Spokane County reports largest single day rise in COVID-19 cases as more testing is conducted

Hannah Tellier
Team Rubicon volunteer, EMT Hannah Tellier, from Boston, holds a COVID-19 test in the emergency room of the Kayenta Health Center on the Navajo reservation in Kayenta, Ariz., on April 23, 2020. The Navajo reservation has some of the highest rates of coronavirus in the country. Team Rubicon is helping with medical operations as cases of COVID-19 surge. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

SPOKANE CO., Wash. — Spokane County saw its largest single day rise in COVID-19 cases on Friday.

The Spokane Regional Health District reported 30 new confirmed cases Friday morning, bringing the county total to 174 new cases in the past 14 days.

County health officer Dr. Bob Lutz said the rise in cases is not surprising, as more testing is being conducted. He added that the criteria for someone to get tested has also broadened.

Lutz said there were 265 tests conducted this week; which is about 100 more than the previous week.

Twenty of the 30 new cases were found through contact tracing. Health officials said they are now working to learn where the other 10 cases from.

Lutz said linking the cases is important because it determines whether they are coming from a current “outbreak or cluster” or from a new outbreak.

At least 51 of the cases confirmed in the past week stem from an outbreak at the Philadelphia Macaroni Company.

Spokane County is currently in Phase 2 of the state’s Safe Start plan. Larger counties were allowed to advance to Phase 2 as long as they did not see an increase of 10 new cases per 100,000 residents. Spokane County has exceeded that as a result of increased testing, but there is no indication the county will revert back to Phase 1.

Each phase is expected to last around three weeks, but Lutz has said twice this week he does not believe Spokane County will be ready to move to Phase 3 within the next few weeks.

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