Putting Spokane’s COVID-19 cases into perspective

SPOKANE, Wash. — The fall COVID-19 surge health officials have warned about is well underway in the Inland Northwest and throughout the United States. 

The number of people nationwide who have died from the virus surpassed 250,000 on Wednesday, and newly confirmed daily infections have risen by over 80% in the last two weeks.  

Where do those cases stand in Spokane? With so many people testing positive each day, it can be easy for numbers to start blurring together and become just that; numbers. 

We sat down with Jerry Post, the owner of Mathnasium, to put Spokane’s COVID data into perspective. 

There are 522,798 people living in Spokane County. Of those people, one in every 40 has tested positive for the virus since March. 

READ: 1 in 40 people living in Spokane Co. have tested positive for COVID-19 during pandemic

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That means, in a sold out crowd of 12,638 people at the Spokane Arena, 315 of them would have tested positive. Roughly 40% of people who catch COVID-19 don’t have any symptoms, which means 126 of the people in that crowd would be asymptomatic.

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Martin Stadium in Pullman would be packed on a Saturday afternoon in any year except 2020.

Of the 32,952 fans in that stadium, 823 would have caught COVID-19 by now, with 329 not showing any symptoms.

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If that doesn’t bring it home, maybe the Bloomsday race will.

If you have about 40,000 runners, then 1,000 of those people would have tested positive for the virus by now and 400 could be asymptomatic.

These numbers are concerning because Spokane is on track to double its cases.

Right now, about 13,300 people have been infected in the last eight months. That number could double in the next eight weeks if an average of 250 people continue to test positive each day like they have been.

Yes, many people will be just fine with COVID, but a positive test also forces them to quarantine and miss work. Others could spread the virus to an at-risk loved one, or face long-term effects themselves, even after recovering.

It’s also been reported that immunity to COVID-19 may only last about 4-5 months.