Tri-Cities lose 22 more community members to COVID-19

Tri-Cities, Grant County, Sunnyside

KENNEWICK, Wash. — As the coronavirus pandemic continues to cast a cloud over the Tri-Cities, public health officials have announced another 22 community deaths to COVID-19 complications on Friday.

According to the Benton-Franklin Health District (BFHD), 15 Benton County community members died from COVID-19 complications since they last updated the death toll a week ago. Another seven Franklin County community members lost their lives to the virus as well. Please note that none of these deaths are backlogged, meaning they all occurred in the Tri-Cities region quite recently.

This week’s death count elevated each county past another grim milestone—300 community deaths in Benton County and 150 deaths in Franklin County. To date, 458 people from the Tri-Cities and surrounding regions have died from the virus. This week’s group included a man in his 30s, four people in their 40s, and five people in their 50s.

RELATED: 29% of Tri-Cities COVID-19 cases are in schoolchildren, health officer says

Public health officials also announced 124 new COVID-19 cases in the Tri-Cities area on Friday (82 in Benton County and 42 in Franklin County). That increased the cumulative bi-county total to 43,952 cases since the pandemic began—26,496 in Benton Co. and 17,456 in Franklin Co.

From Sept. 6 to 20, 2,509 coronavirus tests administered at public testing sites in Pasco and Richland returned positive results. They account for 20.6% of COVID-19 tests administered at bi-county sites, which reflects a decline from the previous weeks.

There are currently 98 people in Tri-Cities hospitals battling coronavirus complications as of Friday. They account for 24% of the total hospital population. In the early days of the pandemic, the BFHD set a goal of sub-10% COVID hospitalizations—a rate that hasn’t been met since local COVID-19 case rates took a stark jump in early July.

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