Spokane County is now two confirmed Covid cases away from a thousand, with 22 new cases reported today [Monday] and 157 during the last seven days.
Spokane’s consistent increases come at a time when some elected officials, particularly the three county commissioners, are pushing the health officer to move forward in the process toward phase three.
Some of those officials sit on the county health board, which is scheduled to meet Thursday to discuss whether that should be the next step.
Health Officer Bob Lutz has said the county isn’t ready yet, a point reaffirmed Monday by health district spokeswoman Kelli Hawkins.
“We share in that belief that we want us to be able to move on to phase three too. We just want to make sure that we’re doing it in a calibrated manner. We’re listening to what our hospitals have to say," Hawkins said. "That all goes into our ability to request moving into phase three. Those conversations are about those details and what we can do together to move forward.”
Asked whether Spokane could instead move back to phase one, if contact tracers determine the virus is spreading quickly through the community, Hawkins said it’s possible. But she says it’s not what the health district is focused on now.
Spokane is not in the same situation as Yakima County, where the outbreak has become more serious. This week, the state will begin requiring that the county enforce rules that require people wear masks in public.