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Concern in Benton, Franklin, Spokane and Yakima counties as COVID-19 infections rise sharply

Explosive growth in cases likely if infection rate is not contained


OLYMPIA—Washington State Department of Health (DOH) released the latest statewide situation report on Saturday, June 13, which shows COVID-19 transmission continued to increase in eastern Washington as of the end of May, with a possible uptick in western Washington as well. There are still significant differences in transmission from county to county.

The situation in eastern Washington is of greatest concern, particularly in Benton, Franklin, Spokane and Yakima counties. The report estimates cases and deaths in these counties will soon increase substantially if COVID-19 continues to spread at current levels. By population, these counties are in a comparable position to King County at its peak in March.

Yakima County is now second to King County in total number of confirmed cases with 5,384 compared to King County’s total of 8,722.

“The trends we’re seeing point to the critical importance of actions we can all take, like staying six feet apart and wearing cloth face coverings whenever we’re in public, as well as a need for increased response in these harder-hit areas,” said Dr. Kathy Lofy, state health officer at DOH.

More information on COVID-19 and the current status for all Washington state counties can be found on the DOH website or at


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