Coronavirus update: 88 cases, 9 deaths added

KENNEWICK, Wash. — Today’s public health update from the Benton-Franklin Health District (BFHD) reports 88 new coronavirus cases and a handful of COVID-related deaths in the region.

According to the BFHD, 48 new cases were confirmed for Benton County. That brings their running total to 13,910 confirmed cases in the county since the start of the pandemic. Franklin County added 40 cases to a running total of 9,964 confirmed cases in the area. These 88 cases add to the bi-county coronavirus case total of 23,874.

Changes to Vital Statistics Laws impacted the way the BFHD can report deaths in the bi-county region. However, they’re announcing local deaths on Fridays each week. Today, public health officials announced nine new coronavirus-related deaths in the bi-county region — Six in Benton Co. and three in Franklin Co.

YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: 18% positivity rate in bi-county region

Three men in their 70s passed away (Two in Benton County and another in Franklin County). Two people in their 80s passed away — A woman in Benton Co. and a man in Franklin Co. Three women and a man in their 90s passed away.

Thus far, 179 community members have been lost in Benton County and 86 have been lost in Franklin County. The bi-county coronavirus death toll is 265 community members lost through this pandemic.

Of the 426 individuals hospitalized in the bi-county region, 50 are being treated for complications with the coronavirus. That accounts for 11.7% of hospitalizations — Just 1.8% above the bi-county region’s target goal.

The most recent coronavirus positivity rates in the Tri-Cities come from the CBC West testing site. From Jan. 11 to Jan. 24, the CBC West testing site reported a 17.85% coronavirus positivity rate. This is a 2.5% improvement from the testing site’s previous COVID-19 rates.

The Benton County Fairgrounds vaccination site administered over 820 shots yesterday. Optimally, the site will vaccinate more than 1,000 people per day, but the state and federal resources aren’t available just yet. They expect to operate from Tuesday to Saturday next week depending on how many vaccine doses they receive.

POLL: Should people be allowed to cross state borders in order to get the vaccine?

RELATED: Inslee loosens re-opening restrictions; our region remains in Phase 1

RELATED: Benton County vaccination site speeding up despite administering fewer shots