Coronavirus rates hold steady, according to latest by Benton-Franklin Health District

The latest coronavirus updates from the Benton-Franklin Health District remain consistent with recent trends.
Photo by Cecilia Fabiano

TRI-CITIES, Wash. — The Benton-Franklin Health District announced 79 new cases of the coronavirus in Benton County and 34 new cases in Franklin County between Nov. 9 and 15. This brings the cumulative total to 12,598 cases to date, which breaks down to 6,918 cases in Benton and 5,680 cases in Franklin.

Fortunately, there are no coronavirus-related deaths to be reported for the week. The total remains at 197 deaths between these two communities since the pandemic struck earlier this year — 133 deaths in Benton Co. and 64 in Franklin Co.

While this is a positive sign, the Benton-Franklin Health District has yet to meet its target goals in terms of hospital readiness and percentage of hospital admissions for coronavirus symptoms.

RELATED: Gov. Inslee revamps restrictions following rise in COVID-19 cases

Currently, 12.4 percent of all patients being admitted to hospitals are being treated for complications with the coronavirus. BFHD’s goal is to drop that number below 10 percent. Similarly, local health officials hope to reduce hospital occupancy between Benton and Franklin counties below 80 percent. As of this most recent update, 82.4 percent of hospital beds are occupied.

The most eye-popping statistics are the counties’ positivity rates from Nov. 9 to Nov. 15, which are well above the target rate of 2 percent. Positivity rates are at 19.13 percent in Benton Co. and 24.71 percent in Franklin Co. The Center for Disease Control’s most recent national positivity rate came in at 10.5 percent in Week 45, which ended on Nov. 7.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee released new guidelines and restrictions to contain the coronavirus outbreak over the weekend. To prevent further outbreaks, Inslee is mandating that indoor dining and shopping be put to a halt. For bars and restaurants, outdoor dining will be allowed with a maximum of five people per table. These, along with other restrictions on indoor gatherings, gyms and entertainment venues such as zoos and museums, are being implemented to address growing concerns of coronavirus outbreaks in the Tri-Cities and throughout the state.

RELATED: Yakima Co. entering second wave as outbreak kills four in care facility

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