Coronavirus update: Tri-Cities hospitalizations, positivity rates decline

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

KENNEWICK, Wash. — New information reported by the Benton-Franklin Health District (BFHD) suggests a decrease in local positivity rates and coronavirus hospitalizations, but the fight against COVID-19 isn’t over just yet. If cases keep being added, the region will be forced to move back from Phase 3 of re-opening (50% capacity).

According to metrics from the BFHD, Benton County added 41 new cases on Tuesday — More than double the amount recorded on Tuesday. Now, Benton County stands at 15,373 confirmed coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic.

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In Franklin County, the coronavirus case count is more stable. The county recorded 13 new cases, increasing the running count to 11,425 confirmed cases since the pandemic began early in 2020. Overall, the bi-county region stands at 26,798 coronavirus cases to date.

Updated hospitalization rates were provided by the BFHD. Of the 4,395 COVID-19 tests administered at the CBC West public testing site recently, 8.45% returned a positive result.

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Currently, there are only eight people in the region who are hospitalized for complications with COVID-19. They account for just 2 percent of the hospital population at this time, according to statistics from the BFHD. Just yesterday, 14 people in the bi-county region were being treated at hospitals for COVID-19 complications.

This is a great improvement from recent weeks when the hospitalization rate inflated, threatening to go above public health officials’ target range of sub-10% COVID-19 hospitalizations in the area.

As of yesterday evening, there were several hundred appointments available through the end of the week at the Benton County Mass Vaccination Site. You can make your vaccination appointment by visiting the state Department of Health’s Prep Mod tool, where you can pick from a variety of vaccination sites and pick a timeslot that works for you.

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