COVID-19 Comeback: Local health districts report cases rising

Reports come on the heels of new CDC guidance to wear masks in areas where virus is surging

KENNEWICK, Wash. — Several health districts from Washington and Oregon came out Tuesday with new information showing COVID variants are taking hold, powering local infection spikes.

RELATED: Washington’s COVID infections are trending back up as vaccination rates slow

RELATED: CDC reverses course on masks in areas where virus is surging; schools included in new guidance

TRI-CITIES

The Benton-Franklin Health District reports,”Case counts have more than doubled over June 2021 (222%) and hospitalizations have more than doubled since this time last month (2.3x or 231%).”

New cases reported Tuesday:
  • Benton County: 88
  • Franklin County: 45
BFHD shared this message as well:

Case counts have doubled since last month and hospitalizations are what we were seeing in late January. We have opportunity to get these numbers down with vaccination. Even if you are healthy, and may heal well from COVID, someone you give it to may not. If you are in these age groups and have not vaccinated, start a conversation today with your doctor, your family or your friends! We can do this TC!

BFHD COVID Count Dashboard

WALLA WALLA

The Walla Walla County Department of Community Health shared a message from Dr. Daniel Kaminsky, the county health officer, as posted on Facebook by County Commissioner Greg Tompkins:

Providence St. Mary Medical Center is often at or over capacity and is seeing record high numbers of people in its Emergency Department. At the same time, the hospital also is facing staffing challenges. This is a consistent trend being seen at hospitals across the state and nation – a shortage of health care workers combined with the fallout from the pandemic. Our communities are experiencing higher rates of illnesses, exacerbated chronic conditions, substance abuse issues and behavioral health needs.

The rise of more infectious COVID-19 variants has left Walla Walla’s unvaccinated population particularly vulnerable and is driving numerous infections requiring medical care. Locally, COVID-19 hospitalizations are predominately among people who have not yet been fully vaccinated.

Providence St. Mary is asking people not to go the ER unless they are having a medical emergency such as heart attack, stroke, trouble breathing, severe bone breaks, etc. and to go to Urgent Care instead, although the hospital acknowledges waits at Urgent Care may also take several hours.

You can track COVID-19 Data in Walla Walla County here.

UMATILLA COUNTY

Umatilla County Public Health posted the following on Tuesday:

Due to a substantial increase in Umatilla County’s COVID-19 case rate UCo Health supports the recommendation published by the CDC that recommends everyone (including fully vaccinated individuals) wear a mask in public indoor settings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Umatilla County’s COVID-19 data dashboard, updated Tuesday morning, shows 110 new cases.

VACCINATIONS

Here is information from local health districts on when and where you can get vaccinated:

All local county fairs this summer will have vaccination booths or tents, too.

RELATED: Monday’s Tri-Cities count: 326 new cases in three days