Tri-Cities surpass 500 COVID deaths in spite of descending case rates

Benton County, Richland, Walla Walla, WMC, Tri-Cities

KENNEWICK, Wash. — The bi-county region encompassing the Tri-Cities has lost more than 500 community members to COVID-19 despite a declining two-week case rate.

According to a Facebook update from the Benton-Franklin Health District (BFHD), 23 more communities deaths were reported across the two counties. That includes 16 community members lost in Benton County and seven community members lost in Franklin County.

Overall, 517 community members of the Tri-Cities area have died from COVID-19 complications. Following their announcement, the BFHD issued the following statement through its social media platforms (here):

Today, our community marks more than 500 lives lost due to COVID-19. A noteworthy and heartbreaking reminder of the horrible toll of his unprecedented pandemic.

Our condolences go out to everybdy mourning a loved one, a family member, a friend or a neighbor.

Please, protect your high-risk neighbors. Be vaccinated against the disease as soon as you can. Together we can stop this painful county.

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Two-week case rates for the bi-county region peaked in mid-September and have been declining at a steady rate through the first half of October. Unfortunately, the most recent 14-day case rates (137.8) remain higher than the Tri-Cities region’s first coronavirus spike back in mid-July of 2020.

On Friday, 74 more cases were added for the bi-county area; increasing its cumulative case total to 46,802 since the pandemic began in March 2020.

Of the 400 patients currently occupying hospital beds across Benton and Franklin counties, 53 of them are experiencing complications with COVID-19. They currently occupy 13.2% of the region’s licensed hospital beds, which is significantly lower than hospitalization rates one month ago but remains uncomfortably high.

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