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Eleven additional Grant County resident deaths associated with COVID-19

"Assume anyone we encounter could have COVID-19"

Grant County Health District is reporting 11 additional confirmed COVID-19 associated deaths of Grant County residents.

Ten deaths were associated with Long Term Care Facilities (LTC) outbreaks first reported on Nov. 20. All those residents had underlying conditions putting them at higher risk for severe complications due to a COVID-19 infection.

Lake Ridge Center in Moses Lake has had a total of 15 confirmed COVID-19 associated deaths during the recent outbreak. There are 3 known additional deaths pending death certificate review. These most recent eight confirmed deaths are included in the total count for the facility:

• a woman in her 60s

• a woman in her 70s

• a woman in his 70s

* two men in their 80s

• a man in his 90s and

• two women in their 90s

Columbia Crest Center in Moses Lake has had a total of 8 confirmed COVID-19 associated deaths during the recent outbreak. There are three known additional deaths pending death certificate review. The two most recent deaths are included in the total count for the facility:

• a man in his 60s

• a woman in her 90s

There was one additional death not associated with an LTC, an Electric City woman in her 70s.

Our most vulnerable community members — elderly, immunocompromised, and those with chronic conditions — are especially at risk of complications due to a COVID-19 infection and we must continue to take measures to protect them from this disease. The best way to do that is by staying home as much as possible.

Your choice to gather with those outside your household could lead to additional cases of COVID-19 and even death.

Please protect those you love, by staying home.

These deaths bring the total Grant County confirmed COVID-19 related deaths to 65.

“GCHD staff and I wish to extend our most sincere condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones and to our communities affected by these tragic deaths of our most vulnerable community members. We also extend our encouragement and sympathies to the many dedicated healthcare staff and community members who have joined us on this fight against our common enemy,” says Dr. Alexander Brzezny, Grant County Health Officer.

Grant County Health District delays the announcement of COVID-19 associated deaths to give families time to notify their loved ones. We also verify COVID-19 is listed as a cause of death on the death certificate to ensure we are not reporting deaths that are not attributed to COVID-19. All reported deaths of Grant County residents are attributed to COVID-19 and were verified with the death certificate, testing, and other case information.

Now is the time to assume anyone we encounter could have COVID-19. It can spread through aerosols and droplets and it is very contagious. Because it can become aerosolized, COVID-19 spread is not only limited to people closer than 6 feet with 15 minutes of exposure. We all know what precautions we should be using. Please choose to behave accordingly.

We need everyone to do their part to slow the spread and flatten the curve to ensure our healthcare facilities are not overwhelmed. Each personal decision we make will impact our most vulnerable residents. For the health of your family, neighbors, and friends it is critical to wear a face covering in public and stay home if you feel sick or have been asked to quarantine or isolate. Everyone can do their part to protect one another and limit the spread of illness in our communities:

Wear a face covering anytime you are in public or around people you do not live with.

Stay home if you feel sick, are under quarantine or isolation orders, or have been told you are close contact to a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Use physical distancing and stay 6 feet away from others as much as possible when you are around people you do not live with.

Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially before eating or coming home. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

If you do choose to get together for things like holiday parties, birthdays, and other get-togethers, have them outside and limit them to no more than five people outside your household.

Ritzville Wedding Update

To date nearly 50 Grant County residents diagnosed with COVID-19 self-identified as attending the large wedding in Ritzville in November. There have also been 11 confirmed cases in two additional counties in the state. Through our investigations we know there were additional probable cases who were symptomatic close contacts of confirmed cases who chose not to go in for testing.

Three LTC staff diagnosed with COVID-19 self-identified as attending the wedding and worked while contagious before they knew they were ill. They care for all residents of a facility so it will not be known which individual cases or deaths are tied to the staff; however, the outbreak occurred at two facilities after the wedding occurred. These cases resulted in one LTC outbreak at Lake Ridge that includes 12 staff, 65 residents, and 15 deaths.

One additional LTC death, in an Ephrata facility, can be directly linked to an attendee of the wedding. Because there is only one COVID-19 case linked to this facility and event we are not releasing the name of the facility to protect the identity of the individuals involved and their protected health information.

Not all the recent LTC deaths at long term care facilities were associated with the rural wedding attendance. The outbreak at McKay Healthcare is not associated with the wedding and their outbreak began several weeks before the wedding.

The cases of COVID-19 and recent deaths at Columbia Crest Center occurred after the Nov. 7 wedding. During our investigations, we heard some staff may have attended the wedding which may have resulted in the outbreak. The staff diagnosed with COVID-19 we were able to interview did not self-identify as attending the event, so we cannot conclusively link wedding attendees to this outbreak. This outbreak includes 21 staff, 27 residents, and 8 deaths.

Additionally, the Moses Lake School District had 11 staff self-identify as attending the wedding, which resulted in one additional known school district staff being infected.

There were an additional 14 known secondary cases which include transmission settings of households and social gatherings.

For detailed information on Grant County COVID-19 related statistics, visit


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