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Clark County officials: Husband and wife in their 80s die from COVID-19

Clark Co COVID Deaths Presser
Clark Co COVID Deaths Presser(KPTV)
Published: Feb. 15, 2022 at 1:07 PM PST
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CLARK COUNTY, Wash. (KPTV) - Two people who were diagnosed with COVID-19 have died in Clark County, officials announced Tuesday morning.

Public health officials said the patients, who were a husband and wife in their 80s, died Monday evening. These are the first deaths from the virus in the county.

The couple were living in separate care facilities, but had contact with each other.

One was a resident at a small adult family home. Officials said all staff and residents there have been quarantined and are being actively monitored.

The other was a resident at Van Mall Retirement, an assisted/independent living facility with more than 200 residents. Public health officials has notified close contacts of that patient. They are being quarantined and actively monitored.

The couple were both hospitalized in isolation at Peace Health Southwest early last week.

“I can’t imagine what the family’s going through,” Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer and public health director, said. “It’s tough enough to lose both of your parents at one time, I can’t imagine that. Plus, there are restrictions on public gatherings right now and that’s got to be incredibly difficult for them.”

Leisure Care, the company that operates Van Mall Retirement, released a statement on Tuesday afternoon:

It is with saddened hearts that we write this update regarding a positive case of COVID-19 at VanMall Retirement Community. Late this morning we were informed that one of our residents, who has been in the hospital since last week, passed away. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time, as well as our staff who care deeply for each and every resident at our community. We will ensure that residents, family and staff are provided with all the emotional support necessary to help them navigate this situation.

Our staff at VanMall and the entire Leisure Care team, are committed to continue working tirelessly and do everything in our power to provide the best service in the safest manner possible. We continue to work with the Clark County Department of Health and the state of Washington to ensure that all steps have been taken to ensure the health and safety of our residents and staff. We have not received any further positive tests and our staff and residents that were in contact with the individual, are in self-quarantine and being monitored for any new signs or symptoms. We will continue with all precautions that are already in place, including:

  • All restaurants are closed for dining at all Leisure Care communities. Residents are being served meals in their apartments, and we are using one-time disposable dishes, napkins, and silverware.
  • No social visits are allowed. Visitors are strictly limited to only those that are medically necessary.
  • Activities throughout the community are canceled until further notice. We will try to get residents out on walks and other very limited activities while respecting the social distancing directives.
  • Residents are asked to remain in their apartments and to come into common areas only if absolutely necessary.
  • All residents are encouraged to remain in the community. If someone must go out into the larger community, we ask that they wear a mask and continue to utilize all recommended hygiene practices to ensure public safety.
  • We continue to screen all medically necessary visitors and staff for wellness according to the policies outlined by the CDC.
  • We’re cleaning and sanitizing every two hours throughout our communities, with extra attention given to doorknobs, handrails, elevator buttons, counters, tabletops, equipment, and other high-touch areas.

Four cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed in Clark County. The first case in the county was confirmed on March 6. The fourth case was announced Monday.

Clark County Public Health is recommending - but not requiring - that people at higher risk of the coronavirus stay home and away from large groups of people as much as possible.

People considered higher risk are older than 60 years old, those with serious chronic medical conditions - such as diabetes, heart disease and lung disease - and those who have weakened immune systems.

Anyone with questions about whether their condition puts them at risk for COVID-19 should contact their health care provider.