Washington State Reports Spike in COVID-19 Cases, Issues Warning

June 15, 2020 Updated: June 15, 2020

Health officials in Washington on June 13 published a report warning of a surge in CCP virus cases in the eastern and western sides of the state, as it continues to move forward with its phased reopening plan.

In a situation report issued by the Washington Department of Health on Saturday, state epidemiologists noted that the counties of Benton, Yakima, Spokane, and Franklin in the eastern side of the state have seen a particularly significant increase in cases of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly referred to as the novel coronavirus.

They noted that the latest data through the end of May indicates likely increases in infections across the state.

The report said that the results take into account the possible spike in CCP virus cases over the Memorial Day weekend, but would not have included transmissions that may have occurred following recent protests in the state over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.

Coyote Ridge Corrections Center, which is located in Connell about 100 miles southwest of Spokane, on Saturday announced it is restricting movement in the medium-security unit after more than 100 officers and inmates tested positive for COVID-19.

Citing the statewide situation report, Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee (D) warned Sunday that cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP virus, and deaths caused by the virus will likely “soon increase substantially.”

“Washingtonians have done the hard work to flatten the curve on COVID-19 and we know this has been tremendously difficult for families, businesses, and communities over the past few months,” the governor said in a statement. “But today’s report shows us there is still reason for strong concern in parts of our state.”

“COVID-19 transmission is continuing to increase throughout Washington, as of the end of May,” he said in a tweet Sunday. “Today @WADeptHealth released the latest statewide situation report and there is reason for strong concern.”

He urged the public to continue to wear face coverings and to adhere to social distancing measures.

“This is not the time to give up on efforts to protect ourselves, our families and our communities. We are still in the middle of a pandemic that is continuing to infect and kill Washingtonians,” Inslee said.

Kathy Lofy, state health officer at the Washington Department of Health, said that the recent increase in infections highlights the critical importance of adopting measures to reduce the risk of transmission.

These include “staying six feet apart and wearing cloth face coverings whenever we’re in public, as well as a need for increased response in these harder-hit areas,” Lofy said in a statement.

“We’re working closely with the Governor’s Office, local officials and partners to identify additional ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in these regions,” she added. “Every single person in our state can and must do their part to help by following public health recommendations.”

Washington state has reported 25,834 positive COVID-19 cases and at least 1,217 deaths as of Sunday afternoon.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.