COVID-19 continues to spread aggressively in Yakima County.
The Yakima Health District reported 215 more infections Monday, bringing the total of confirmed cases to 4,929 countywide.
Current hospitalizations increased by four, for a total of 48. Deaths remained at 96.
“We are a hot spot for COVID-19,” health district spokeswoman Lilian Bravo said, stressing the need for people to wear masks in public and follow social distancing guidelines.
She said it’s too early to tell what kind of impact recent public gatherings may have on the spread of the virus because it can take up to 14 days before symptoms become apparent.
Local protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement led to some gatherings of more than 100 people, although many participants wore masks. The First Baptist Church of Yakima defied state guidelines and reopened indoors May 31 with no masks or social distancing. Although Yakima County high schools are finding ways to celebrate graduating seniors without traditional ceremonies, an unofficial event Friday in West Valley involved about a dozen students. The list goes on.
Monday’s increase was one of the highest single-day jumps the county has seen. It follows a report of 175 new cases Sunday.
A majority of those infected experience minor to moderate symptoms. But people are becoming seriously ill and dying and the public has a responsibility to protect those at risk, Bravo said.
“We need to start taking it more seriously,” she said. “We have to commit as a community and take responsibility for our own actions to protect the community as a whole.”
Of the 48 people currently hospitalized, 14 are on respirators.
Of the total number of cases countywide, 1,838 have recovered as of Monday.
But the rapid spread is still outpacing progress. Cases need to decrease below 25 per 100,000 people over two weeks before the county can be considered for Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s reopening plan. As of now, the county’s infection rate is more than 537 per 100,000 over 14 days.
The largest segment of infections is among ages 20-29 with 1,069 cases — 22% of the total. That’s followed by the 30-39 age group with 902 cases, or 18%.
The smallest segment — those 80 and older — account for 4% of cases but a majority of fatalities, with 41 as of Monday.
Based on information from patients who reported their race and ethnicity, Latinos make up a majority of cases with 67%, followed by whites, who account for more than 25%, according to the health district.
Yakima has the most cases in the county with 1,566 as of Monday.
Sunnyside in the Lower Valley follows with 578 cases, while Toppenish is third with 425.
- Wapato: 340
- Granger: 178
- Union Gap: 130
- Mabton: 112
- Selah: 100
- Zillah: 87
- Tieton: 71
- Moxee: 61
- Outlook: 37
- White Swan: 34
- Harrah: 30
- Buena: 30
- Cowiche: 28
- Naches: 23
- Parker: 9
- Brownstown: 2.