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Clark County sees 2 new COVID-19 deaths, 29 cases as tests become a concern

Clark County Public Health confirmed two more deaths from COVID-19 early this afternoon, along with 29 new cases.

The deaths were men — one in his 60s, one in his 80s — both with underlying health conditions. A total of 26 men and 13 women have died of novel coronavirus in Clark County. Of those, 23 were age 80 or older.

Since March, 1,756 people have been diagnosed with the disease in Clark County. More than 31,000 people in the county have been tested.

According to Public Health, the percentage of positive tests was at 4.79 percent for the week ending July 18, the most recent period for which information is available. For that week, a total of 5,697 tests were administered with 273 positive. The county currently has a target of 13,650 tests per week with 2 percent or fewer positive.

“We are, however, beginning to hear from providers about challenges in acquiring testing supplies,” the agency wrote on its facebook page Wednesday. “As a result, some local providers may be limiting the amount of testing they’re doing. They are still testing those with symptoms, those with upcoming procedures and people admitted to the hospital (among some others).”

At Wednesday’s Board of Health meeting, Clark County Public Health Officer Dr. Alan Melnick also addressed testing and concerns over a lack of testing supplies and long turnaround times at large commercial testing laboratories.

Melnick said one local provider had a shipment of testing supplies diverted to Florida, where rising case counts have increased the demand for tests.

“This is really concerning to me,” Melnick said. “It’s deja vu all over again with what happened back in April.”

As of Thursday, 20 people are hospitalized at either PeaceHealth Southwest or Legacy Salmon Creek medical centers, with 10 more hospital patients waiting on test results. In Clark County, 63.4 percent of hospital beds are occupied, with 4.8 percent occupied by COVID-19 patients or suspected COVID-19 patients.

Statewide, 54,985 people have been diagnosed with novel coronavirus with 1,555 deaths.


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