Coronavirus update: Pasco hits 10k cases, positivity rates decline

KENNEWICK, Wash. — An update to local coronavirus metrics from the Benton-Franklin Health District (BFHD) added more cases to the bi-county total while providing updated positivity rates from the CBC West public testing site in Pasco.

According to public health officials, Benton County added 23 new coronavirus cases to increase its overall total to 15,206 confirmed cases to date. Franklin County added nearly the same amount — 24 new cases, increasing its total to 11,352 cases since the start of the pandemic. Overall, the bi-county region has accumulated 26,558 coronavirus cases to date.

The city of Pasco has officially surpassed the 10,000 coronavirus case mark and now stands at 10,007 cases since the start of the pandemic.

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There are 420 people currently hospitalized in the bi-county region, according to the BFHD. Of that sum, 17 are facing complications to COVID-19. They account for 4% of the hospital population, which falls in line with public health officials’ target range of sub-10% COVID-related hospitalizations.

Last week, the BFHD did not report any additional community deaths to COVID-19 for the week. This was a celebrated revelation as it was one of the few weeks without a recorded coronavirus death in the community since March 2020. It was surely the first week without a reported death to COVID-19 complications in 2021 for Benton and Franklin Counties.

Today — Wednesday, March 31, 2021 — A new wave of COVID-19 vaccine eligibility officially begins. Now, the state is in Phase 1B, Tier 4. This means that millions of Washingtonians are now eligible for vaccination including people age 16+ with two or more comorbidities/underlying health conditions. It also expands access to all people age 60 or older in the state. Additionally, high-risk workers in congregate settings are now eligible to be vaccinated.

State leaders are expected to make important announcements about COVID-19 vaccinations this afternoon. You can watch the Governor’s press conference here at 3:30 p.m. PST.

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