All information taken directly from the Spokesman-Review and the Spokane Regional Health District websites
County hits No. 2 in state for cases
Health officials confirm more than 1,800 new COVID-19 patients identified since Monday
By Arielle Dreher
Spokane County has the second highest total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, second only to King County.
Since Monday, local health officials have identified 1,831 new cases of the virus, including about 700 cases linked to the massive outbreak at Airway Heights Corrections Center.
There are now 20,707 confirmed cases of the virus in Spokane County residents.
While health officials are still trying to parse Thanksgiving data to see whether the disease has slowed its surge, hospitalizations continue to increase locally.
In Eastern Washington, there are 151 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, and 83% of intensive care unit beds in the region are full.
There are 129 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Spokane County, and 121 of them are county residents.
Since Monday, 11 Spokane County residents have died from the virus. Outbreaks continue in virtually every sector, including schools and long-term care facilities.
The area’s largest school district, Spokane Public Schools, saw a rise in COVID activity this week.
According to the dashboard updated Friday afternoon, the district had 18 new positive tests with 270 people quarantined as a result. Last week’s numbers were 16 and 223, respectively.
Hardest-hit was Roosevelt Elementary School on the South Hill, where 60 people are quarantined.
There are current outbreaks at 27 long-term care facilities in Spokane County and in four adult family homes.
There have been 174 deaths related to long-term care facility outbreaks in Spokane County thus far in the pandemic, accounting for more than half of the county’s deaths from the virus.
Outbreaks also continue in long-term care facilities in Grant County, which reported 10 additional deaths related to facilities on Thursday.
Some of these deaths have been tied to transmission occurring after a wedding outside Ritzville in November.
Three long-term care workers at Lake Ridge Center in Moses Lake worked before they knew they were ill and contagious after attending the wedding. The Grant County Health
District cannot tie individual cases or deaths to staff members; however, the outbreak occurred after the wedding and has resulted in more than 70 staff and residents testing positive, and 15 people dying.
In North Idaho, the Panhandle Health District confirmed 1,726 new cases since Monday, as well as 13 additional deaths from the virus. Kootenai Health has been forced to expand its COVID units to accommodate 78 patients with the virus, including 17 in critical care.
Reflecting the trend in North Idaho, schools in Coeur d’Alene saw another uptick in COVID cases.
Coeur d’Alene Public Schools reported Friday that 72 people are currently isolated after testing positive. That’s up from 69 the day before. However, the number of people in quarantine fell from 448 to 376.
Post Falls reported 20 positive tests during the past two weeks, while Lakeland has had 169 positive tests since Aug. 31.
Mead reported 92 positive tests in the past 14 days, with 272 people in quarantine, while Central Valley had 49 positive tests and 200 quarantined.
Deer Park saw a near doubling of positive tests from Thursday to Friday, from seven to 13, while people quarantined rose from 47 to 66.
S-R reporter Jim Allen contributed to this story. Arielle Dreher can be reached at (509) 459-5467 or at arielled@spokesman. com
COVID-19 Update from the Spokane Regional Health District website
Dec 08, 2020
Media Contact: Kelli Hawkins | firstname.lastname@example.org | (509) 324-1539, c (509) 994-8968
Spokane, Wash. – Today, Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) has confirmed new positive cases of 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Spokane County. The total number of cases is now 19,950. According to our most recent report there have been 293 COVID-19-related deaths and 128 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized, 102 of which are Spokane County residents. Full details and additional demographics for Spokane County’s COVID-19 case results can be found at srhd.org, and are updated Mon.-Fri.
SRHD officials said today’s positive COVID-19 case data was impacted by the outbreak at Airway Heights Corrections Center (AHCC). Those positive case results are expected to be spread out over a few days. Today, they estimate that at least 238 of the positive cases reported are connected to the AHCC outbreak.
In addition, disease investigators continue to see increases in cases linked to gatherings in personal settings that took place over the Thanksgiving holiday.
SRHD officials also expect to see increased positive case counts with increased community testing. Results from the initial testing at the CHAS Testing Site at the Spokane Arena are expected to impact positive case data in the next few days.
Due to the high volume of COVID-19 case information we are receiving at this time, updates to death and hospitalization data may be delayed by one to two days. Health officials appreciate your patience as we work to provide the most accurate information possible.
SRHD emphasizes the importance of taking the recommended measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 including physical distancing and wearing masks while indoors in both private and public places where you are in the company of others outside of your household.
Individuals who have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, regardless of age or health status, should be assessed for COVID-19 testing.
Generally, people with the following new symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are eligible for testing.
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Individuals who have been informed that they were in close contact with a confirmed positive case of COVID-19, or who work in a high-risk environment (such as a long-term care facility), are also encouraged to be assessed for testing.
If you think you are at risk of exposure to COVID-19 or have symptoms similar to those of COVID-19, call ahead before you go to your healthcare provider, urgent care, or the emergency department. You can also call your health insurance’s nurse hotline or triage; the number can be found on their website or on the back of your insurance card.
Information and locations for community screening and testing for COVID-19 can be found online: https://srhd.org/covid-19-driv…
The Washington State Department of Health has provided the following guidance to help people who have symptoms of COVID-19, are concerned that they were in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, or who have tested positive themselves:
- What to do if you have confirmed or suspected coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
- What to do if you were potentially exposed to someone with confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
- What to do if you have symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and have not been around anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19
SRHD continues to encourage people to take the following steps to stay healthy:
- Wear a mask or face covering when indoors at public places where it is difficult to maintain physical distancing of at least six feet. This helps protect others from you unknowingly infecting them with COVID-19.
- Stay home when you are sick. Staying home when ill prevents the spread of infections to others.
- Use good respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene in all community settings, including homes, childcare facilities, schools, workplaces and other places where people gather. Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and put the used tissue in a waste basket. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
- Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (with at least 60-95% alcohol) if you can’t wash.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth: Germs often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.
- Practice other good health habits: Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.
- Support each other, regardless of race, ethnicity or nationality, and including individuals who have become ill. Show compassion and support for individuals and communities most closely impacted and anyone who might be sick.
- Follow the guidance required by the governor’s Safe Start plan to reopen Washington.