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News >  Washington

Additional 276 COVID-19 cases reported in Spokane County on Sunday; second round of vaccines on the way

Dec. 20, 2020 Updated Sun., Dec. 20, 2020 at 10:47 p.m.

The Spokane Regional Health District reported an additional 276 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county on Sunday.

The district also reported it expected to receive, within the next two weeks, nearly 17,000 doses of a vaccine approved by health officials in Western states. That vaccine, manufactured by Moderna, will supplement the 7,800 doses of a Pfizer-manufactured vaccine that should arrive by the end of this week in Spokane County, according to a news release.

The case numbers Sunday bring the total number of positive COVID-19 cases in Spokane County to 23,862 since the pandemic began in March. To date, 329 deaths in the county have been linked to the disease.

The health district reported 117 people with COVID-19 are hospitalized locally as of Sunday, including 86 residents of Spokane County. Those numbers, and the number of deaths, may be delayed due to the weekend and could be updated early this week.

The area’s two-week case rate is 4,162 per 100,000 residents.

The Washington Health Department and the Panhandle Health District in North Idaho do not update their statistics on Sundays.

Nationwide, there have been 17.8 million confirmed cases of the disease, according to research by Johns Hopkins University. Those cases have resulted in more than 317,000 American deaths. The international case total stood at 76.7 million on Sunday afternoon.

Washington state began inoculating health care workers last week. Gov. Jay Inslee announced Sunday that a safety review team made up of officials in Washington, Oregon, California and Nevada had approved a second vaccine, manufactured by Moderna, for use.

“Having two vaccines to combat COVID-19 will help us begin to recover from this destructive pandemic,” Inslee said in a statement.

The vaccine is being distributed to health care and long-term care workers first, as well as those who are at high-risk of severe symptoms. The Moderna vaccine may be stored at refrigerator temperatures, which will allow a wider geographic distribution, said Dr. Francisco Velázquez, the district’s interim medical officer, in a statement Sunday evening.

“We have already begun immunizing local providers and, with this additional vaccine, we will be able to expand to more providers and other high-risk groups,” Velázquez said.

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