Tri-Cities health officials address second COVID wave ahead of holidays

Note: This is a recording of today’s news conference and is not live.

TRI-CITIES, Wash. — The Benton-Franklin Health District and local health care providers held a joint press conference today to emphasize the importance of combating the second wave.

“We know that’s hard with the Thanksgiving holidays coming up but it’s going to be even harder with rising cases numbers,” said BFHD Health Officer Dr. Amy Person.  She went on to say the bi-county area has had over 70 outbreaks since the beginning of October.

The health district brought up the dangers of the second wave, since the virus can hang in the air for a period of time. With people moving inside due to cold weather infection rates are increasing, and will continue to do so if people socialize outside of their households.

While many want to ignore social distancing rules, by not doing so causes deadly side effects. And not to the people attending.

“We’ve seen this across the United States at superspreader events where the people who died did not attend those events,” said Person.

For Kadlec ICU nurse Brad Prior, the pandemic has shown him things he hasn’t seen in his 21 years in the position.

“On a normal week I’ll maybe see two people die and now we’re seeing three a day,” said Prior. “That was at the peak in July.”

Prior went on to talk about how he made the difficult decision to cancel Thanksgiving and Christmas this year and asked the public to do the same.

“It’s been hard on all of us and from my perspective we all need to buckle down, mask up and stay distant.”

This is a developing story.