497 people test positive for COVID-19 in Spokane County, 31 have died

Spokane skyline
Copyright 4 News Now

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane Regional Health District reports that 497 people have tested positive for COVID-19 across the county, and 31 people have died.

Over the weekend, 47 people contracted the coronavirus—but the Health District says this is not indicative of community spread. Instead, they say its an outbreak being contained by their contact tracing team.

“When we investigate positive cases, the result of reaching out to those who came in close contact is an increase in testing and possible discovery of more positive cases, many of whom may not have symptoms,” says Spokane County Health Officer, Dr. Bob Lutz, “They now know to self-quarantine to help keep others in our community healthy.”

While Spokane County has moved to Phase 2 of the state’s “Safe Start” reopening plan, Dr. Lutz says the community must stay vigilant and continue practices of social distancing, washing hands and wearing masks.

Dr. Lutz explains that this outbreak faced by the contact tracing team is an example of how easily the virus can spread, one that can be avoided with safety measures Washingtonians have been practicing for months, now.