Tri-Cities experience record-setting COVID spike amidst Omicron surge

Image credit: BFHD

KENNEWICK, Wash. — After spreading across the globe like wildfire, the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is one of the most easily transmissible variants to date. It was only a matter of time before it reached the Tri-Cities, where a record-high 952 coronavirus cases were reported today.

That’s right: 652 Benton County community members and 300 Franklin County community members recently contracted COVID-19. A total of 56,334 bi-county community members have contracted the coronavirus to date with 34,662 cases in Benton County and 21,672 in Franklin County.

Vaccinated individuals are far less likely to land in the hospital than the unvaccinated, and Omicron hasn’t proven to be as deadly as other variants of COVID-19. With that being said, Tri-Cities area hospitals are still being pushed to the brink between testing demand and hospitalized patients.

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A total of 426 people have been admitted to hospitals in the region—a sum that’s greater than what regional hospitals can accommodate without putting serious pressure on their staff.

Despite all of these people getting sick, only four people died from coronavirus complications in the Tri-Cities area recently. They increased the region’s sum to 583 coronavirus deaths since the pandemic began in March of 2020.

Still, a massive 37.66% of COVID-19 tests at the CBC West site have returned a positive result between December 27 and January 9. Between that site and another public testing site in Richland, over 4,000 Tri-Cities area residents have tested positive for COVID-19 in that span.

All information provided in this article is courtesy of the Benton-Franklin Health District (BFHD).


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