The number of long-term care facilities with COVID-19 cases has increased in Yakima County, according to the Yakima Health District.
Yakima County had 886 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday evening, with no new deaths, according to the Yakima Health District. There were 18 new cases, up from 868 on Monday evening. Thirty-eight people have died.
Of the total cases, 25% are from residents and staff at local long-term care facilities, said health district spokeswoman Lilian Bravo. The number of facilities affected has increased from five centers last week to seven.
The facilities are Good Samaritan, Willow Springs Care, Landmark Care, Garden Village — all in Yakima — as well as Prestige Care and Rehabilitation Parkside in Union Gap, Prestige in Toppenish and Emerald Care in Wapato. The health district has placed an emphasis on testing at area nursing homes.
Thirty-two of the deaths were patients from long-term care facilities, Bravo added.
As of Tuesday evening, 25 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Yakima County.
Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough and breathing trouble. Most develop only mild symptoms. But some people, usually those with medical complications, develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia, which can be fatal.
Here are some questions and answers from the Yakima Health District on COVID-19:
How soon will businesses in the county re-open?
It’s unclear. The decision of when to end the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order is up to the governor’s office. But Bravo said even when stay-at-home orders end, public health recommendations on social distancing will continue for several months to avoid overwhelming the local health care system.
“We know that we can’t completely stop the spread of COVID-19, but the goal is to slow the spread so that our hospital system and health care system do not get overwhelmed,” Bravo said. “We’ve done a great job. ... that’s our goal: to continue to see low hospitalizations in comparison to what the capacity actually is in our community.”
What’s the latest on testing?
Countywide, at least 2,900 people have been tested for COVID-19. Yakima ranks fifth in the state for how much testing is being done, said Bravo, following King, Snohomish, Pierce and Spokane counties.
“Of course we know that more testing needs to be done in our community and we continue to advocate for those resources,” she added.
What were the results from the temporary drive-thru testing at the SunDome earlier this month?
Of the 500 people tested over four days, 60 were found positive for COVID-19.
Anyone experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 is encouraged to contact their primary care provider or call 211 for a potential referral for testing.
What’s the latest on personal protective equipment in the county?
The county’s Emergency Operations Center has seven to 10 days’ supply of personal protective equipment, which is the average range the center wants on hand at all times. All requests from the state for equipment have been fulfilled, and more requests are being placed for future needs.
What are considered underlying health conditions?
Underlying health conditions can include high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
“Any of those different chronic disease conditions are considered to be an underlying health condition. Our director of disease control reviews these death records on each and every individual,” Bravo said.