Washington Governor Jay Inslee says Spokane County has a Covid problem.
“Spokane is right on the verge of a very dire situation because of this pandemic. It is right on the verge of a runaway pandemic," Inslee said.
That’s because Spokane County’s coronavirus caseload has continued to surge since Memorial Day. County health officials reported 31 new cases today [Thursday] pushing the total to 1,122. What’s especially worrying to local health officials is that hospitalization rates continue to increase.
Inslee met Thursday at the Washington State Univerity Spokane campus with health care leaders, elected officials and members of the Spokane Alliance. They are helping the health district stay in contact with people who test positive for the virus.
Afterward the governor kept his mask on while speaking with reporters to convey the message about the importance of masking.
“We know that in Yakima County the percentage of people who wear masks has gone from 35% two weeks ago to 60% last weekend. The reason that is happening is that people are learning what a mask can do," he said.
Despite the growing number of cases in Spokane County, Inslee says he’s encouraged local officials will be able to reverse the trend. Otherwise, he says, the state may have to consider changing Spokane’s status as a phase two community.