Medvigy Sets the Record Straight on Covid-19 Stand

Context often provides more accuracy to a story, so I want to amplify what I discussed during the last Clark County Board of Health meeting,

Individual states have different Covid-19 impacts and have authority to tailor their emergency orders. Most counties in Washington have been impacted in dissimilar ways and are on different timelines.

Our Board of Health policy decisions should not be made in isolation, but nor should they be driven by harder hit, more densely populated counties. Science and data should inform all our local policy decisions.

Clark county should have input based on current local conditions on where and how fast to turn the governor’s dial. We don’t have the local legal authority to lift any aspect of the governor’s emergency orders.

During our weekly bi-partisan conference call with local elected officials, I asked our delegation to advocate for more local direction and control. I believe there has been earnest effort in our non-partisan forums to protect our county health interests.

Clark county is not King, Pierce, or Snohomish County and it would be best to have the governor delegate some local authority to tailor orders based on local conditions. These decisions must necessarily nest within the state orders, but reflect how to best protect the health and well being of Clark county residents.

From the start, I have remained steadfast in advocating for more testing, placing a priority on seniors, first responders, child care—our most vulnerable populations and advocating for following all physical distancing protocols.

I participated in a county health video at Camas Produce on how to safely shop locally. My 88-year-old mom, wife and I are healthy, yet at risk, and we follow the protocols. In the absence of a vaccine option and adequate testing, physical distancing remains our primary tool to lessen the impact of the pandemic. These protocols are working and the curve is being flattened, as a result lives are saved.

During the hearing yesterday my questions focused on serology testing. I want Clark county to be a model for Washington state and use all medically sound testing, to better inform our decisions and to help paint an accurate picture for the public.

I had our health department look at Santa Clara County and the Stanford study. Stanford is a renowned medical research and teaching hospital. They partnered with their health department to conduct serology surveying.

I additionally forwarded information about LA county’s health department serology study with the University of Southern California and then New York State working with the FDA to gain approval of their serology tests.

These studies all indicate that their outbreaks began much earlier than previously known and that many more people had already been exposed than previously known. These results might also explain why the medical modeling has generally been so unreliable. This is important data to have in order to know where and when to turn the dial safely.

During my conversations with Senator Lynda Wilson regarding serology testing, she felt that the county health department did not seem interested. This issue was also discussed within our bi-partisan conference calls.

With my questions to the health department, I was trying to get to the heart of why, because we should be on the forefront of health care policy, not lagging behind. What came out of the hearing is that the serology results are not proven yet and we don’t yet know enough about Covid-19 immunity to rely on serology testing.

It is a deadly virus with no known vaccine options, but the health care delivery system today has capacity and has successfully used existing medicines and treatment to lesson symptoms. We learn more every day and we are in a much better position than three weeks ago before the epidemic peaked here.

My position is that we can be better informed of the exposure rate, if we include serology testing. We should not remain focused on the unknown and what we fear for tomorrow, that is not healthy and it is slowing the return of our liberty.

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