Benton, Franklin Counties have 2nd and 3rd worst COVID case rates in Washington

Benton and Franklin Counties
Image credit: BFHD

KENNEWICK, Wash. — A concerning trend of COVID-19 case rates, hospitalizations, and positivity rates continued through the weekend with Benton and Franklin Counties combining for 452 cases confirmed over the last three days.

According to the daily update from the Benton-Franklin Health District (BFHD), Benton County added 316 cases while Franklin County added 136 cases between August 7 and 9. That increased Benton County’s total cases to 19,851 since the start of the pandemic. Franklin County climbs to 13,868 cases since March 2020. Overall, the bi-county region has accumulated 33,719 confirmed cases to date.

Hospitalization rates climbed more than 2% as well. There are 72 patients facing COVID-19 complications in Benton and Franklin Counties, which accounts for 19.7% of the bi-county hospital population. This nearly doubles the BFHD’s target range of sub-10% COVID hospitalizations.

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As cases continue to trickle into the county, the projected spike for August 2 is expected to be the bi-county region’s worst since January 5. Current projections suggest August 2 will be the fifth-worst day in terms of COVID-19 case count during the pandemic.

The Washington Department of Health’s most recent coronavirus metrics show that Franklin County (855.7) ranks No. 2 of 39 in terms of 14-day case rate. Beyond that, Benton County ranks No. 3 and Walla Walla County ranks No. 4 on that list.

With more cases comes a greater demand for COVID-19 testing, and the Tri-Cities’ go-to community testing site has been overwhelmed. That’s why the CBC West is reminding community members that their site is meant for symptomatic people and those who’ve been exposed to the virus. If you require tests due to travel or employment, you’re asked to make other arrangements.

More than 93% of recent COVID-19 cases in the bi-county region have been amongst unvaccinated citizens. To find a vaccination clinic near you, click here.

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