Clark County asks people to stay home for July 4 as COVID-19 cases surge

40 new cases were reported in the county on Wednesday. That’s the highest number of cases reported in a single day since the coronavirus crisis began.

VANCOUVER, Wash. — Health officials in Clark County are asking people to stay home for the Fourth of July weekend after 40 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the county on Wednesday.

That’s the highest number of cases reported in a single day since the coronavirus crisis began.

In the first three weeks of June, just over seven cases a day were reported; in the last eight days the average has grown to 20 new cases per day. 

“Clark County’s case numbers are going up,” said Clark County Health Officer Dr. Alan Melnick. “This is a dangerous time for gatherings. We cannot disregard physical distancing simply because it’s a holiday weekend.”

Clark County officials said that out of the 72 people they interviewed who had COVID-19 in the last week, 15 percent of cases were most likely exposed at private gatherings of two to 10 people.

Public Health is urging Clark County residents to limit Fourth of July gatherings to no more than five people from outside of the household. That’s the largest gathering size allowed under Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan.

“Clark County residents can also take steps to keep themselves healthy and help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community,” said Clark County Public Health spokesperson Marissa Armstrong. “Everyone should continue to maintain physical distancing and wear face coverings in public. Remember to wash hands frequently, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water aren’t available, cover coughs and sneezes, avoid touching your face with unwashed hands, frequently disinfect high-touch surfaces and stay home when sick.”

Clark County remains in Phase 2 of the reopening plan. The county has submitted an application for Phase 3, but does not yet have a timeline for entering the new phase.

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