Thursday, September 24, 2020
Sept. 24, 2020

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Washington surpasses 2,000 COVID deaths


Spokane — While COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in Washington are declining overall, the state recently passed a new marker for deaths from the virus.

More than 2,000 Washington residents have died from the virus, while over 80,000 residents have tested positive for it.

Specifically, there have been 2,015 deaths in Washington , and nearly half of those have been in King and Yakima counties.

In Spokane, health officials confirmed two more deaths Tuesday, for a total of 145 virus fatalities in county residents.

Statewide, 89 percent of deaths have been in residents over the age of 60.

Still, state data show deaths due to the novel coronavirus are on the downturn, with a seven-day rolling average of about five per day. That’s down significantly since the second peak of fatalities in late July, when 15 deaths were recorded each day.

While cases and hospitalizations continue to decline in most parts of the state, some counties in central and eastern Washington have incidence rates too high to safely reopen schools in person, according to the health department’s suggested limits. The Puget Sound, however, has driven rates down to between 55 and 65 cases per 100,000 residents.

The latest incidence rate in Spokane County is 98 cases per 100,000 residents. Case counts locally were up a bit last weekend, following Labor Day activities, and there’s indication testing has increased too.

As for new tests, the Spokane Regional Health District confirmed 36 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, for a county total of 5,978. Of those , the health district estimates 80 percent of people have recovered. There are currently 27 Spokane County residents hospitalized for the virus, and two additional patients with COVID-19 are being treated in Spokane hospitals.

The Panhandle Health District across the Idaho border has seen a decline in the number of people testing positive. On Tuesday, Panhandle health officials confirmed 15 new COVID-19 cases.

Currently, 226 active cases are being monitored by health district officials there. Nine Panhandle residents are hospitalized with the virus, and 53 residents from the five-county region have died.