The deaths related to COVID-19 continue to grow in the area of the three cities, even as the number of new known cases is rapidly declining.
On Friday, Benton Franklin County Health announced nine more deaths due to complications from COVID.
They lead to 26 deaths announced this month – more than each of the previous three months.
Deaths in the area of three cities due to COVID-19 are announced once a week, usually on Fridays.
In January, 21 deaths from COVID-19 were announced in three cities, compared with 22 in December and 17 in November.
The death toll has dropped significantly since the 80 announced in October, when the delta option only peaked.
Most deaths in the area of the three cities were due to people who were not fully vaccinated.
Recent deaths include Benton County residents: a 50-year-old woman, a 70-year-old woman, a woman and two 80-year-old men and two 90-year-old women.
Two Franklin County residents were killed, a woman and a man in their 80s.
Recent deaths related to COVID-19 have brought the total area of the three cities since the beginning of the pandemic to 625, including 427 residents of Benton County and 198 residents of Franklin County.
In three cities, local health authorities confirmed the deaths due to complications of COVID by checking a positive test result and that coronavirus infection was cited as the main cause of death in the death certificate.
It may take several weeks to obtain and reconcile death reports in the area due to the reporting processes of medical facilities and coroners, as well as the process of issuing and issuing death certificates.
Nationwide, 11,615 people have died from COVID-19 complications since the pandemic began, according to Washington State Department of Health on Friday.
COVID cases in three cities
“The incidence is declining and declining rapidly,” said Dr. Amy Pearson, a physician for Benton and Franklin counties, in a weekly interview with the Benton Franklin Health Alliance.
On Friday, the overall case rate in Benton and Franklin counties was 1,195 new cases per 100,000 people in the past two weeks.
This is less than 2,555 cases a week ago and 4,105 in the first day of this month.
Health officials warn that some of the decline could be due to increased use of home test kits, the results of which are not required to be reported to the Benton Franklin Health Department.
The three-city district is asking people to volunteer to report positive test results to help provide information about the state of COVID in the community. The district put the form of two questions on bit.ly/BFtestreport.
Despite the rapid decline in new cases, the level of cases still remains slightly higher than previous pandemic peaks in the Tr-Cities area.
COVID Hospital Cases
The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Benton and Franklin counties fell to 38 on Friday, for the first time since mid-January the total number was below 40.
38 patients accounted for 9% of all people treated at hospitals in Richland, Kenevik, Pascoe and Proser. That’s less than 19% about a month ago.
Older people continue to suffer severely from COVID-19, especially the most vulnerable to infection in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
Since the end of 2021, the number of cases in staff or residents of long-term care homes in Benton and Franklin counties has increased by 149. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 1,179 cases have been reported in long-term care homes.
Vaccine against COVID-19 Tri-Cities
The percentage of people who are old enough to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and fully vaccinated, has increased slightly over the past week in the Three Cities area.
In Benton County over the past week, the percentage of residents aged 5 and older who are fully vaccinated has increased from 58.4% to 58.6%. In Franklin County, the growth rate was higher, from 54.4% to 54.9%.
According to the Washington State Department of Health, nationwide 70.7% of all residents ages 5 and older are fully vaccinated.
He considers people fully vaccinated if they received two doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
But the Washington State Department of Health and others recommend additional vaccinations for those 12 and older Centers for Disease Control.