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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Washington decommissions COVID-19 emergency response website as cases remain low

OLYMPIA – As Washington’s COVID-19 state of emergency ends, so do some resources associated with the pandemic.

Beginning Thursday, the Washington State Coronavirus Response website – which houses the state’s vaccine locator, vaccine facts and information for businesses, employers and health care providers – will be decommissioned. Those who visit coronavirus.wa.gov will now be redirected to the Department of Health COVID-19 landing page, which houses much of the same information.

During the height of the pandemic, the state coronavirus response website offered public health information as well as resources from other state agencies, such as workplace safety guidance, workers rights, food assistance and mental health assistance.

But as the emergency order ends and web traffic decreases, the state Department of Health said it was time to streamline. While the public health content on the site will move to the Department of Health website, other pandemic information will transfer to various state agency websites.

COVID-19 data will still exist on the Department of Health’s dashboard.

State health officials have said for months that they remain committed to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, even if the state of emergency has ended.

At a news conference last month, Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah told reporters the state was in a much better place than it was two years ago, but there are still uncertainties ahead.

Despite an end in the state of emergency, the Department of Health requires masks in health care settings, long-term care settings and correctional facilities.

Health officials continue to recommend everyone get updated vaccinations against COVID-19, as well as influenza, as the flu, respiratory syncytial virus and COVID-19 continue to spread.

COVID-19 cases in Washington and Spokane County remained low Tuesday, though the state average number of cases per 100,000 is still in the second-highest “substantial” category. The two-week average was 53 cases per 100,000 people in the two weeks ending Nov. 14, the most updated period for data available. The state is almost in the “moderate” category, which is an average of 10 to 49 cases per 100,000.

COVID-19 hospital cases remain low as well, with about 5% of hospital beds statewide occupied by COVID-19 patients.

In Spokane County, 290 new cases were reported between Nov. 21 and Nov. 27. There was one death reported the week prior.

Since September, the number of cases throughout the county has decreased and remained steady with between 250 and 350 new cases reported each week. That’s significantly lower than the peak in Spokane County last winter, when thousands of cases were reported each week.

Hospitalizations also remain low . The week ending in Nov. 12, which is the most recent period for which data was available, saw eight new COVID-19 patients hospitalized. The last two months have seen six to eight COVID-19 patients hospitalized each week, down from 2021 peaks of up to 135 people hospitalized each week.

Deaths due to COVID-19 have also remained low, but the county still reports about one death each week. However, there were five deaths the week ending Oct. 15. Spokane County’s peak was September 2021, when 45 people died due to COVID-19 in one week.

More information on cases in Spokane can be found at the Spokane Regional Health District’s COVID-19 data dashboard at covid.srhd.org/topics/spokane-county-case-data.

Laurel Demkovich'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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