Coronavirus update: Benton & Franklin Counties hit 27k cases

Benton County - BFHD

KENNEWICK, Wash. — With an influx of over 100 new coronavirus cases in Benton County and Franklin County over the weekend, the region hit another milestone in its fight against the pandemic.

Public health officials from the Benton-Franklin Health District (BFHD) announced a sharp influx in coronavirus cases in the area. According to Monday’s update to regional COVID-19 metrics, Benton County added 67 new cases in the last three days. Overall, Benton County has accumulated 15,486 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic.

By adding 49 new cases over the weekend, Franklin County is up to 11,520 coronavirus cases since the pandemic began. The bi-county region has combined for 27,006 confirmed cases to date — surpassing the 27,000-case mark for the first time Monday.

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Despite this increase in local coronavirus cases, both counties and the surrounding regions will remain in Phase 3 of the state’s ‘Healthy Washington’ re-opening plan. Three counties, including Eastern Washington’s Whitman County, are being pushed back to Phase 2, which calls for 25% indoor capacity.

Of the 396 people currently hospitalized in the bi-county region, 18 are dealing with complications from COVID-19. They account for only 4.5% of the hospital population, which falls in line with the BFHD’s target range of sub-10% COVID-related hospitalizations.

Last week, coronavirus positivity rates dropped at the CBC West public testing site in Pasco. From March 29 to April 4, 8.45% of the coronavirus tests administered returned a positive result. That was a decrease of more than 1 percent from the previous week’s metrics. Usually, community positivity rates are released on Tuesday or Wednesday, so we should get new metrics soon.

RELATED: Benton County mass vaccination site to offer Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Overall, the Benton/Franklin bi-county death toll stands at 308 community members lost including 100 from Franklin County and 208 from Benton County. This is updated once per week on Fridays. Most recently, the BFHD announced just one death from COVID-19: A man in his 70s from Franklin County. Please be advised that this person was listed as a woman in the previous update from public health officials and has since been updated.

On Thursday, April 15, all Washingtonians age 16+ become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination. Appointments are available at the Benton County Fairgrounds mass vaccination site, which is offering first and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine in addition to a limited number of Johnson & Johnson doses starting this week.

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