Clark County health officials recommend wearing masks in indoor public spaces

Published: Dec. 9, 2022 at 11:19 AM PST
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CLARK COUNTY, Wash. (KPTV) - Health officials in Clark County are recommending people wear masks in indoor public spaces as respiratory illnesses continue to spread at high levels.

The respiratory illnesses that health officials are concerned about include respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the flu and COVID-19.

Health officials are recommending “everyone wear a high-quality, well-fitting mask when around others in indoor spaces to protect against both acquiring and spreading these infections to others.”

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The public is also urged to stay up to date on vaccinations, which health officials said is the best way to keep from getting severe infections that could lead to hospitalization and death.

The flu is most dangerous for children under 5, adults 65 and older, those who are pregnant, and anyone who has a chronic condition such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease.

Health officials said other preventative measures include:

  • Staying home from work or school and testing for COVID-19 if you have symptoms.
  • Having a plan for rapid treatment for COVID-19 or the flu for those who are at increased risk for severe infections.
  • Improving air quality through ventilation, filtration, and UV technology, where appropriate.

“In addition to RSV and influenza, new COVID-19 variants are taking hold and immunity from past vaccination is waning for many people who have not yet received an updated booster shot. The surge in these viruses is resulting in many illnesses, contributing to rising absenteeism in schools this fall. This impact extends to businesses, workers, and families,” health officials said in a release.

About 38% of influenza tests administered in Clark County were positive for the second week in a row, and the county’s 7-day COVID-19 case rate climbed to 87.5 cases per 100,000 people – the highest case rate since August, according to health officials.