SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane Regional Health District is reporting its largest daily count of confirmed COVID-19 cases to date in Spokane County, citing recent widespread testing and a recent contained outbreak.
"It's going to be alarming," Spokane County Health Officer Dr. Bob Lutz warned prior to announcing 30 new confirmed cases Friday, for a total of 570 overall. There have been 32 COVID-related deaths in Spokane County, the latest being a man in his 50's.
There have also been 84 cumulative and seven current hospitalizations. As of Friday, over 60 percent of the 570 cases are reportedly recovered.
Lutz says liberalized and more widespread testing has been a factor in the recent uptick in case reports. At the Spokane County Fairgrounds screening site, Lutz says 265 people were tested for COVID-19 this week, over 100 more than last week. He said those tests were in addition to many tests being conducted at clinics and health care facilities around the county.
With 120 cases reported over the past week, the SRHD has also frequently referenced a "contained outbreak" at the Philadelphia Macaroni Company Spokane plant being attributed to part of that spike.
When asked about whether the recent case trend would affect Spokane County's phase 2 status, Lutz didn't have a sense that the county could get moved back to phase 1, but still erred some concern when looking ahead to the next phase.
"Given what we are seeing right now, I think it's very unlikely that we will be moving to phase 3 [on June 12]," Lutz said.
Spokane County has been in phase 2 since Friday, May 22, and the state health secretary has told local officials the earliest counties could move to phase 3 would be three weeks from that date.