Tri-Cities: 18 more COVID patients die as the region passes 45k cases

Tri-Cities, Grant County, Sunnyside, Yakima

KENNEWICK, Wash. — Benton and Franklin counties are experiencing a rollback in COVID-19 case rates, but until the curve is flattened, deaths caused by coronavirus complications will continue to add up for the Tri-Cities.

On Friday afternoon, the Benton-Franklin Health District (BFHD) announced 18 more community deaths to COVID-19 complications. That includes six Franklin County community members and 12 Benton County community members. The youngest was a woman in her 40s; and 10 of the 16 community members lost were at least 70 years old.

To date, 317 people from Benton County have died from COVID-19 while 158 people from Franklin County have died from the virus. Overall, 476 community members from the Tri-Cities region have passed away from coronavirus complications.

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Meanwhile, 149 more COVID-19 cases were logged on Friday, increasing the total case count to 45,174 since the pandemic began last March. Of that sum, 27,270 cases were reported in Benton County and 17,904 were logged in Franklin County.

Although there is a difference of more than 9,000 cases between the two counties that encompass the Tri-Cities, Franklin County’s case rates have been far more urgent in recent months.

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Despite the 18 new deaths logged, positivity rates at the CBC West public testing site are below 20% for the first time in many weeks. From September 13 to 27, 18.34% of COVID tests administered at the site returned a positive result and just 11.14% of tests returned a positive result at the Richland testing site.

There are currently 64 patients suffering from COVID-19 complications in Tri-Cities area hospitals. They account for 16.9% of the hospital population, which is an improvement from last Friday when 98 COVID-19 patients occupied hospital beds.

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