Spokane County’s COVID numbers have hit a ‘plateau,’ but cases are rising among college students

SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane County’s coronavirus numbers have hit a plateau and are looking relatively good overall, but cases are once again rising among local college students.

On April 12, the state will again evaluate counties and Spokane, so far, is meeting the required metrics. The number of daily cases is sitting at about 60, with 66 percent of those cases being diangosed in people under the age of 40 and zero cases coming from people over 90. Spokane County is also seeing a 4.2 percent positivity rate, which is down from the week prior.

Metrics Phase 3

COVID-related deaths are also down. There have been 21 deaths in the past 30 days compared to 75 deaths the previous month.

Overall, those metrics are trending in the right direction, but college students are again becoming sick.

Gonzaga University reported about 100 cases in the past month. Interim Health Officer Dr. Frank Velazquez said those cases are spreading “outside of schools” and where students gather after class.

University President Thayne McCulloh recently sent out a video to students, asking them to “double down” and mask up while keeping gatherings small, especially as students celebrate the men’s basketball team’s tournament run.

McCulloh’s message was similar to that of Washington State University President Kirk Schulz, who asked Cougs to “Do better” and stop partying last week. WSU has seen 71 cases among students in the past month.

Meantime, things are looking better at Whitworth and Eastern Washington University. Whitworth has had 23 cases in March and EWU has had six.

“We want to make sure that we as a community continue to work really, really, really hard on maintaining our ground and not going backwards,” Velazquez said.

RELATED: WSU President to students about parties: ‘This needs to stop. Now.’