Clark County Public Health is working on another attempt to get the county into the second phase of “Safe Start Washington” to reopen businesses and other activities following restrictions put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Public Health announced today, June 2, that it was preparing a new application following an original variance request submitted May 22. That initial application was put “on pause” the following day, after an outbreak of COVID-19 was identified at Firestone Pacific Foods in Vancouver.
Since the outbreak Public Health had submitted data to the state from its response, which as of latest numbers saw 130 test positive with the disease who were linked to the outbreak. On Monday Washington State Secretary of Health John Wiesman asked Clark County Health Officer and Public Health Director Alan Melnick to submit a new application, a release from Public Health stated.
“The new application uses new metrics to measure COVID-19 disease activity, health care system readiness, testing capacity, case interview and contact notification capacity, and protection of high-risk populations,” Public Health’s release stated. The department was working to submit the new application “as soon as possible” and will not be required to receive additional approval from the county Board of Health or Clark County Council.
“Based on the level of COVID-19 activity in the community and our ability to respond quickly, effectively and appropriately, we’re optimistic we’ll receive a favorable review and approval to move to Phase 2,” Melnick said in the release.
Public Health stated they would provide an update when the application is submitted, though the department did not have a timeline for when approval would happen.