Tri-Cities see decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations in early October

Image credit: Benton-Franklin Health District

KENNEWICK, Wash. — After a COVID-19 surge overwhelmed Tri-Cities area hospitals through July and August, local coronavirus hospitalization rates are declining at the start of October.

According to an update from the Benton-Franklin Health District (BFHD) on Tuesday, there are 52 patients currently hospitalized in the bi-county reach which encompasses the Tri-Cities. With 400 people occupying hospital beds across the region, 13.2% of the hospital population is battling coronavirus complications.

This reflects a significant downward trend from even one week ago when 89 COVID patients accounted for 22.2% of the area’s hospital population. One week before that, 102 COVID patients accounted for 30% of all hospital occupants in the Tri-Cities and the surrounding area.

RELATED: Benton, Franklin Co. 14-day case rate is declining, but remains higher than the previous peak

While the coronavirus remains prevalent in the community, transmission rates are finally trending down once more. From August 30 to Sept. 12, 23.62% of the COVID-19 tests administered at the CBC West site returned a positive result. From Sept. 13 to 27, that had decreased to an 18.34% positivity rate.

On Tuesday, the BFHD announced 93 more COVID-19 cases in Benton County and 42 more in Franklin County. Since the pandemic began in March 2020, there have been 45,683 coronavirus cases logged across the bi-county region. They have claimed the lives of 476 community members including 18 deaths that were formally announced last Friday.

RELATED: 18 more COVID patients die as the region passes 45k cases

Part of the hospitalization rate trending down has to do with COVID-19 patients dying at health care centers. Unvaccinated people have a significantly higher chance of contracting and being hospitalized with COVID-19.

If you are interested in finding a coronavirus vaccination clinic near you, click here.


RELATED: Monday was the last day for WA state workers to initiate vaccination