UPDATED: Monday 3 pm
Spokane County added nine new Covid cases on Monday. That, added to 31 reported over the weekend, continues the steady increase in confirmed cases since the county moved to phase two of the state’s reopening strategy. The official count is now 842.
The trend in Spokane has caught the attention of the Washington Department of Health.
On Saturday state officials released a press release in which they expressed concern about the growth in the number of cases in four eastside counties. Those are Yakima, Benton, Franklin and Spokane.
On Friday, Spokane County became eligible to apply to move to phase three, something Health Officer Bob Lutz addressed last week.
“Eligible means that you have to meet the criteria and, as we have commented, we’re not close to meeting those criteria, so we will not be moving to phase three" with last Friday's deadline, Lutz said.
That’s not to say Spokane isn’t making progress in some of the metrics the state considers when deciding on a county’s application.
“We look good from the standpoint of hospital capacity, number of individuals hospitalized for Covid-19, but the two that really stand out are our overall case counts and the metric around testing," he said.
Hospital officials say, if you contract Covid, there’s not a better time than now to be cared for. They say their facilities have plenty of intensive care beds and personal protective equipment for their employees. And, they say, because of the pandemic, hospitals have put a lot of emphasis on improving their practices to minimize infections.