Coronavirus update: Hospitalizations are fewest in months

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

KENNEWICK, Wash. — Despite over a hundred COVID-19 cases being reported over the weekend, the Benton-Franklin Health District (BFHD) reported its lowest coronavirus hospitalization rate in months on Monday, Feb. 22.

Over the course of the last three days, Benton County added 69 coronavirus cases to its running tally. To date, there have been 14,475 total cases recorded in the county. Meanwhile, Franklin County added 48 new COVID-19 cases, raising its total to 10,820 recoded cases in the area. Combined, the bi-county region has accumulated 25,295 coronavirus cases through the duration of this pandemic.

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According to public health officials, COVID-related hospitalizations are extremely low at the moment. Currently, there are 387 total hospitalizations in Benton and Franklin Counties. Of that sum, just 28 are being treated for complications due to the coronavirus. They account for just 7.2% of total hospitalizations in the bi-county region, which is below the BFHD’s target range of sub-10% COVID-related hospitalizations.

Overall, 286 community members have been lost due to COVID-19. Of that group, 195 community members have been lost from Benton County and 91 community members have been lost from Franklin County.

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COVID-19 test results are a strong indicator of how the region is trending in its coronavirus response. Currently, we’re on the third consecutive week of lowered positivity rates at the Tri-Cities’ primary public testing site at CBC West in Pasco. From Jan. 31 to Feb. 13, the CBC West testing site returned a 14.8% positivity rate, which shows another decrease of nearly 1% from the previous statistical update.

The Tri-Cities account for the vast majority of cases in the bi-county region. Pasco continues to lead the way with 9,576 cases while Kennewick maintains a firm lead in second place with 8,107 cases. Richland is leaving some distance with 3,520 cases confirmed to date, but still holds considerably more confirmed cases than any other city in the area.

Operations at the Benton County Fairgrounds mass vaccination site resume tomorrow with plenty of South Central Washingtonians receiving their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine this week.

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