Spokane health officer: Rise in cases is the Labor Day spike they feared

Dr Bob Lutz

SPOKANE, Wash – After weeks of relatively low COVID-19 case numbers in Spokane, the number of confirmed cases started to climb again late last week. Spokane health officer Dr. Bob Lutz said that spike is a result of more people gathering together over the Labor Day holiday.

People likely start seeing symptoms between five and six days after they’re exposed to the virus. Spokane County was averaging less than 50 cases a day in August. Those numbers began to climb with an initial spike on September 10.

Sixty two people tested positive on September 16, 73 on September 17 and 70 on September 18.

In a briefing with reporters Monday, Dr. Lutz said the cases are likely due to more people gathering together on Labor Day weekend, which is something the health district warned about in the days before the September 7 holiday.

Dr. Lutz said it wasn’t any single gathering or event, but just a function of more people getting together.

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The health district is working with contact tracers to try and contain the virus, which allows them to better understand what people were doing and who they were in contact with at the time they were exposed. SRHD believes that the cases will again go down with successful contact tracing and isolation of the virus.

Lutz also said the spike in cases is not a “second wave.” He said we didn’t see enough of a reduction in cases to mark an end to a first wave of the pandemic.

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