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Spokane County Likely To Go Back To Phase 2 As Hospitalizations, Case Rates Rise

Rebecca White/SPR

Spokane County's interim health officer says the county will likely revert back to more restrictions as both coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue to rise.

Spokane County has 299 cases and 8.6 hospitalizations per 100,000 people, significantly above the requirements to stay in the state’s current phase of re-opening.

“At least based on the information that we have, we are not meeting and have not met either one of the two metrics on hospitalization or rate per 100,000 for quite some time now.”

That’s Spokane County Interim Health Officer Dr. Francisco Velazquez. He said the county has been failing at least one criteria since April 7. The county needs to fail both criteria to be moved back from the current Phase 3.

Velazquez said several factors led to the increase in cases including spring Break, Easter and sports related celebrations. He was optimistic that with more vaccinations and adherence to masking and physical distancing, the county will be able to meet the metrics again.

“Let’s move on in an assertive way following the public health guidance, getting as many people vaccinated as we can and we will get through this and we will get back to where we were over the course of the next many weeks.”

If Spokane County does face more restrictions, it will join Whitman, Pierce and Cowlitz counties, which were moved back a phase earlier this month. The county will be assessed on May 3.

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