UPDATED: The Spokane Regional Health District reported another 18 cases on Saturday.
The county has confirmed 588 people have tested positive for the virus over the last two-plus months with 32 deaths. 138 people have tested positive in the week since Spokane County officially elevated to phase two of the state’s four-phase reopening protocol.
Friday brought 30 new Covid cases, the single largest number of confirmed cases since an outbreak began at a pasta factory in northeast Spokane.
He says at least 20 of those cases are associated with outbreaks that already known to contact tracers.
“These numbers are really disheartening for me,” said Health Officer Bob Lutz. “We have been doing really, really well. I think it really speaks to the fact that we have got a lot of work in front of us and we can’t let down our vigilance. We can’t stop doing what we need to be doing, especially as things are opening up more.”
He says more people are getting tested. At the health district’s mobile clinic at the Fairgrounds, 265 people have been tested so far this week, compared to 160 all last week. He says he expects many of the county’s private testing sites have also seen increases.
Lutz says health district officials continue to monitor the metrics required by the state, including hospitalizations. He says, despite the rapid rise in the number of new cases, only one person with the virus has been admitted to the hospital during the last few days and only eight people are currently receiving hospital care.
For those reasons, he believes the state will be lenient in assessing the county’s situation, despite the spike in case numbers. He doesn’t think it will lead to the county moving back to phase one, though he doesn’t rule it out.
Lutz noted that the state is seeing a significant increase in the number of confirmed cases for people 40 or younger. He says it shows the virus is not just a condition that affects older people, though they may suffer more severe consequences from it, in general.