A strike team from the state Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control has spent the past two weeks in Yakima helping employ measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Yakima County saw 57 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday with no new deaths, a drop from the past few days.
Tuesday’s update brings the total number of confirmed cases to 3,123 countywide, up from 3,066 the day before, according to the Yakima Health District.
On Monday, Yakima County had 101 new cases with three more deaths. The day before, the county saw 107 new infections with three more deaths.
The virus has claimed 87 lives countywide, and hospitalized 244 people since the health district began counting cases in mid-March.
Since then, 1,106 people have recovered and 39 are currently hospitalized.
More free testing is being offered this week at locations around the county.
Yakima County has the second highest number of cases in the state, behind King County, according to the DOH’s website. It has the highest number of cases per capita in the state.
The strike team — composed of eight DOH workers and two from the CDC — has been here helping the Yakima Health District. The team visited the county’s 11 long-term care facilities, 30 adult family living centers as well as food processing plants.
The team provided those facilities guidelines on screenings, testing and social distancing. They also provided masks and other personal protection equipment for agriculture workers.
Now the team is working with other state agencies in devising comprehensive guidelines for farmworkers.
State health care officials shared some of the team’s findings during a Tuesday media briefing.
Health officials said the team found the largest outbreaks in Yakima County to be at long-term care facilities and food packing plants — meat and produce.
Health officials said outbreaks had occurred at 180 long-term care facilities statewide, and at 11 in Yakima County. A total of 3,738 COVID-19 cases statewide are associated with a long-term care facility, or 19%. The cases include residents, employees and visitors, the DOH said.
They also said outbreaks occurred at 68 nonmedical facilities, with a majority being at food packing plants statewide. Health officials didn’t say how many such plants had outbreaks in Yakima County.
Free mobile test sites have been established across the county this
Wednesday: Naches Elementary School, 151 Bonlow Drive, Naches; and Zillah Middle School, 1301 Cutler Way, Zillah.
Thursday: State Fair Park, 1301 S. Fair Ave., Yakima; and the White Swan Dental Clinic, 80 Birdsong Lane, White Swan.
Friday: Valley Mall parking lot (farmers market area), 2529 Main St., Union Gap; and Wapato, location to be determined.
Testing is available for anyone with coronavirus symptoms. Call 211 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays to schedule an appointment. The health district, the office of Emergency Management and the Washington National Guard are putting on the testing events.
Those tested should expect to receive results by phone within three days from the date of the test.
Those who don’t receive results after four days should call 509-225-2088. Results are only available over the phone.