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News >  Health

Local COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations modestly increasing

UPDATED: Thu., May 5, 2022

A modest increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations means people at high risk of severe disease from the virus should consider taking more precautions, including wearing masks again, health officials said.

COVID hospitalizations had dropped to a little more than a dozen people needing treatment in the last few weeks, but this week that figure has ticked up again to 24 patients being treated for the virus in hospitals.

Health Officer Dr. Francisco Velázquez said the county is seeing a modest increase in confirmed cases and hospitalizations due to COVID-19, and he recommends that people who are higher risk and their family members wear masks in certain settings to protect them. Cancer, diabetes and conditions that make people immunocompromised are among the risk factors for severe COVID infection.

He recommends people wear KN95 or N95 face coverings if they are looking to protect themselves, not cloth face coverings.

Velázquez said he does not anticipate requiring masks in the county again in the immediate future, but he noted that he and his team at the health district wear KN95s or better masks when they are doing their work.

The omicron variant is more transmissible than all previous variants of the virus, which means it takes less time for a person with the virus to infect another person.

Omicron is also causing more breakthrough cases, when someone who is vaccinated tests positive for the virus, data from the Department of Health show.

Health officials still recommend getting boosted to decrease a person’s need for hospitalization or care if they contract COVID-19.

The omicron subvariant, BA.2, makes up the majority of cases sequenced in the state, and an additional sublineage, BA.2.12.1, has been detected in the state .

Here’s a look at local numbers:

The Spokane Regional Health District reported 76 new COVID-19 cases and no additional deaths on Wednesday.

There are 24 patients hospitalized in Spokane with the virus.

The Panhandle Health District updates their numbers weekly on Thursday.

Arielle Dreher's reporting for The Spokesman-Review is primarily funded by the Smith-Barbieri Progressive Fund, with additional support from Report for America and members of the Spokane community. These stories 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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