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News Release
PeaceHealth continues investigation of COVID exposures after patients test positive - 07/18/21

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Over the past few days, PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center has identified 10 patients in the hospital that have been confirmed with COVID-19 and have links to the same patient floor. Additionally, four employees have tested positive in relation to this investigation.

Of the 14 total COVID-positive cases, only five individuals are fully vaccinated. The only patients showing symptoms are those that are unvaccinated. Samples from this exposure are being submitted to the Washington Department of Health to test for the Delta variant.

Out of an abundance of caution, we are temporarily restricting visitors inside the hospital. Additionally, the identified patient floor has been closed to new admissions. All additional inpatients on the unit were tested or are in the process of being tested.

“I have full confidence in our highly qualified health care professionals to manage through this recent incident. We have been treating COVID-19 patients for more than 16 months and have cared for more than 1,000,” said Lawrence Neville, MD, Chief Medical Officer. “Our Infection Prevention specialists immediately began conducting a thorough review to understand the root causes of this situation, and to ensure further protection for our patients and caregivers.”

PeaceHealth and Clark County Public Health continue to investigate the cases.

Safety remains a top priority for PeaceHealth. This includes ongoing adherence to CDC and state guidelines, employees wearing personal protective equipment and masks, testing all admitted patients, restricting visitors, and caring for COVID-19 patients on dedicated, isolated units.

“While COVID-19 activity has decreased in Clark County in recent weeks, the virus is still circulating and we still have a large portion of our community that is unvaccinated,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer and Public Health director. “The COVID-19 vaccines are very effective at preventing infection, but they’re not perfect. A small number of people who are fully vaccinated may still get COVID-19, but early evidence shows the vaccines make that illness less severe.”

“Getting vaccinated continues to be the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against COVID-19” Melnick added.

“This situation is an unfortunate reminder that while most of our country is fully reopened, this deadly virus remains. We urge everyone eligible to get vaccinated if you have not already done so,” said Neville. “If the public has concerns or questions about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine, I strongly recommend they reach out to their health care provider to get the facts,” he adds.

About PeaceHealth: PeaceHealth, based in Vancouver, Wash., is a not-for-profit Catholic health system offering care to communities in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. It has approximately 16,000 caregivers, a group practice with more than 900 providers and 10 medical centers serving both urban and rural communities throughout the Northwest. In 1890, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace founded what has become PeaceHealth. The Sisters shared expertise and transferred wisdom from one medical center to another, always finding the best way to serve the unmet need for healthcare in their communities. Today, PeaceHealth is the legacy of the founding Sisters and continues with a spirit of respect, stewardship, collaboration and social justice in fulfilling its Mission. Visit us online at



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