Novel coronavirus

Novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a new respiratory disease. Washington State Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the first U.S. case of COVID-19 in Snohomish County, Wash. on Jan. 21. Since then, the virus has spread across the state and country. Clark County Public Health announced the first local case on March 6.

For the latest information on cases in the U.S., visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. For the latest information on cases in the state, visit the Washington State Department of Health website.

Safe Start Washington

Under Gov. Inslee's Safe Start Washington plan, businesses and activities will re-open in phases with adequate physical distancing measures and health standards in place. 

Clark County is in Phase 2 of the reopening plan. Businesses and industries eligible to reopen in Phase 2 include hair and nail salons, barbershops, real estate, pet grooming and new construction, among others. Retail stores can open for in-store purchases and restaurants can resume dine-in services with limitations on the number of diners.

Phase 2 also allows for small gatherings of no more than five people from outside the household per week. All outdoor recreation involving no more than five people from outside the household, such as camping and visiting beaches, can also resume in Phase 2.

Businesses approved to reopen in Phase 2, and all subsequent phases, must follow industry-specific guidance issued by the governor. Businesses, nonprofits and workers with questions about the Safe Start policy plan for returning to work, safety guidelines for your business or industry, or financial assistance can submit an inquiry to the state.

Additional resources for businesses and employers are available on the COVID-19 resources page.

Report businesses suspected of violating the governor's order here. Workplace safety complaints about coronavirus or other issues can be filed by calling Washington Labor & Industries at 800.423.7233.

Phase 3: Clark County submitted its application to enter Phase 3 of the reopening plan on Friday, June 26. Gov. Inslee has since put all phase advancements on pause indefinitely.

Public Health is monitoring data for key metrics outlined in the Phase 3 application


COVID-19 activity

Current COVID-19 activity high

COVID-19 activity is determined by calculating the number of new cases per 100,000 residents in the county over 14 days. Public Health calculates the current COVID-19 activity level in Clark County once a week and posts the updated rate on the website every Tuesday.

The rate calculated by Public Health may differ from the rate calculated by the Washington State Department of Health, due to delays in data reporting. Public Health data is the most up to date and will be used by Public Health and Clark County school districts when making decisions about schools. Long-term care facilities should use the Clark County Public Health rate for their Safe Start for Long-Term Care plans.

Recent COVID-19 activity levels (rate is calculated weekly):

  • Aug. 31: 63.05 cases per 100,000
  • Sept. 7: 64.07 cases per 100,000
  • Sept. 14: 69.4 cases per 100,000
  • Sept. 21: 76.15 cases per 100,000

Recommendations for schools

The risk of COVID-19 being introduced into schools depends on the level of COVID-19 spread in the community. At this time, any degree of in-person instruction will present some risk of infection to students and school staff.

While children generally have mild COVID-19 disease, serious infections have occurred. Teachers and other school staff are at risk for more serious disease, particularly older adults and those with certain underlying health conditions. Students and staff who get infected with COVID-19 can spread the virus to others in the school and the community.

In-person learning provides a broad range of benefits to children, but virus transmission in the community must be low enough to make attendance safe for students and staff. Washington State Department of Health’s decision tree framework for reopening schools for in-person learning provides the following recommendations based on COVID-19 activity in the community:

  • High COVID-19 activity: More than 75 cases per 100,000 people over 14 days
  • Recommendations: Distance learning with the option for limited in-person learning for students who need it most, such as children with disabilities and students living homeless. Sports and extracurricular activities postponed or canceled.
  • Moderate COVID-19 activity: 25 to 75 cases per 100,000 people over 14 days
  • Recommendations: Distance learning with the option for limited in-person learning for students who need it most, such as children with disabilities and students living homeless. Gradual expansion of in-person education, beginning with elementary students. Over time, consider adding hybrid in-person learning for middle or high school students. Sports and extracurricular activities postponed or canceled. Consider low-risk activities when all students have some level of in-person learning.
  • Low COVID-19 activity: Less than 25 cases per 100,000 people over 14 days
  • Recommendations: Full time in-person learning for all elementary students and hybrid learning for middle and high school students. Over time and if physical space allows, consider full time in-person learning for middle and high school students. Consider low and moderate risk in-person extracurricular activities.

