Mayor Woodward says rise in COVID-19 cases is concerning, feels optimistic about other health data

SPOKANE, Wash. — COVID-19 has infected more than 600 people in Spokane County in just two weeks, most of which coming from people under the age of 40.

Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward said that’s concerning, but she’s optimistic about other data in the county.

“Hospitalizations have not continued to spike and the death rate has not either, so we have some work to do,” Woodward said.

Right now, 19 Spokane County residents are hospitalized with this virus along with 15 more patients coming in from other counties. Woodward said the rate of new daily cases needs to come down—it’s currently twice as high as state health officials want to see.

That’s one reason why Gov. Inslee is requiring all businesses in Washington to put in a “no mask, no service” policy. Woodward also wants more people to wear a face mask in public, especially ahead of the 4th of July weekend.

“Wear a mask,” Woodward said. “Wear your mask and physically distance yourself from those around you.”

She said the community has to work to contain this virus now, because a move back to Phase 1 could be detrimental to the economny.

“We would lose businesses,” Woodward said. “A number of businesses just would not be able to come back.”

Spokane’s top health officer, Dr. Bob Lutz, said if at least 80 percent of the community wears a face mask in public, then health data can improve within two weeks.

READ: Businesses required to turn away customers without masks under expanded statewide order

READ: Young people now hardest hit by COVID-19 in Spokane County