Coronavirus update: Five community deaths announced

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

KENNEWICK, Wash. — In their daily update to bi-county coronavirus metrics, the Benton-Franklin Health District (BFHD) announced their weekly updates to the death toll while tacking on a number of new cases.

According to today’s update, Benton County added 30 cases; raising its total to 14,734 cases since the start of the pandemic. Meanwhile, Franklin County’s 19 new cases put it past the 11,000-case milestone. To date, there have been 11,016 confirmed coronavirus cases in the county. Combined, the bi-county region has accumulated 25,750 coronavirus cases.

YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: Only 15 hospitalized COVID patients, 29 cases added

The bi-county death toll is updated once per week on Fridays, in accordance with Vitals Statistics Laws updated at the start of the new year. Five people have passed away between the two counties with the youngest being in their 60s (One man in Benton Co. and a woman in Franklin Co.). Another Franklin Co. woman in her 90s passed away due to complications with COVID-19. Two people in their 70s from Benton County passed this week: One man and one woman.

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 complications remain steady today with 14 of the 401 total hospitalized patients in the bi-county region being treated due to the coronavirus. They account for only 3.5% of the hospital patient population, which is in the safe zone of sub-10% COVID hospitalizations set by public health officials.

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Additionally, positivity rates from the public COVID testing site at the CBC West campus declined considerably this week. From February 14 to February 26, the location recorded a 12.33% coronavirus positivity rate. That was an improvement of nearly 2% from the previous week’s results.

It’s no coincidence that community spread is decreasing as vaccination efforts improve in the community. Nearly 4,000 people were vaccinated in the first three days of operations at the Benton County Fairgrounds mass vaccination site this week. Efforts are continuing into the weekend when Rep. Dan Newhouse is expected to visit the site. When Washington Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah visited the site, he praised the management team for their keen execution and consistent efforts.


RELATED: Benton County Fairgrounds: More than 3,800 people vaccinated in three days