Coronavirus update: Tri-Cities near 20k cases

KENNEWICK, Wash. — With today’s public health update from the Benton-Franklin Health District (BFHD), the Tri-Cities draw closer to the 20,000 coronavirus case mark.

According to new statistics, Benton County added 98 cases, raising its running tally to 13,400 cases to date. Meanwhile, Franklin County added 48 cases, bringing its total to 9,682 cases. The cumulative coronavirus case count for the bi-county region stands at 23,082.

The Tri-Cities, in particular, add to the case count day by day. They account for 19,401 confirmed coronavirus cases, which is approx. 84% of cases in Benton and Franklin Counties. Pasco leads all cities in the region with 8546 cases while Kennewick adds 7680 and Richland contributes 3175 cases.

Yesterday’s coronavirus update: Test positivity rates trend down

Coronavirus positive rates are on the decline compared with the previous batch of data. From January 3 to January 17, the CBC West testing site posted a 20.38% positivity rate. Concurrently, the Kennewick testing site, which is now shut down due to lack of National Guard resources, posted a 12.64% positivity rate.

As of today, 424 individuals are hospitalized in the bi-county region. However, only 57 of them are being treated for coronavirus symptoms/complciations. They account for only 13.4% of hospitalized patients in the bi-county region, which is just about the BFHD’s target range of sub-10%.

Due to changes in the Vital Statistics Laws, COVID-19 death tolls for the bi-county region are being handled differently. Instead of providing updates each day, public health officials will update them each week on Fridays. The most recent update brought the bi-county coronavirus death toll to 249 community members lost — 166 in Benton County and 83 in Franklin County.

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Public health officials say that today’s data is incomplete and will be updated as new information is contributed. Since this update is provided daily, more accurate numbers will roll into tomorrow’s data.

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