Health Dept: COVID-19 rates in eastern Washington ‘unstable’

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Washington Department of Health released its weekly situation report on Wednesday and made clear that people in eastern Washington need to make strict efforts to control COVID-19 in order to avoid a backslide.

The report shows that transmission is increasing in western Washington and while rates are plateauing in eastern Washington, they are higher.

READ: Spokane Co. considering reversing recently eased COVID restrictions

According to the DOH, the current situation in eastern Washington is “unstable,” which stems from the increases and decreases in cases and hospitalizations throughout September. Rates are fluctuating locally instead of trending downward.

Since the beginning of September, Spokane County has seen days where as few as 13 new cases were reported or where more than 130 cases were reported.

“The proportion of positive tests to total tests also remains high. Per person, the case rate in eastern Washington is twice as high as in western Washington and the daily hospitalization rate is more than twice as high,” a release stated.

“As COVID-19 activity intensifies, it’s incredibly important that we all take precautions to reduce the impact of seasonal changes like spending more time indoors,” said Secretary of Health John Wiesman. “We must be especially careful to avoid gathering in groups inside, including with family and friends outside of our immediate household. That includes limiting group size, gathering outside or improving ventilation inside, cleaning and Washington hands frequently, wearing face coverings (including inside our homes) and staying over six feet apart.”

Additional data can be found on the DOH website and in the state’s risk assessment dashboard.

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