Health District: Testing is being done, but no positive cases of COVID-19 in Tri-Cities

KENNEWICK, Wash. — As of Friday afternoon, there were no confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Benton or Franklin Counties.

During a press conference, representatives from the Benton-Franklin Health District said that though there have been no positive cases, they have been testing people in the community. However, there is currently a shortage of supplies needed to collect samples for testing.

“Testing is probably not occurring as fast as all of us would like because there have been a series of barriers and challenges,” said Dr. Amy Person with the BFHD. “We are back to needing to prioritize testing for our highest risk populations.”

Other local officials and city leaders spoke as well on Friday and shared what they’re doing in their communities to be prepared in light of the growing outbreak.

In Benton County, the jail has stopped receiving most prisoners from the west side of the state. Additionally, the Benton County Fairgrounds will not accept any new event bookings until after June.

Everyone encouraged using judgment, avoiding large gatherings and washing hands frequently.

“Even though we have not seen this Coronavirus before, we can use evidence and experience based on how we have managed these challenges in the past,” said Dr. Person.

For more information, visit the Benton-Franklin Health District website.