Bi-County coronavirus cases surpass 15,000 infections, 200 deaths

Between Benton County and Franklin County, more than 15k people have been infected by COVID-19.
A COVID testing sign directs drivers waiting in line to get a free COVID-19 self-test on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020 in California. (Photo by Damian Dovarganes)

KENNEWICK, Wash. — The latest public health update by the Benton-Franklin Health District (BFHD) saw the bi-county total surpass the 15,000 infection milestone. According to today’s BFHD release, 134 new coronavirus cases in Benton County and 61 new cases in Franklin County brings the total to 15,065 confirmed cases.

Furthermore, public health officials noted five additional deaths, bringing the bi-county total to 204 lives lost between the two communities. Of those, 139 deaths come from Benton Co. and the remaining 65 are from Franklin Co.

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There are 53 individuals hospitalized for COVID-19 between the two counties. This accounts for 13.6 percent of all hospital admissions — A one percent decrease from yesterday’s update. However, this is partly due to the lives lost since our last update. It’s not indicative of a positive trend at this moment.

Likewise, 84.6 percent of hospital beds in Benton and Franklin counties are occupied as of today. The previous update saw 81.6 percent of hospital beds occupied. Health officials hope to bring that rate below 80 percent as a starting goal that’s grown increasingly to achieve.

The coronavirus is picking up steam throughout the country and the Tri-Cities are no different.

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