Spokane elected leaders today [Monday] reinforced the message the health district has been touting since the start of the Covid pandemic. Wear masks. Stay physically distant when possible. Have fewer and shorter interactions with others.
It was a message that Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward and her colleagues shared before the county moved into phase two of the reopening protocol. But now that the area is stuck there with rising case counts, they recognize the only way to reverse that is to call on people to be disciplined in their behavior.
“We understand and we share the disappointment, the anxiety, the fatigue that you’re all experiencing after four long months of battling this virus," Woodward said. "We have been in a crisis period as a community and we’re slowly making the shift toward the coping period that will carry us out of this situation.”
A new set of state guidelines take effect Thursday. They include restrictions on seating at restaurant tables and no alcohol service in restaurants after 10 pm. Bars cannot have indoor service and their gaming areas must be closed. There are also more restrictions on indoor fitness and family entertainment centers.
Woodward says the governor and local officials are trying to be more targeted in imposing new rules so as not to have to impose new blanket restrictions.
The health district reported 240 new cases collectively for Saturday, Sunday and Monday; 38 Spokane County residents are currently hospitalized. Two more deaths were reported as well, bringing the total to 47.
Idaho's Panhandle Health District reported 116 new cases for that same period with 35 people current hospitalized for the coronavirus. Kootenai County is now reporting six deaths.
Northeast Washington's Tri-County Health District reported one new case on Sunday, 108 total. Five people in the three counties are receiving hospital care.