The news came out Friday the King County, the state's most populated region, has gone to Phase Two in COVID re-opening.

Meanwhile, Benton Franklin County's application for Phase Two has been "paused," and Yakima County in limbo after a visit by Gov. Inslee in which he lectured business leaders and health officials about the need to up their preventative efforts. According to BFHD data and other reports, we're supposedly having 'outbreaks' or surges in cases. No one has addressed whether that's due to increased testing or what.

Reports claim hospital ICU and beds are getting much more full, due to COVID and other patients, yet an eyeball test refutes that. We were at the ER at Trios Southridge Tuesday evening, and it was sparse. A ghost town.

But with the protest riots and the CHOP zone occupation in Seattle, most citizens outside King County believe that had to have affected their numbers. No social distancing, rioting, close proximity. However, it's doubtful many of the agitators bothered to get tested, so perhaps that kept their numbers down.

Here's a completely different way of looking at the situation. According to one of Inslee's metrics, counties had to have 25 or fewer cases per 100K of population for a 14 day period. Apparently King has met that, or close. The other metrics include testing capability, ICU and hospital bed space (B-F good there) and Contact Tracing capability.

What if you compare percentages?  King County has a population of (according to the state) of 2.253 million. They have 8.963 cases, which amounts to 0.39 percent of the population.

Benton County has (state numbers) 204,390 people and 1,208 cases (as of 6-19). That is 0.62 percent of the entire population.  Franklin County is a little higher.  Population 95,222,  cases 1,081, which is 1.13%.

Yes, our counties are slightly higher than King. But not by much percentage wise. And consider King and Benton are well below 1 percent. Franklin just over 1.

Of course there would not really be any way to substantiate this, but many in our region believe we're being 'punished' because of defiant actions (the Fishing Protest, several lawsuits etc.) by the state (Inslee) concerning COVID requirements.

A look at the state map does show B-F Counties are 'surrounded' by Phase Two areas, BUT those counties, such as Walla Walla, have far fewer people and far fewer cases.

Whatever the reasons, the move up of King County has resulted in the frustration building in the Mid Columbia over being 'stuck' in Phase One, while the economy continues to suffer and sputter.

For more on King County moving up, click on the button below.

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