Surge in state COVID-19 cases driven by eastern Washington

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — While the coronavirus first pounded the greater Seattle area, the epicenter has moved east across the Cascade Range. Washington is seeing rising cases of COVID-19, driven in large part by increasing numbers in Yakima, Benton, Franklin and Spokane counties, the largest communities in eastern Washington. It’s no coincidence that Gov. Jay Inslee has visited Yakima, Spokane and the Tri-Cities of Richland, Kennewick and Pasco in the past two weeks to urge citizens to take greater precautions. Health experts contend that 80% of the population must wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in public spaces. But many communities don’t appear to be reaching that level.