Tri-Cities region loses 400th community member to COVID-19
KENNEWICK, Wash. — Public health officials for the bi-county region that encompasses the Tri-Cities have announced 11 more community deaths to COVID-19 complications. This brings the region past 400 community members lost to the virus during the pandemic.
According to the Benton-Franklin Health District (BFHD), eight more Benton County community deaths to COVID-19 were logged for this week. After one local man’s death reported during last week’s update was removed from the count (his cause of death was not attributed to COVID-19), Benton County is up to 270 community deaths to COVID-19.
Franklin County lost three more community members, increasing the cumulative COVID-19 death toll to 132. Though Franklin County has fewer total deaths and cases than Benton County to date, it has far exceeded its counterpart in 14-day case rates at many times through the pandemic.
Combined, the bi-county region has suffered 402 community deaths from the coronavirus to date. The youngest person from the Tri-Cities area to pass away in this update was a woman in her 40s. More than half of the people whose deaths were reported in this update were age 70 or older.
This revelation comes as 118 community members occupy local hospital beds with COVID-19 complications. They account for 29.6% of the bi-county region’s patients occupying hospital beds. Earlier in the pandemic, the BFHD’s goal for local coronavirus hospitalization rates was to keep it below 10%. However, increased community transmission and vaccine hesitancy have contributed to another spike.
On Friday, 102 new coronavirus cases were logged for the Tri-Cities and its surrounding territories. That sum accounts for 72 new cases in Benton County and 30 new cases in Franklin County.
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