Clark County Public Health reported a COVID-19 death Wednesday, for the second day in a row.
The back-to-back deaths come after the county went more than a week without any reported coronavirus deaths. There were also four new confirmed cases reported Wednesday morning.
Clark County now has 372 confirmed cases and 23 deaths. At least 5,019 people have been tested for the virus in Clark County. The number is an undercount, because medical providers conducting rapid testing have not reported negative results for rapid testing.
Clark County Public Health Officer Dr. Alan Melnick told The Columbian that Public Health is working with providers to set up a system for reporting negative tests from rapid testing.
There are a total of 71 confirmed cases in long-term care facilities.
Ten patients in Clark County are hospitalized for COVID-19, and two cases are in an intensive care unit. Those numbers have been dropping steadily in recent weeks.
According to state Department of Health data from Tuesday, there were at least 358 patients in Washington hospitalized for the virus, and 144 patients were in an ICU.
Across the state, nearly 225,000 people have been tested for the virus, with 15,905 confirmed cases. There have been 870 deaths in Washington.
Board of Health
At Wednesday’s Clark County Board of Health meeting, Melnick said PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center and Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center still have some issues around their stock of personal protective equipment.
PeaceHealth still needs more testing supplies and more powered air purifying respirator hoods. Melnick said Salmon Creek is low on isolation gowns, N95 masks, and powered air purifying respirator helmets.
Staffing, beds and other supplies are in the green, Melnick said.
There have been concerns with supplies in long-term care facilities, he said, particularly when it comes to gowns.
“We still have issues,” Melnick said.
Clark County still does not know how much funding it will allocate to Public Health to hire more staff for close contact monitoring and case investigation, but the county has received around $27 million in federal funds to help with the COVID-19 response.
The Clark County Council could decide on Public Health’s funding portion within the next week.
Melnick said Public Health still has concerns about testing.
According to Public Health, The Vancouver Clinic can do around 1,900 point-of-care tests per week, which are tests conducted on-site at a clinic. Local Kaiser Permanente clinics can do between 700 and 800 point-of-care tests per week, and can collect specimens for around 2,000 laboratory tests per week.
Melnick said Public Health is hoping to give the public comprehensive information on testing locations and capacity soon.
“We’re gathering more data on that,” Melnick said. “I know people want more information on testing, and our staff are contacting all the providers to find out what’s available.”