By John McCallum
Managing Editor 

Spokane County COVID cases rise


Last updated 3/30/2020 at 10:51pm

SPOKANE COUNTY -- Spokane Regional Health District officials reported that confirmed cases of the severe acute respiratory disease COVID-19 continues to rise even as state measures keeping many businesses closed and residents at home have been put in place.

At a press conference this morning, health officials said the number of confirmed cases has risen to 133, up from 115 Sunday. Four individuals have died from the disease, one each Friday and Saturday and two on Sunday, March 29. Two of the deaths were men in their 80s while one was a woman in her 50s and another a woman in her 60s.

On the West Plains, Airway Heights Fire Chief Mitch Metzger told City Council members during a virtual study session Monday night that the department had responded to medical calls involving four possible COVID patients, although that had not been confirmed through testing. There was also a recent death with a possible link to the disease, but Metzger said they wouldn't know the cause until receiving the coroner's report, likely on Wednesday.

Statewide, Gov. Jay Inslee announced guidance today for state and local enforcement of his recent “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. The state has created a one-stop online form for reporting businesses potentially violating orders and is providing guidance to local law enforcement on enforcing bans on gatherings of individuals.

Inslee said they many Washingtonians are abiding by the recent order, but added calls are "pouring" into local agencies from people reporting possible violations of the order by individuals and businesses.

State officials have said their intent in enforcing the guidelines is to educate violators of the importance of the measures, but can issue citations if necessary under state law.

John McCallum can be reached at

Author Bio

John McCallum, Managing Editor

John McCallum is an award-winning journalist who has been with the Cheney Free Press for over 20 years. He has received 10 Washington Newspaper Publisher Association awards for journalism and photography, including first place awards for Best Investigative, Best News and back-to-back awards in Best Breaking News categories. He has been serving as editor of the Spokane Valley News Herald since March 2020.

Phone: 509-235-6184
Contact John McCallum


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