The pandemic is far from over in Spokane County, as outbreaks in long-term care facilities continue and residents from all age groups test positive for COVID-19 in the new year.
Spokane Regional Health District confirmed 524 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, pushing the county past the 30,000-case mark. Nearly 6% of the county has tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began.
Spokane County has recorded more virus cases now than every county statewide except King County.
In 2021, COVID-19 cases are distributed across all age groups, but adults from age 20 to 59 are driving transmission.
There are active outbreaks in 26 long-term care facilities in Spokane County, accounting for 662 cases of the virus in staff or residents. There are outbreaks in four adult family homes with 20 confirmed cases as well.
Deaths also continue to escalate locally, following the winter surge in hospitalizations. The district confirmed six new deaths on Tuesday, for a total of 430 due to the virus in the county.
There are 131 people hospitalized with the virus in Spokane hospitals.
Kootenai Health will resume surgeries this week, while still evaluating each one on a case-by-case basis, pending staffing and hospital capacity. Kootenai Health is caring for 77 COVID-19 patients, with 24 in critical care.
The Panhandle Health District confirmed 256 new cases on Tuesday. There are 85 residents from the five-county region hospitalized with COVID-19.
The Panhandle Health District began vaccinating Idaho residents in the state’s first phases this past week, administering 2,280 doses. All available appointments to get vaccinated through the district have been booked, according to a news release. The district is working to add additional dates, but vaccine supplies are limited.
“We are pleased that so many people in our community are eager to receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” Don Duffy, health services administrator at the district, said in a news release. “With that being said, supply is still limited and that is why it is imperative that we stick with the phased vaccine approach.”
Currently in Idaho, frontline and health care workers, residents over 65 and school district employees, as well as other essential workers, are eligible to vaccinated.
Arielle Dreher's reporting for The Spokesman-Review is funded in part by Report for America and by members of the Spokane community. This story can be republished by other organizations for free under a Creative Commons license. For more information on this, please contact our newspaper’s managing editor.
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