Coronavirus update: Just 14 cases added

Coronavirus
Model of a coronavirus cell (CDC via AP, File)

KENNEWICK, Wash. — Public health officials at the Benton-Franklin Health District (BFHD) announced only 14 new coronavirus cases to the bi-county region as COVID-related hospitalizations remain lower than we’ve seen since before the holiday season.

According to officials at the BFHD, Benton County added 5 coronavirus cases to its running total. As of today, there have been 14,480 confirmed cases in the county through the duration of this pandemic. Meanwhile, Franklin County added 9 cases, bringing its total to 10,829 coronavirus cases to date. Overall, the bi-county region has accumulated 25,309 coronavirus cases overall.

This alarming low number of cases falls in line with a recent decrease in COVID-related hospitalizations throughout the bi-county region.

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According to today’s update, there are 387 people currently hospitalized in the bi-county region. Only 27 of them are being treated for complications with the coronavirus, which accounts for just 7% of the region’s hospital population. This falls under the BFHD’s threshold of sub-10% COVID-hospitalizations — A mark that’s been met in consecutive public health updates since last week.

COVID test positivity rates haven’t been updated since last week. Therefore, the timespan of test results currently recorded stretches from January 31 to February 13, 2021. During that time, 14.8% of tests administered returned a positive coronavirus result. That’s a near-1% decrease from the previous week’s test positivity rates. All results have come from the Tri-Cities’ preliminary COVID testing site at CBC West.

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The local coronavirus death toll is updated once weekly on Fridays. Last week’s update included a handful of new deaths that raised the bi-county death toll to 286 to date. Of that group, 195 Benton County community members have been lost and 91 Franklin County community members have been lost.

Vaccination efforts resumed today at the Benton County Fairgrounds mass vaccination site. Authorities at the site announced yesterday that they received second-dose shipments from this week and last week’s delayed allotment to administered throughout the week. They’ll operate from Tuesday to Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., but only people seeking their second shot of either the Moderna or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines are eligible to participate.

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