Moving to phase 3 by mid-June would be ‘premature’, Spokane Co. Health Officer says

Bob Lutz

SPOKANE, Wash. — As another double-digit rise in COVID-19 cases was reported Wednesday morning, Spokane County Health Officer Dr. Bob Lutz expressed hesitation with advancing to phase 3 within the next three weeks.

Lutz said 23 more people have tested positive between Tuesday and Wednesday, bringing the total confirmed cases to 526. He said testing criteria has loosened up and more tests are being conducted. Fortunately, no deaths have been reported in the last eight days.

RELATED: 35 employees at Hillyard pasta factory test positive for COVID-19 

The county has seen a significant spike in cases over the past two weeks, in what the health district is calling a “contained outbreak” at the Philadelphia Macaroni Co. factory in Hillyard.

As of Tuesday, 35 employees had tested positive for coronavirus. The health district does not yet have new numbers on new factory cases, but Lutz said half of those who have tested positive are asymptomatic.

Lutz said it is good they are not experiencing symptoms, but added that it raises concern because of how easy it is for them to spread the virus.

Though the county has seen an increase in cases, Lutz said it does not seem as though the state will rescind the county’s move to phase 2.

As for moving to phase 3, Lutz said the moving forward before June 12 would be “premature.”

READ: Spokane County approved to advance to phase 2 of reopening plan