Dr. Bob Lutz

What People Are Saying About SRHD/Lutz Situation

4 hours ago
Washington State Medical Association

A wide variety of interests have weighed in on news that the head of the Spokane Regional Health District has asked Health Officer Bob Lutz to resign.

Spokane Regional Health District

UPDATE: 4:45 pm to include letter of support from school superintendents in Educational Service District 101 (see below)

Spokane Regional Health District spokeswoman Kelli Hawkins says the Board of Health has not scheduled a meeting for this afternoon to discuss the Lutz situation. That would require public notification. She says she will provide an update before the end of the day.

The Spokane Regional Health District's administrative officer has reportedly asked Health Officer Bob Lutz to resign. Amelia Clark addressed reporters during a press conference Friday morning.

Courtesy of MultiCare

The latest coronavirus surge in Spokane and north Idaho continues at or near the intensity seen during the region’s mid-summer Covid peak.

Health officials worry that, unless the momentum is reversed, the health system in the Inland Northwest could be overwhelmed. At the moment, they say, Spokane is managing.

Contact Tracers Stressed During Spokane Covid Surge

Oct 15, 2020
Spokane COVID Response

Another triple digit day for new Spokane Covid cases.

The health district today [Thursday] reported 133 new positive tests. It’s the second consecutive day of triple digit cases and a tie for the fourth-highest number of cases in a single day.

Health Officer Bob Lutz says the surge, now about four weeks into it, is putting a lot of pressure on the health district’s contract tracing teams.

Spokane COVID Response

Spokane County Health Officer Bob Lutz says he may reimpose new restrictions due to increases in the county’s number of daily cases.

Today [Wednesday], the health district reported 122 new cases. It’s the seventh day in the last three weeks in which new case numbers hit triple digits. During that time, the case levels have been similar to days in July and August, the peak of the county’s pandemic era.


Spokane Regional Health District

Spokane County Health Officer Bob Lutz is letting people know the county may be close to reimposing Covid restrictions.

On Thursday, the health district reported 138 new positive tests, the third-highest mark since the outbreak began. Today [Friday], the district reported 94 cases.

Lutz released a statement Friday that he termed a ‘Come to Jesus’ message.

Spokane Covid Notes: Labor Day Lull And Schools

Sep 29, 2020
Spokane COVID Response

More travels on the Covid roller coaster.

Spokane County reported 61 new Covid cases on Tuesday. It’s the fourth consecutive day in the 60-to-70 range after three straight days with 100 or more.

Hospitalization numbers continue to inch up.

Recent Spokane Covid Increase Driven By Young People

Sep 28, 2020
Spokane COVID Response

After three days of triple digit new Covid cases in Spokane, the weekend and Monday brought better news. The health district reported 192 cases, an average of 64 a day, from Saturday through Monday.

Health Officer Bob Lutz says younger people who test positive are helping to drive recent increases in the count.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Spokane’s two largest school districts have begun preparations to bring kindergarten students back to school the week after next.

The districts acted quickly after Spokane County Health Officer Bob Lutz announced he supports the immediate, but slow reopening of schools for children in kindergarten through second grade. He talked about that with reporters today [Thursday].

Spokane Public Schools screenshot

Adminstrators at Spokane County's two largest school districts have announced plans to send kindergarten students back to school the week after next. This follows an announcement early Wednesday afternoon that Health Officer Bob Lutz approved of districts slowly phasing in in-person instruction for kindergarten-through-second grade.

Spokane's Post-Labor Day Covid Spike Hits Another High

Sep 23, 2020
Spokane COVID Response


Spokane County’s daily coronavirus case number was back in the triple digits on Wednesday. That’s the first time it’s crossed the hundred mark since August 8.

It means the post-Labor Day Covid spike continues to grow in magnitude. And it comes just as the flu season approaches.

More Than 200 New Covid Cases In Spokane Over The Weekend

Sep 21, 2020
Spokane COVID Response

Spokane County’s Labor Day-related Covid spike continued over the weekend.

Health Officer Bob Lutz reported 228 new cases in the three-day Saturday-to-Monday period.

“This is definitely that spike that we, unfortunately, were concerned about. We hope that, we certainly believe, that our counts will go down as we are able to aggressively address these current cases," Lutz said.

Spokane health officials today [Monday] reported the release of improper personal health information.

The health district says it accidentally released the information on September 8 to Educational Service District 101 and one other party.

Dean Hare/WSU Photo Services

This week, the Pacific-12 Conference in college sports may follow other big-name conferences around the country in announcing a shortened fall football season. The conference cancelled its season because of the health risks to the players.

But other conferences around the country have decided the reward is bigger than the risk and have begun modified seasons.

Spokane, North Idaho See Labor Day Covid Increase

Sep 16, 2020
Spokane COVID Response

Spokane may be seeing a bit of a Labor Day Covid bump.

The health district today [Wednesday] reported 62 new cases, the second highest reading in more than a month.


Washington has crossed the 80,000 threshold in total number of confirmed coronavirus cases. And it recently passed 2,000 Covid fatalities.

