The Spokane Regional Health District confirmed 10 new cases of COVID-19 Monday, continuing a trend of increased levels resulting from an outbreak at a local pasta factory.
Spokane County now has a total of 497 positive cases, 47 of which have been confirmed since Friday.
According to a statement from the Spokane Regional Health District, the increase in positive cases over the weekend does not confirm COVID-19 is spreading in the community, but is an outbreak health officials are containing through contact tracing.
The outbreak is centered at a Philadelphia Macaroni Co. pasta plant in Spokane. The company confirmed Friday that a third of the plant’s workers had tested positive. It has since disinfected the facility and is evaluating when it will reopen.
The jump in cases is occurring as more businesses reopen after the state on Friday approved Spokane County’s request to move to Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s re-opening plan, which allows restaurants, salons and retail to open at a limited capacity.
In the statement, Spokane County Health Officer Dr. Bob Lutz said the outbreak was an example of how people in close quarters can spread the virus and urged people to continue to take safety precautions.
He said many of those who have tested positive may not have symptoms, but they know how to self-quarantine and keep others healthy.
The health district urged the public to keep wearing masks while indoors at public places, physically distance, continue washing their hands and avoid touching their eyes, nose, face or mouth.
There have been 31 deaths in Spokane County from COVID-19, a number that has remained steady over the weekend. Statewide there have been 1,061 deaths and 19,828 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the Washington State Department of Health’s latest data, which was last updated on Saturday.