Spokane not flattening the coronavirus curve yet, says county health officer

Bob Lutz with the Spokane Regional Health District
Copyright 4 News Now

SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane has not begun flattening the coronavirus curve, according to Dr. Bob Lutz with the Spokane Regional Health District.

“Our community can slow the spread,” Lutz said. “It takes all of us to be successful.”

Lutz, who was speaking at a press conference about the recent stay home order, said it will take a few more weeks to see if the community’s action is effective in slowing the spread of the virus.

As of Tuesday, there were 33 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Spokane County and more than 2,200 statewide.

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Under the new order, Washingtonians must stay home unless they are completing essential tasks (like going to the grocery store) or they are an essential employee. The order bans large gatherings and is the latest attempt by the state to flatten the curve.

Lutz said aggressive measures taken by other nations and cities have proven to be effective.

“My concern is that, unless we really start to ratchet this up in a significant way, we’re going to be one of those countries that doesn’t have the slow flattening of the curve and we’re going to be doing this for awhile,” Lutz said.

Lutz said the most crucial part of slowing the spread of coronavirus is time. He said time was the key factor in aiding the four patients from the Diamond Princess who were treated at Sacred Heart.

Lutz said those patients were never symptomatic, but tested positive, and were eventually released after they were isolated and had time to recover.

The stay home order will be in place for at least two weeks, beginning on Wednesday. Efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus are dependent on members of the public staying home, avoiding gatherings and stopping all unessential tasks.

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Posted by 4 News Now on Tuesday, March 24, 2020