(BRANDON HANSEN/Chewelah Independent)
More cases are piling up in NE Washington for COVID-19, as Chewelah saw additional positive tests for the virus that has shuttered the nations economy and has been responsible for the death of nearly a quarter of a million people.
Health officials said available hospital beds in the region are down to a few for each facility. Staffing is an issue as traveling nurses and healthcare workers are in great demand as high demand of them are needed throughout the country. Because of this, health district officials are pleading with the public to follow social distancing, mask guidelines and staying home when they’re sick.
On Friday, the district announced 24 new positive cases in NE Washington. The breakdown goes as following:
-1 in Ferry County, residing in the East Ferry County area
4 in Pend Oreille County
– 3 residing in the Cusick area
– 1 residing in the Newport area
19 in Stevens County
– 4 residing in the Nine Mile Falls area
– 1 residing in the Valley area
– 1 residing in the Loon Lake area
– 1 residing in the Clayton area
– 1 residing in the Addy area
– 2 residing in the Springdale area
– 2 residing in the Fruitland area
– 1 residing in the Rice area
– 2 residing in the Chewelah area
– 3 residing in the Colville area
– 1 residing in the Kettle Falls/Marcus area
NETCHD staff is working to notify contacts and these individuals are being given guidance and advised of precautions they should take. Health officials also pointed out some people are not being completely truthful with their contact tracing.
NE Washington has seen 175 cases in the past two weeks, Stevens County has seen 133 cases in the past two weeks. The current case count rate for Stevens County is 293 per 100K residents.
Chewelah has seen 20 cases of COVID-19 in the past two weeks and the case rate is over 740 per 100K residents. To break that number down further, one person in every 135 people in Chewelah has tested positive for the virus. The state considers an area to be “low risk” for the virus when case counts are below 25 per 100K residents and “high risk” when case counts are above 75 per 100K residents.