Benton County’s COVID-19 death toll hits 250; hospitalizations above 30%

Benton County, Richland, Walla Walla, WMC, Tri-Cities

KENNEWICK, Wash. — It’s no secret that the bi-county region which encompasses the Tri-Cities is experiencing another severe COVID-19 outbreak. In the last week, eight more community deaths were recorded across the area with Benton County being particularly afflicted.

According to the Friday, August 27 update from the Benton-Franklin Health District, eight more people from the Tri-Cities region have recently died from COVID-19. That includes seven deaths in Benton County and one death in Franklin County.

As the Delta variant and low vaccination rates contribute to a dramatic rise in coronavirus transmission, people as young as their 40s and 50 are dying from COVID-19. In total, 250 people have died in Benton County and 123 people have died in Franklin County. 373 deaths across the bi-county region have been attributed to coronavirus complications.

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The Tri-Cities’ coronavirus hospitalization rates took another step beyond 30% of the hospital population after hovering below that mark since Monday, August 23. There are 114 patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19 as 173 new cases are announced within the bi-county region.

Overall, there have been 37,774 cases across the bi-county region since the pandemic officially began last March. However, rising transmission and case rates have vastly accelerated the pandemic’s harsh impacts across Southern Washington.

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Per 14-day case rates and cases added per day, the Tri-Cities surpassed their previous peak from November 2020 with a terrible 2-week stretch from early-to-mid August of 2021.

Washington health leaders believe that vaccination is unequivocally the best way to prevent contracting and spreading COVID-19. If you or a loved one would like to find a coronavirus vaccination clinic near you, click here.

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