First COVID-related death reported in Whitman County

WHITMAN CO., Wash. — A woman in Whitman County has died from COVID-19, marking the first coronavirus-related death in the county since the start of the pandemic.

The Whitman County Health Department said the woman was between the ages of 60-79 and had other underlying health conditions.

“This loss is a reminder that COVID-19 can be particularly dangerous for people in high-risk groups,” the health department said in a release.

Whitman County has seen a spike in coronavirus cases since August. Before then, the county had only seen about 250 cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

As of Tuesday morning, there were 1,412 COVID-19 cases reported in the county. The majority of those diagnoses have been in young people.

The health district has pointed to students returning to Washington State University as the source of the increase.