Health district changes the way it’s reporting Tri-Cities’ COVID numbers

TRI-CITIES, Wash. — Health officials have changed the way they are reporting COVID-19 case counts and death tolls in the Tri-Cities area.

The Benton-Franklin Health District stopped including “probable” cases in the daily case count on its website Monday, saying it’s because testing has become more readily available. The health district also said the Washington State Department of Health is only using lab-confirmed cases in considering counties’ readiness to move to the next phase.

As of Tuesday, health district’s website is now showing cases in Benton and Franklin counties separately rather than listing their combined totals.

The health district said there have been 819 cases and 18 deaths in Franklin County since the outbreak started in March. On Tuesday, the health district announced that a Franklin County woman in her 70s died of complications from the virus.

There have been 995 cases and 69 deaths in Benton County.

Sixty-two people who are infected the virus are hospitalized in the Tri-Cities and Prosser.

Health officials said Benton and Franklin counties plan to apply for Phase 2 reopening sometime this week.

Visit the health district’s website to learn more.

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