Spokane, Wash. – Governor J. Inslee announced the loosening of some COVID-19 restrictions earlier this week, but is considering reversing the move due to a recent spike in Spokane County cases.
Health Officer Dr. Bob Lutz said, “Time cannot be wasted in putting these events on hold for a long time, while our incidence rate is going in the opposite direction.” ”
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Lutz said Washington is in the middle range for COVID-19 infections, but Spokane County is an “outlier”, much worse than any other county.
“I think some of those restrictions needed to be relaxed. It was just a really bad time for Spokane County, ”Lutz said.
Younger people are still running a spike in cases at the local level. In the last eight days, more than 400 out of 737 cases of Spokane have been diagnosed in people aged 10–39 years.
“I’m worried about very odd individuals,” Lutz said. “They don’t know that they can pass it on to other people.”
Related: ‘Data Not Going in the Right Direction’: Spokane Health Officials Concerned About Spike in COVID Cases
All told, the hospitals in Spokane County have worked to heal patients and are not overwhelmed; 60 percent of the county’s hospital beds are still in use and three percent of them are for COVID patients.
In the past month, 36 Spokane County residents have died from the virus and 175 total since April.
Some of those cases and deaths stem from long-term care facilities in the county, but Lutz said they are considered “vested.”
They said they are more concerned about the spread of the virus in workplaces, ceremonies and schools.
“Very little fire. There is no specific area, ”Lutz said.
Lutz said the next few weeks will be important for Spokane County, especially with the flu season. He said the county has to do better with masking and social distance.
“Without doing so, we are being challenged, and this should really push us down a little bit,” Lutz said.
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