Coronavirus update: 55 cases added, vaccine doses increase

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

KENNEWICK, Wash. — Public health officials at the Benton-Franklin Health District (BFHD) released their daily update on the local coronavirus metrics for Tuesday, March 2, 2021. That included updated hospitalization rates and additions to the total case count for the bi-county region. Overall, the community spread in Benton and Franklin Counties is trending in the right direction after a nationwide spike at the end of 2020.

According to the BFHD, Benton County added 44 cases today, raising its total number of coronavirus cases recorded to 14,665. Franklin County added only 11 cases after averaging 20.3 reported cases daily since Feb. 27. This increased the county’s total case-count to 10,946. Combined, the two counties have recorded 25,611 coronavirus cases.

COVID-related hospitalizations increased marginally from 5.8% to 6% today. There are only 24 patients in the bi-county region dealing with the coronavirus. Overall, 402 people are hospitalized in Benton and Franklin Counties.

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The Tri-Cities currently have recorded 21,440 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic. They account for 83.7 percent of the coronavirus cases in the region. Pasco leads the region with 9,678 cases to date. Kennewick follows shortly after with 8,198 cases and Richland ranks third with 3,564 cases since the start of the pandemic.

Since the start of the new year, updates to the Vital Statistics Laws have changed the way that the BFHD reports community deaths during the pandemic. Now, the death toll is released once per week on Fridays. In their most recent update, the BFHD announced only one death for the week of Feb. 22  — The lowest count in months. Overall, 287 community members have been lost including 195 in Benton County and 92 in Franklin County.

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Positivity rates have not yet been updated for this week, but the most recent update from the CBC West reported a 14.15% COVID test positivity rate.

This week, the Benton County Fairgrounds mass vaccination site received approx. 6,000 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. They’ve opened up more appointments throughout this week on Prep Mod for eligible participants. Last week, the site set numerous consecutive records for vaccinations administered in a single day. It remains one of the most effective vaccination facilities in the state as of now.

Yakima Health District officials confirmed that the county received 15,497 doses of COVID-19 vaccine this week including 11,132 first doses and 4,365 second doses.

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