grappled with the local peak of the 1918 influenza pandemic.

Clark County COVID-19 testing options expand

Last week, Beth Hovee called her primary care provider, concerned that she might have a sinus infection.

Hovee, 66, had a dull headache, an ear infection and a sore throat but no fever. Her husband, Eric Hovee, 68, had a worsening cough.

Clark County economic development specialist resigned after three days

Clark County had finally filled its vacant economic development specialist position in March. But as tension between the county council and county manager intensified, the new employee lasted only three days.

James Sauls’ first day with the county was March 2. By midweek, as county officials became aware of social media posts that led to his demotion at a previous job, he had resigned.

DSHS proposes mental health facility in Vancouver’s Bagley Downs neighborhood

Vancouver could become the first city in the state to see a new mental health evaluation and treatment facility intended to treat patients in a more intimate setting closer to home. It’s part of the state’s shift toward regional mental health treatment centers and less reliance on Western State Hospital, a large psychiatric facility in Lakewood.

“We are so under-bedded in the state of Washington,” said Ken Taylor, special assistant at the Department of Social and Health Services’ Behavioral Health Administration.

State superintendent says even fall may be too soon to return to school

SPOKANE — For stressed-out parents who wonder when all of this will end, the experts can offer only a few not-very-helpful charts.

Often accompanied by the phrase “flattening the curve,” they demonstrate the effectiveness of social distancing and stay-home orders in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.


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