According to the latest updates from the Benton Franklin Health District and state officials, Benton and Franklin County have met one of the five stipulations for moving up to Phase Two as far as COVID is concerned.

Phase Two allows for more construction, outdoor dining (where applicable) at restaurants, hair salons to operate at 25% capacity and limited retail expansion with small numbers allowed in stores.

Virtually every county around ours have been moved or are moving to Phase Two, but Benton and Franklin have larger populations making it more difficult.

The categories Benton and Franklin need to work on are:

  • number of individuals tested for each new case for the prior week (no)
  • percentage of persons testing positive during the past week (no)
  • percent of occupied beds occupied by patients (yes)
  • percent of licensed beds occupied by COVID-19 patients (no)
  • Rate of new cases per 100,000 prior two weeks (no)

However, counties are allowed to petition to have certain variances waived or modified depending upon their circumstances.

The percentage of licensed beds is curious, because at last check the B-F Health District reports 302 people in the four area hospitals (Trios, Kadlec, Prosser Memorial and Lourdes) but of them, only 18 percent are COVID or COVID like symptoms --a total of 57.

Officials are expected to hear about the Benton Franklin application being completed this week soon.

To see more of the BFHD figures, click on the button below.