Clark County Public Health is working closely with local superintendents on plans to safely resume in-person education. Public Health will reference the state’s decision tree framework, monitor COVID-19 activity in the community and consider other factors, such as hospitalization trends and the percentage of COVID-19 tests coming back positive, when making recommendations to schools.

Public Health will consider recommending expanded in-person learning, beginning with the youngest students, after COVID-19 levels remain in the moderate range for at least three consecutive weeks following Labor Day. Likewise, COVID-19 activity levels will need to remain in the moderate range for at least three consecutive weeks before adding hybrid in-person learning for older students.

The three-week waiting period will allow Public Health and school administrators to see how the changes affect local COVID-19 activity levels and identify any potential virus transmission in the schools.

Additional resources for schools and parents are available on COVID-19 resources page.


Public Health recommendations

What should I do if I have symptoms?

Anyone who develops symptoms of COVID-19 should contact their health care provider about testing as soon as possible. Early testing is critical to slowing the spread of COVID-19 in Clark County.

 

Most health care facilities now offer COVID-19 testing. People who are unable to access testing through their regular health care provider, those who do not have a health care provider or those who are uninsured can contact the following facilities to request testing:

  • Legacy GoHealth. Hazel Dell, 360.787.4151. Cascade Park, 360.787.4135.
  • *Providence Walk-In Clinic, Battle Ground. 360.687.6650.
  • Rite Aid, 2800 NE 162nd Ave., Vancouver. Register online to schedule an appointment. (drive up testing available)
  • *Rose Urgent Care and Family Practice, Vancouver. 360.952.4457. (drive up testing available)
  • *Sea Mar Community Health Center, Battle Ground. Call 360.342.8060 to schedule an appointment. (drive up testing available)
    • Testing hours: 8:30 am to noon Tuesdays, 1 to 4:30 pm Thursdays
  • *Sea Mar Community Health Center, East Vancouver. Call 360.726.6720 to schedule an appointment. (drive up testing available)
    • Testing hours: 8:30 to 11:15 am Mondays, 1 to 4:15 pm Thursdays
  • *Sea Mar Community Health Center, Salmon Creek. Call 360.852.9070 to schedule an appointment. (drive up testing available)
    • Testing hours: 1 to 5 pm Wednesdays, 9 am to noon Thursdays
  • The Vancouver Clinic. Various locations. Call 360.882.2778 to schedule an appointment.

(*These facilities are providing tests at no cost for those who are uninsured. Some may charge a fee for the office visit. Call the facility for more information.) 

Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should call their health care provider or one of the above facilities in advance so the facility can take steps to prevent exposing others.

Here is additional guidance for people who have or think they have COVID-19:

How can I keep myself and others healthy?

Clark County Public Health is urging everyone to take steps to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community:

  • Wear face coverings. Cloth face coverings should be worn anytime you are in public or gather with others from outside of your household.
  • Give space. Stay at least 6 feet away from other people, in public and anytime you're around people you don't live with.
  • Don't congregate. Gatherings should be small (no more than five people) and infrequent.

Everyday practices to prevent colds, influenza and other respiratory illnesses can also protect people against coronaviruses, including COVID-19. Clark County 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.

Face covering requirements

Washington State Secretary of Health John Wiesman issued a health order mandating the use of cloth face coverings, effective June 26.

Face coverings are required in all common spaces, such as public buildings, businesses, health care facilities, shared hallways of apartment buildings and hotels, elevators, while riding public transportation or in a taxi or ride-sharing vehicle. Face coverings are also required when outdoors and unable to maintain physical distancing.

The mandate applies to those 5 years and older. Face coverings are recommended, but not required, for children 2 to 5 years old while in public places. Children younger than 2 should not wear face coverings. There are exemptions for people with certain disabilities or health conditions.

Gov. Inslee issued an order, effective July 7, that requires businesses to enforce the use of face coverings by all customers and visitors. Under the order, businesses cannot provide goods or services to those who are not following the face covering mandate.

Report businesses suspected of violating the governor's order here.

All employees are also required to wear cloth face coverings or face masks, except when working alone in an office, vehicle, or at a job site. Employers must provide cloth face coverings to employees, unless their exposure dictates a higher level of protection.

Refer to the state Department of Labor & Industries’ Coronavirus Facial Covering and Mask Requirements or their Which Mask for Which Task guide for more information. Labor & Industries also an online mask tool to help employees select the appropriate face coverings. And visit the Department of Labor & Industries' website for answers to frequently asked questions regarding the face covering requirement.

Additional information about the face covering requirements are available on the Washington State Department of Health website and the state Coronavirus Response website.

What are cloth face coverings?

A cloth face covering is fabric that covers the nose and mouth. It can be:

  • A sewn mask secured with ties or straps around the head or behind the ears
  • A piece of fabric tied around a person’s head
  • Made from variety of materials, such as fleece, cotton or linen
  • Factory-made or made from household items such as scarfs, T-shirts or towels

Cloth face coverings are not a replacement for physical distancing or limiting contact with others. Face coverings also do not replace the need to frequently wash hands with soap and water, avoid touching your face with unwashed hands and stay away from people who are sick. Taking all of these steps, in addition to wearing face coverings, are important for staying healthy and preventing the spread of COVID-19.

How do cloth face coverings work?

Cloth face coverings are intended to protect others, not yourself. People infected with the virus causing COVID-19 may not have any symptoms (asymptomatic) but still spread the virus. And people who are infected can spread the virus up to two days before they develop symptom (pre-symptomatic).

When a person who is already infected with the virus (even if they don’t have symptoms) wears a cloth face covering, it can prevent the spread of infection to others by blocking droplets from spreading when the person coughs, sneezes or speaks.

To be effective, face coverings should be worn consistently. Be sure to wash hands before putting on a fabric mask and after taking it off, and be careful not to touch your face with unwashed hands if adjusting the mask. Face coverings should be changed when moist and washed after use. Worn face coverings may be contaminated. Find more dos and don'ts of face coverings here.

Learn how to make a no-sew fabric mask in this video with Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams. Additional tips and instructions for making face coverings are available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

people wearing face coverings
How do I correctly wear a face covering?
  • Wash your hands before putting on your face covering
  • Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
  • Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face
  • Make sure you can breathe easily
  • Don’t put the face covering around your neck or up on your forehead
  • Don’t touch the face covering, and, if you do, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer to disinfect
How do I safely take off a face covering?
  • Untie the strings behind your head or stretch the ear loops
  • Handle only by the ear loops or ties
  • Fold outside corners together
  • Place covering in the washing machine (learn more about how to wash cloth face coverings)
  • Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing and wash hands immediately after removing

 

Public Health response

COVID-19 testing is ordered at the discretion of local health care providers. Public Health does not provide COVID-19 testing and does not need to approve testing for COVID-19. 

All data is preliminary and may change.

Number of positive cases 3,425
Number of active cases* 131
Number of deaths 55
Rate of new cases per 100,000 population** 76.15

Numbers updated Sept. 28. Public Health will update these numbers by noon Monday through Friday. Numbers are cumulative. The number of positive cases and deaths included in this table may differ from numbers on the Washington State Department of Health website. Public Health data is the most up-to-date on positive cases and deaths. The number of positive cases reflects the number of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. People with multiple positive tests are only counted once. Antibody test results are not included in these totals.

*Number of active cases reflects the number of confirmed cases currently in their isolation period. Confirmed cases remain in isolation until they are fever-free for at least 24 hours (without fever-reducing medication) and symptoms have improved and at least 10 days have passed since symptoms began. 

**Rate updated Sept. 22. This rate will be updated once a week. Rate of newly diagnosed cases per 100,000 people in the county over a two-week period. The two week period starts six days prior to the current date to account for the lag in reporting. 

