Health officials report spike in Tri-Cities area virus cases Wednesday

TRI-CITIES, Wash. — Health officials reported 68 cases of COVID-19 in the Tri-Cities area on Wednesday. There were no new deaths.

Benton County had 46 new cases, bringing its total to 4,478 since the coronavirus pandemic started in March. Its death toll is at 114.

Franklin County had 22 new cases, bringing its total to 4,221. Its death toll is at 51.

The Benton-Franklin Health District says a contact tracing team will be looking into the cause of the spike in new cases.

The health district says the timing of the spike could potentially correlate with Labor Day weekend, but the investigation must be completed before they can say whether or not the spike is related.

As of Wednesday afternoon, 27 people are hospitalized in the region because of COVID-19.