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Regional News

Spokane Health Officials Cross Fingers About Next Covid Phase Readjustment

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Screenshot from Spokane Regional Health District
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During most of the last week, coronavirus cases in Spokane County have risen back into triple digits, though still much lower than at the peak of the pandemic.

“We had spring breaks. We had Easter, which is also typically a big celebration for a lot of people. And then we had the NCAA Tournament, all of those at the same time, at a time when we were in Phase 3, which means a lot more things are open," said Interim Health Officer Francisco Velazquez.Spokane County will remain in Phase 3 for the time being. The governor announced this week that only three counties, including Whitman, have regressed to Phase 2 because of increases in case counts and hospitalizations.

“The Department of Health and the Office of the Governor will make that decision three weeks from now. All I can tell you is I hope that we pull back from where we are because, if we don’t, I think the numbers will make the determination for us," he said.

Spokane County’s two-week case rate is above the state standard. Hospitalizations are close.

Velazquez hopes Thursday’s opening of Covid vaccines to all adults in Washington will bring a rush of people to get vaccinated and drive the infection rate back down. But the full benefits of the vaccination campaign won’t be clear until several weeks after a great majority of people receive their shots.

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