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BENTON AND FRANKLIN COUNTIES, WA - The Benton Franklin Health District held a press conference today. Health Officer, Dr. Amy Person lead the conference and wants the public to know there are no confirmed positive cases of Coronavirus in the counties.

Officials were not able to provide the number of tests they have administered in both counties. But, say they are experiencing challenges with testing kits- a huge shortage in testing supplies.

"There are shortages of the specimen collection equipment, cotton swabs and the media [sterile medical tubes]. Our laboratories are continuing to work on accessing those you, but until all the shortages are resolved. There is going to continue to be a bottleneck in how many people we can test," Person said.

The counties say only the most vulnerable will be tested until further notice. And it's up to residents to keep themselves quarantine. If you come in contact with someone who has the virus (even if you are not experiencing any symptoms), the county urges you to be proactive.

Health District Manager, Rick Dawson says, it's also best to avoid large crowds.

"We recommend the canceling of any event involving people over the age of 60 or with underlying health conditions... Canceling large gatherings that require traveling to other communities, or that will require other communities to travel here," he said.

The Coronavirus is spreading and while we can't directly control the spread, but we can slow the rate at which it develops- by practicing social distancing.

Health officials also say we can all work together to practice social distancing and by doing so we will effectively "flatten the curve," as the Coronavirus continues to spread.

For more info: https://tumbleweird.org/flattening-the-curve-in-the-tri-cities-coronavirus-readiness-and-community-resilience/

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