1 in 40 people living in Spokane Co. have tested positive for COVID-19 during pandemic

SPOKANE, Wash.– It’s a position none of us imagined being in eight months ago.

A good chunk of Washington’s economy shutting down once again to slow the spread of COVID-19. About 3,000 people in Spokane County have tested positive for the virus in the last 14 days.

1 in 40 people living in Spokane County have tested positive for COVID-19 in this pandemic.

“I don’t think we’re seeing increased testing driving the numbers up that we’re seeing,” Mark Springer of Spokane Regional Health District said.

And that’s just the confirmed infections; we know many people unknowingly have had this virus. The county has had the same protocols for testing since March, and while the positive test rate in the county used to sit around 4-percent in the summer, it’s now it’s at 12-percent.

So, where are those cases coming from?

When we say all over, we really mean all over. One or two cases in one house, another two in another home.

“Long term care is not driving this epidemic and schools are not driving it,” Springer said. “We’re seeing cases distributed across all sectors.”

SRHD said those private gatherings on Halloween also caused part of this surge, but it’s also not just from one age group.

Just in November, 75 percent of cases in Spokane County come from people that are 20- to 69-years old.

“These folks are not just going to work,” SRHD Director Steve Smith said. “They’re traveling, going to restaurants, they’re getting together and that’s where so much of the transmission. 3 quarters of that is happening through there.”

Case surges have led to an increase in hospitalizations throughout this entire pandemic. Right now in Spokane County, 108 people are being treated for the virus.

The hospitals are not overwhelmed locally, but staffing is a major issue.

230 people have died since March, and 24 of those deaths have happened in November alone.

The health experts from SRHD believe that is on track to continue if the spread of this virus does not slow down.

That’s why health officials say these new restrictions are so important for Washington.

RELATED: SRHD approves of ‘critical’ statewide COVID-19 restrictions

Until a vaccine is ready to go out to a wide number of people, these basic measures serve as the best defense to COVID-19.

“If people are really adhering to masking, and social distancing and not gathering, then potentially this 4 weeks could help us out,” Lyndia Wilson of SRHD said.