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Coronavirus sets new weekend record in Clark County

New cases continue to surge in SW Washington's most populated county and health officials say there are several likely reasons.

VANCOUVER, Wash. — As fall sets in, coronavirus cases continue to climb in Clark County.

The damp weather pushing more people indoors could already be part of the problem.

But Deputy Health Officer Dr. Steven Krager says there is not one clear culprit.

“It’s small gatherings, it’s household transmission, we’re still seeing cases in long term care facilities, adult family homes we’ve also seen a number of cases recently; so it’s not one thing, it’s a lot of things that are all kind of piling together."

The many probable causes are piling together to create a record-high weekend total of confirmed cases. For the three days running Friday to Sunday, 157 people tested positive. Clark County also recorded one death, a woman in her 80's with underlying health conditions.

The bottom line: the county's COVID-19 activity level remains high.

Clark County climbed into the high range back on Sept. 21, with 76.15 new cases per 100,000 residents in a two-week period. Thanks to this past weekend, the latest reading pushes the county up to 100.1 per 100,000.

Credit: KGW

“I wish we could tackle like one thing I think it would easier to focus our efforts but we’re kind of putting fires out everywhere," said Krager.

As the surge continues, Washington state is beginning to slightly loosen some rules. 

Restaurants can now have a maximum of six people at a table instead of five. And they no longer must be from the same household. Also, bars and restaurants can now serve alcohol until 11 p.m., an hour later than before. And movie theatres can open to 25% capacity under Phase 2 guidelines. All of this is with the same mask, social distance and other safety rules in place.

Dr. Krager’s biggest concern may be the perception.

“I don’t want people to interpret the loosening as like 'Hey things are better so we don’t have to worry so much' because that’s really not the case.”

And he said as hard as it is, we should do everything we can, to not get or spread COVID-19.

Staying outside wearing masks and trying to keep the numbers as little as possible. Doing a video call with people or even just talking on the phone, that’s a safer way to connect with people right now, said Krager.

And Monday's numbers are now in with 23 new cases and another death, of a man in his 80's with no underlying health conditions.  So far nearly 4,000 people have tested positive in Clark County, and 64 people have died from COVID-19.

For more information, visit the Clark County Public Health website.