“The virus is on a rampage”: Gov. Inslee warns about rising COVID-19 rates in eastern Washington

YAKIMA VALLEY, Wash. — Gov. Jay Inslee gave an update on the state’s coronavirus response Tuesday, issuing a warning about rising case rates in eastern Washington, particularly Yakima County.

“The virus is on a rampage through this beautiful valley,” Inslee said. “The valley is the epicenter of this earthquake of this virus.”

This comes after a new report from the Department of Health over the weekend that said that coronavirus infections are increasing in Washington state, especially in some of the eastern counties.

The report released Saturday indicated a possible increase in western Washington as well, and that transmission rates vary widely from county to county.

The DOH said the situation in eastern Washington is “of greatest concern,” especially in Benton, Franklin, Spokane and Yakima counties.

At the beginning of the pandemic back in March, King County was of the greatest concern to health officials. Now, Inslee said the infection rate in Yakima County is 28 times higher than that of King County.

“We are heading for a disaster in the next few months,” the governor said.

Inslee said that “if we have a prayer of ending this virus,” a lot more people need to start wearing masks and to practice better social distancing.

Watch his full comments below: