Washington's mandatory face covering decree goes into effect tomorrow.

Maybe that might help slow the spread of coronavirus around the Columbia Basin.

The Benton Franklin Health District today disclosed another 80 COVID-19 cases have been reported over the last 24 hours in our area.

Thirty-three new confirmed cases in Benton County, forty-seven new confirmed Franklin County cases.

Benton County now tallies 1,555 cases of coronavirus, Franklin County's total is 1,450. Benton County has tested a total of 9,023 people, while in Franklin County 4,648 folks have been tested.

It was also announced today that a Franklin County woman in her 70's, with underlying health issues, died from coronavirus, so that puts the total number of COVID-19 deaths at 98 in the Tri-Cities.

68 people remain in Tri-City area hospitals suffering from COVID-19.

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Washington's mandatory face covering order goes into effect tomorrow, Friday, June 26th, so maybe now is that time to truly come together, and put a mask on, to help slow the spread.

Another way to put in perspective what we are all dealing with is a new wrinkle from the Benton Franklin Health District. It is an infrared map showing the spread and hotspot intensity of the virus in our area over the last 28 days.

Annie Goodwin

The Covid Cases Heat Map includes most of the Columbia Basin area including Prosser, Benton City, Eltopia, Mesa and Connell. An update is planned each Wednesday, moving forward, by 1:00 p.m. Included in the map are layers and filters to show population densities and the average size of a household.

Click here, for the Benton-Franklin Case Count and about midway down the page you'll find the tab for the Heat Map of Cases.