COVID-19 testing

Date range Positive tests Total tests Percent positive
To date* 2,818 93,971 3.00%
July 26-Aug. 1 175 4,456 3.93%
Aug. 2-8 184 5,092 3.61%
Aug. 9-15 175 4,945 3.54%
Aug. 16-22 152 5,252 2.89%
Aug. 23-29 156 4,572 3.41%
Aug. 30-Sept. 5 206 4,022 5.12%

Updated Sept. 18. Data to date and for each of the most recent six weeks for which data is available. Clark County Public Health collects testing data from Washington State Department of Health and local providers to determine total test numbers and positivity rates in Clark County. This data includes all negative tests, including multiple negative tests for the same individual. Data is preliminary and may change.

*Data through Sept. 5.

COVID-19 cases

Age  Cases
0-9 years 135
10-19 years 276
20-29 years 609
30-39 years 559
40-49 years 519
50-59 years 445
60-69 years 309
70-79 years 168
80 and older 150
Total

3,170

Updated Sept. 22. Age data will be updated weekly.

Gender Cases
Female 1,601
Male 1,335
Unknown/refused 6
No data 228
Total 3,170

Updated Sept. 22. Gender data will be updated weekly.

COVID-associated deaths

Age Deaths
0-9 years 0
10-19 years 0
20-29 years 0
30-39 years 2
40-49 years 1
50-59 years 1
60-69 years 10
70-79 years 10
80 and older 31
Total 55
 
Gender Deaths
Female 21
Male 34
Total 55

Updated Sept. 23.

Cases by verification date

This graphic shows the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Clark County, by the date the case was verified. Numbers for the most recent days may change as results for those tests become available.

Updated Sept. 22. This graphic will be updated weekly.

Cumulative cases by zip code

Zip code

Cases Rate
98601 n/a n/a
98604 182 465.3
98606 47 475.0
98607 165 497.9
98629 20 210.3
98642 76 344.4
98660 64 483.3
98661 381 813.3
98662 297 848.1
98663 83 534.6
98664 169 712.3
98665 238 889.7
98671 108 505.4
98674 13 455.4
98675 18 233.0
98682 468 727.2
98683 214 635.9
98684 213 713.2
98685 127 427.0
98686 112 533.3
unknown 171 n/a

Updated Sept. 22. This data will be updated weekly.

Cumulative count and rate of cases by zip code per 100,000 people. Counts and rates in zip codes with fewer than 10 cases are redacted from table to protect privacy. This data only represents confirmed cases and the zip codes in which they live. It does not account for undiagnosed cases or areas where the confirmed cases were exposed to the virus. 

Cases by race, ethnicity

Race Cases
American Indian/Alaska Native 13
Asian 55
Black/African American 47
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander 57
White/Caucasian 1,521
Other/More than one race 322
Unknown/declined 305
No data 850
Total 3,170
Ethnicity Cases
Hispanic/Latinx 719
Non-Hispanic/Latinx 1,431
Other 172
Unknown/declined 102
No data 746
Total 3,170

Updated Sept. 22. This data will be updated weekly.

Current hospitalizations

COVID-19 cases hospitalized 21
COVID-19 PUIs hospitalized* 13
Percent of licensed hospital beds occupied  64.8%
Percent licensed hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients & PUIs* 5.4%

Updated Sept. 28. This data will be updated daily. Data for PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center and Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center. 

*PUIs is persons under investigation for COVID-19 (individuals awaiting test results).


Case interviews and contact notifications

Case interviews and contact notifications are important tools for slowing the spread of COVID-19 in our community. But there is a lot of misinformation circulating about these practices.

So what does this process look like in Clark County? 

Health care providers notify Clark County Public Health every time someone tests positive for COVID-19. After receiving the report, Public Health calls the sick person to see how they are doing. We ask them to stay home until they are no longer considered contagious. This is to ensure they don’t spread the virus to others.

We also ask the sick person to share some information with us:

  • If they have symptoms and when their symptoms started
  • Where they went while they may have been contagious
  • Who they had close contact with while they may have been contagious

This information is kept private. We only use it to identify close contacts who may be at risk of getting COVID-19. Close contacts include everyone who:

  • was within 6 feet of the sick person for more than 15 minutes
  • was near the sick person’s coughs or sneezes
  • lives in the same home as the sick person
  • cared for the sick person

We call each of those close contacts and ask them to stay home for 14 days. We ask them to stay home so if they develop COVID-19, they don’t get others sick. Staying home the whole time is important because people can spread COVID-19 before they know they are sick.

We also call or text those close contacts every day to see if they’ve developed symptoms. If so, we help them to get tested. We also ask if they need other help, like someone to pick up their groceries.

This process isn't new in Clark County. Public Health conducted case interviews and contact notifications during the measles outbreak last year, and we've used these tools during the current COVID-19 pandemic. 

As the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order is modified and more people are out and about, we’ll aim to identify close contacts of all cases within 24 hours. Acting quickly is crucial for slowing the spread of COVID-19 and keeping our community safe, healthy and open.


Multilingual resources

Recursos adicionales (Español - Spanish)

Additional resources (Tiếng Việt - Vietnamese)

Additional resources (中文 - Chinese)

Additional resources (한국어 - Korean)

Additional resources (ภาษาไทย - Thai)

Additional resources (American Sign Language)


Frequently asked questions

Novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a new respiratory disease. Washington State Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the first U.S. case of COVID-19 in Snohomish County, Wash. on Jan. 21. COVID-19 is part of a larger family of coronaviruses, some of which are normally circulating in the community and can cause illnesses like the common cold.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • cough
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of these symptoms:

  • fever
  • chills
  • repeated shaking with chills
  • muscle pain
  • headache
  • sore throat
  • new loss of taste or smell

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include:

  • trouble breathing
  • persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • new confusion or inability to arouse
  • bluish lips or face

This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

Anyone who develops symptoms of COVID-19 should contact their health care provider about testing as soon as possible. Early testing is critical to slowing the spread of COVID-19 in Clark County.

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include:

  • trouble breathing
  • persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • new confusion or inability to arouse
  • bluish lips or face

This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

Here is additional guidance for people who have or think they have COVID-19:

Clark County Public Health is urging everyone to take steps to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community:

  • Wear face coverings. Cloth face coverings should be worn anytime you are in public or gather with others from outside of your household.
  • Give space. Stay at least 6 feet away from other people, in public and anytime you're around people you don't live with.
  • Don't congregate. Gatherings should be small (no more than five people) and infrequent.

Everyday practices to prevent colds, influenza and other respiratory illnesses can also protect people against coronaviruses, including COVID-19. Clark County 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.

There is no specific treatment for COVID-19 that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. People with COVID-19 can receive supportive care from hospitals to help relieve symptoms.

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for recommendations about traveling within the U.S. and internationally.

Yes. Face coverings should be worn anytime you go in public or gather with people who you do not live with.

People infected with the virus causing COVID-19 may not have any symptoms (asymptomatic) but still spread the virus. And people who are infected can spread the virus up to two days before they develop symptom (pre-symptomatic).

When a person who is already infected with the virus (even if they don’t have symptoms) wears a cloth face covering, it can prevent the spread of infection to others by blocking droplets from spreading when the person coughs, sneezes or speaks.

Pregnant people might be at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared to non-pregnant people. Additionally, there may be an increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth, among pregnant people with COVID-19. 

For more information about COVID-19 and pregnancy, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

While COVID-19 originated in Wuhan, China, the disease is not specific to any ethnic group or national origin. The risk of infection is based on exposure to disease, such as through travel to an area where the disease is occurring, and not on race, ethnicity or where someone was born. Viruses do not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, gender or birthplace.

You can help to reduce stigma and discrimination associated with a disease outbreak by doing the following:

  • Speak up if you hear, see or read stigmatizing or harassing comments or misinformation.
  • Show compassion and support for individuals and communities most closely impacted and anyone who might be sick.
  • Do not make assumptions about someone’s health status based on their ethnicity, race or national origin.
  • Share accurate information. Rely on trusted sources of information about the causes of outbreaks from reputable sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Washington State Department of Health.

Here are additional resources with tips for reducing stigma:

Report businesses suspected of violating the governor's order here. Workplace safety complaints about coronavirus or other issues can be filed by calling Washington Labor & Industries at 800.423.7233.