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Clark County closes in on 300 COVID-19 cases

Clark County Public Health confirmed 19 new COVID-19 cases Monday morning in its first update since Friday.

The county now has 296 confirmed novel coronavirus cases, and 16 deaths — no new deaths were reported Monday. At least 2,827 people have been tested in Clark County, although the number is higher because the state Department of Health does not record negative results from point-of-care testing, which is available in Clark County.

According to Public Health, there are 21 people hospitalized in Clark County for COVID-19, and five people in an intensive care unit.

Clark County long-term care facilities are associated with 50 of the county’s cases, which are in either staff or residents at the facilities. Twenty-eight cases are in assisted/independent living facilities, 12 are in skilled nursing facilities and 10 are in adult family homes, which have a small number of residents.

The majority of confirmed cases (176) are in women, while men make up 14 of the deaths. People in their 40s make up 62 of the county’s cases, while 53 cases are people in their 60s. Thirteen deaths were people 70 and older.

Washington has more than 12,000 confirmed cases. Clark County has the seventh highest number of cases in the state as of press time Monday evening, according to statistics from the Department of Health.

For more information, visit Clark County’s novel coronavirus webpage, or the state Department of Health’s webpage.

12,000 specimen kits recalled

According to a Saturday news release, the Department of Health recalled 12,000 COVID-19 specimen collection kits that had been sent to local health jurisdictions, tribal nations and state agency partners. The kits were recalled because of potential contamination to viral transport media, which is a fluid that preserves a specimen during transport to a laboratory for testing.

A small number of the viral transport media displayed an unusual color, which prompted the state to recall all kits sent out in the batch, out of an abundance of caution. The Department of Health said there should be no risk to patients, and that it did not think any test results were impacted.

University of Washington Medicine procured the kits from a factory in China and first noticed the potential contamination, relaying the issue to the Department of Health, according to The Seattle Times.

As a result of the decision, Clark County had 2,000 test kits recalled, according to Eric Frank, a spokesman for Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency. Frank said the county is working with local medical providers to ensure destruction of kits from this batch.

Frank said the Department of Health has not yet offered a detailed timeline of when new kits will be sent to Clark County to replace the 2,000 recalled ones. It has been in contact, though, Frank said.

According to the Saturday news release, the Department of Health is working to find replacements as quickly as possible.

“Though the quality control issue has only been observed in a small number of tubes of viral transport media, we adhere to the highest quality standards for COVID-19 testing in Washington state,” Secretary of Health John Wiesman said in a statement. “We are working with our partners to have them discard the product and will work to replace them as quickly as we can.”


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