Coronavirus update: Test positivity rates trend down

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

KENNEWICK, Wash. — Today’s public health update from the Benton-Franklin Health District (BFHD) showed a decrease in coronavirus positivity rate for the Tri-Cities region.

Benton County added 63 cases to its total, which now climbs to 13,302. Meanwhile, Franklin County adds 42 cases to a running total of 9,634 coronavirus cases. The cumulative total of confirmed coronavirus cases in the bi-county region stands at 22,936.

BFHD also announced updated positivity rates for the CBC West testing site and the Kennewick testing site. From January 3, 2021 to January 17, 2021, CBC West reports a 20.38% positivity rate while the Kennewick site reports a 12.64% positivity rate.

These new positivity rates suggest a downward trend in coronavirus positivity for the region. Previously, CBC West cited a 21.63% positivity rate while Kennewick cited a 14.39% positivity rate. Moving out of the holiday season and into the new year is certainly going to play a factor in this decline in coronavirus positivity for the region.

Yesterday’s Coronavirus update: Bi-county region adds 336 cases

Of the 419 patients hospitalized under BFHD jurisdiction, 60 are being treated due to coronavirus complications. They account for 14.3 percent of the region’s hospitalizations, which remains 4.4 percent above public health officials’ target percentage.

Due to updates to vital statistics laws, the BFHD cannot report deaths as easily as it once did. Another noteworthy change is that they’re not allowed to state whether or not someone who passed away due to coronavirus complications had pre-existing health conditions.

However, public health officials are reporting deaths on Fridays. As of last Friday, the region has suffered 249 casualties due to the pandemic. 166 community members from Benton County have passed away while 83 community members from Franklin County have passed away.

The BFHD also announced that the Kennewick testing site is being shut down indefinitely at the end of the day.

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