Tri-Cities COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations surge over the weekend

Coronavirus, Tri-Cities, Walla Walla
Model of a coronavirus cell (CDC via AP, File)

KENNEWICK, Wash. — Though it may feel like the pandemic is nearing its end, the Tri-Cities are suffering another spike in coronavirus transmission with 200 new cases reported in the last weekend alone.

According to COVID-19 metrics from the Benton-Franklin Health District (BFHD), Benton County added 128 new cases from Saturday, July 17 to Monday, July 19. In that same timeframe, Franklin County added 78 new cases.  With Benton County’s 17,876 cases and Franklin County’s 12,868 cases to date, the Tri-Cities region is up to 30,744 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic.

Overall, 346 community members from Benton and Franklin Counties have died due to coronavirus complications. That includes 230 people from Benton County and 116 people from Franklin County.

RELATED: Tri-Cities now among the highest COVID case rates in WA state, West Coast

Last Friday, the BFHD recorded a 9.5% COVID-19 hospitalization rate; meaning 9.5% of the hospitalized patients in the region are dealing with coronavirus complications. That rate jumped over the BFHD’s target range of sub 10% coronavirus hospitalizations to 12.4% over the weekend with 46 people hospitalized for COVID-19 across Benton and Franklin Counties.

The community COVID-19 testing site at CBC West recorded a 15.25% positivity rate for the Tri-Cities region from June 27 to July 10. With more coronavirus cases logged over the weekend, this rate is likely to rise even higher when the next set of statistics are released later this week.

With 94 new cases logged on Friday, July 16, Benton and Franklin Counties recorded its most new COVID-19 cases recorded in a single day since February 2, 2021.

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RELATED: Walla Walla County: Coronavirus rates skyrocket since June including 19 breakthrough cases