COVID-19 cases increase following phase three approval

Bailey Tomlinson, News Editor

Kittitas County has seen a “significant” increase in COVID-19 cases following the move to phase three of Gov. Jay Inslee’s phased reopening plan, according to Kittitas County Public Health Department (KCPHD). These cases are not associated with a specific outbreak.

“We are not surprised by COVID-activity increasing,” KCPHD said. “This is not a scare tactic, only public notification of increased COVID-activity.”

As of July 2, Kittitas County has 39 active positive cases and 224 pending tests.

The press release said it is time to weigh risks and benefits. Though people may now gather in larger numbers, and young people will likely recover from COVID-19, the risk of the virus should be considered when returning to normal life.

Masking, social distancing and plastic barriers are effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19, and are encouraged to be used any time people gather to continue this prevention, KCPHD said.

Kittitas County residents are also encouraged by KCPHD to take preventative measures at any upcoming Fourth of July celebrations. Watching firework shows through the sunroof of a vehicle, gathering in outdoor areas where distance can be maintained and wearing masks when around others are recommended ways to reduce risk.