YAKIMA, WA – The total number of presumptive positive and confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Yakima County is now at 20 (4 presumptive positive and 16 confirmed cases).

Yakima Health District says 19 out of 20 are currently recovering at home. One individual is currently hospitalized.

“Unfortunately, the number of cases in the community is not an accurate representation of the spread of disease. The number of individuals that have COVID-19 in Yakima County is likely much higher.” said Andre Fresco, Executive Director of the Yakima Health District. “If too many individuals with COVID-19 require intensive medical care, our hospitals will be overwhelmed. In this scenario, people who may have otherwise been saved by our healthcare system, may die. It is imperative that all of Yakima County come together immediately as a community to slow the spread of disease.” 

Yakima Health District is highly recommending strict social distancing to their community as they go through this pandemic disease response.

“After review of the current state and local epidemiological data, we are recommending that all Yakima County residents stay at home to help slow the spread of this disease. At this point in time we are advising that everyone assume they may have COVID-19, and ensure proper hand washing hygiene, frequent sanitization of surfaces, staying home especially if not feeling well, and above all practice strict social distancing.” Said Dr. Teresa Everson, Health Officer of the Yakima Health District.

In practicing effective social distancing, they say the only exceptions to these stay-at-home recommendations are:

• Travel for food or medication

• Travel to essential employment (such as healthcare, utilities, grocery and gas stations)

• Travel to walk, run, and bike for recreation, as long as social distancing recommendations (more than 6 feet between people) are followed

Moving forward, the Yakima Health District will continue to partner with the Washington State Department of Health to ensure timely follow-up on the growing close contact investigations. Washington State has implemented measures such as cancellation of schools, large events, and high-volume businesses such as restaurants and bars. However, in Yakima County, the community must take additional immediate action to limit social interaction to preserve the healthcare system to be able to provide the best possible care to our most vulnerable communities during this pandemic.

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