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Husband and wife die after contracting COVID-19 in Clark County

The couple, both in their 80s, lived in separate long-term care facilities but were in close contact. They were hospitalized at PeaceHealth last week.

VANCOUVER, Wash. — A husband and wife, both in their 80s, died Monday night after testing positive for COVID-19 last week in Clark County, officials announced Tuesday morning.

These are the first deaths from coronavirus in Clark County.

Dr. Alan Melnick, the public health director and health officer for Clark County, said the couple lived in separate long-term care facilities but were in close contact. They were hospitalized last week at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center.

"This is really a horrible tragedy and our thoughts and prayers are with the family members," Melnick said.

Melnick said the couple didn't travel and that they contracted COVID-19 somewhere in the community.

"I don't know [the specific location] where they contracted it, but I am confident they contracted it in Clark County," he said.

Melnick wouldn't say whether either patient had underlying medical conditions, citing privacy concerns.

One of the patients was a resident at a small adult family home, Melnick said. All the staff and residents at that home have been quarantined and are being actively monitored.

The other patient was a resident at Van Mall, an assisted and independent living community in Vancouver. Close contacts of that patient are being quarantined and actively monitored.

Melnick said no close contacts of the two patients have shown symptoms of COVID-19 to this point.

There are two other people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Clark County.

On Monday, public health officials announced a woman in her 40s tested positive for the coronavirus. She had close contact with a person in Oregon who also tested positive, according to officials.  The woman is quarantined at home, and household members are being quarantined for 14 days, Armstrong said.

A man in his 70s tested positive for COVID-19 on March 6. That man is still in the hospital.

Public health officials will update the number of positive tests by 11 a.m. each day right here.

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Clark County Public Health issued the following recommendations:

Public Health is recommending that people at higher risk stay home and away from large groups of people as much as possible.

People at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19 include people:

  • older than 60.
  • who have serious chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and lung disease.
  • who have weakened immune systems.

Anyone who has questions about whether their condition puts them at risk for COVID-19 should consult their health care provider.

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