Benton & Franklin Counties hit 28,000 coronavirus cases over the weekend

Tri-Cities
Regional COVID-19 metrics for Monday, May 3, 2021 provided by the Benton-Franklin Health District.

TRI-CITIES, Wash. — Public health officials from the Benton-Franklin Health District (BFHD) revealed a three-day total of updated coronavirus case rates in the bi-county region. With state leaders prepared to evaluate case rates and other key metrics, the Tri-Cities may be on the verge of a shift back to Phase 2 of re-opening.

According to public health officials, Benton County added 69 coronavirus cases from Saturday, May 1 to Monday, May 3. That increased the county’s total coronavirus case count to 16,120. Franklin County accumulated 43 new coronavirus cases over the weekend, reaching a total case count of 11,953. Combined, the bi-county region has suffered 28,073 coronavirus cases, surpassing 28k cases for the first time today.

Case rates suggest that the Tri-Cities and the surrounding area are at risk of being moved back. The Benton County case rate stands at 212 while the Franklin County case rate stands at a whopping 318. Case rates are based on new coronavirus cases compared with the total population of the county. Currently, both counties are viable to be moved back into Phase 2 of re-opening, which will force businesses to 25% indoor capacity.

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Hospitalizations and positivity rates also reflect a resurgence of COVID-19 in the Tri-Cities region. At the CBC West public testing site in Pasco, 11.13% of coronavirus tests administered between April 12 and April 25. This positive rate reflects a gradual yet significant increase in positivity rates in the region over recent weeks.

Currently, there are 387 hospitalized patients in Benton and Franklin Counties. Of that sum, 25 are dealing with coronavirus complications, accounting for 6.5% of the hospital population. While that does fall under the BFHD’s target range of sub-10% coronavirus hospitalizations, it does reflect an increase in hospitalizations compares to previous weeks.

Last Friday, the BFHD announced five new community deaths to COVID-19 after weeks of no more than 2 community deaths per week. Now, 318 regional community members have died from coronavirus complications including 214 from Benton County and 104 from Franklin County.

REGIONAL CORONAVIRUS HEADLINES FROM THE KAPP-KVEW NEWS STAFF:

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