Those are two big milestones, but state officials are optimistic about the trends. That leads, again, to speculation that maybe it’s time to allow counties to advance in the reopening protocol.

Spokane Universities Hope To Avoid Covid Surge

Aug 28, 2020
Screenshot from Whitworth YouTube video

Whitman County health officials announced another 41 new coronavirus cases on Thursday. All of them are in the age groups typically associated with college students. That continues the run of Covid-related cases related to the recent return of students at Washington State University’s Pullman campus.

Spokane public health officials hope Spokane’s universities will be able to avoid that kind of outbreak.

Spokane City Council Considering Water Fluoridation

Aug 26, 2020
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Water fluoridation may be in the city of Spokane’s future.

The city council is considering a request by dentists to fluoridate the city’s water supply. The proposal may be added to the council’s agenda as early as next Monday.

Water fluoridation has been proposed – and rejected – before by Spokane residents. Supporters such as Dr. Elisabeth Warder believe it’s time to consider it again.

Courtesy of Gonzaga University

Whitman County public health authorities today [Monday] reported one new Covid case. This comes after a weekend in which a two-day flurry produced 69 new cases, all of them in the age group that indicate college students or other young adults.

Spokane County Health Officer Bob Lutz says he's working with leaders of the Spokane-based institutions to help them avoid what has happened at Washington State University’s Pullman campus.

Spokane Reports Lower Covid Numbers Over The Weekend

Aug 17, 2020
Spokane COVID Response


Spokane County Health Officer Bob Lutz continued today [Monday] to express cautious optimism about the county’s coronavirus situation.

The health district reported 90 new Covid infections over the weekend, including 24 today [Monday]. Those are some of the lowest numbers since mid-June.

Schools, Health Districts Work Closely During Pandemic

Aug 17, 2020
Spokane Regional Health District

Public health officials and school administrators are becoming close colleagues during this Covid pandemic. School districts are relying on advice about reopening classrooms that’s offered by health authorities. The health districts are relying on schools for information about students.

Spokane COVID Response

Another promising Covid report today [Friday] from Spokane County public health officials.

The health district reported 46 new confirmed infections, the second lowest mark in a week when the highest count was 62.

Health officials here and at the state level credit more people following the Covid guidelines for the lower infection levels.

Deer Park School District/Zoom

The Deer Park school board voted Monday night to join a few other Spokane area school districts in adopting a hybrid format for the academic year.

That means parents will have the option of sending their children to school. They’ll also have the option of keeping their kids at home.

Mead School District/Zoom

UPDATED: The Deer Park School District has voted to allow in-person instruction for students, joining Mead and East Valley as Spokane-area districts that will have students in classrooms as the academic year begins.

Tonight [Monday] the Mead school board will decide whether to postpone for a couple of weeks the start of the academic year.

They're part of the debate between those who believe opening schools is too risky and those who say not opening them is also risky. 

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Part of the battle for local health officials in monitoring the coronavirus is getting enough testing and personal protective equipment for health care workers.

The Spokane Regional Health District relies almost exclusively on the state Department of Health for its supplies.

Health Officer Bob Lutz says that supply chain has been somewhat spotty. But he hit the motherlode last week with a shipment of about 125-thousand KN-95 masks.

Mead District Makes Decision To Send Students To School

Aug 9, 2020
Mead School District

The Mead School District has determined the basic outline of how it will proceed with the academic year that will begin next month, but there’s still one important question to answer. That in a minute.

The board on Thursday voted to give parents the option to send their children to school or to keep them at home and learn full-time online, as explained by Superintendent Shawn Woodward.

“For K-5, parents could choose to send their kids just like they normally would. K-5 students would go every day, full day, a regular school day, with all the safety precautions. School will look very different."

Spokane Sets New One-Day Covid High

Aug 6, 2020
Spokane COVID Response

Another new daily Covid record for Spokane County. Today [Thursday] the health district reported 175 cases, about 30 more than the previous one-day high.

The spike came during a period when the daily trend had seemed to stabilize. The average for the five previous days was about 65 cases per day.

Spokane Regional Health District



After a few weeks of steady increases in Covid numbers, Health Officer Bob Lutz says there may be some room for optimism.

“I think that maybe things are starting to change a little bit. I’m encouraged by the fact that our case counts have been fairly consistent with those little blips," Lutz said.

Over the last four days, the county has averaged 65 new cases, compared to a three-week period in July when the daily count was routinely in the 80s, 90s or triple digits.

Spokane COVID Response

Spokane has crossed the four thousand mark in confirmed coronavirus cases over the last four months, but there may be room for optimism.

After a record high 145 cases reported on Friday, the health district reported 187 positive tests from Saturday-through-Monday, an average of about 60 a day. That’s an improvement over the average daily counts for the last four weeks or so.

But there is one trend for concern: the slow, continued growth in the number of people hospitalized for Covid.

Spokane COVID Response

Spokane County has set another one-day record for confirmed Covid cases. The health district reports 146 cases and two more deaths. That makes 14 deaths and 34 new hospitalizations of Spokane County residents over the last week.

Health Officer Bob Lutz doesn’t expect things to change anytime soon.