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Lewis County Public Health and Social Services Director J.P. Anderson in the county’s daily COVID-19 meeting on Thursday confirmed five additional cases of the virus in the county for a total of 60 since the outbreak started. 

On Friday afternoon, four more cases were reported by the county, lifting the total number of cases to 64. 

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Since Monday, the county has seen 15 new cases and since the start of last week, 26 additional cases have been confirmed. 

For reference, the county didn’t see its first case of the month until June 10, according to the Washington state Department of Health. Since then, 24 cases have been confirmed. 

“There’s been a significant increase in cases starting last week,” LCPHSS Deputy Director John Abplanalp said. “We anticipate additional cases to come because as we do these investigations, we’re identifying close contacts and then as they become symptomatic, recommending they get tested as well.” 

According to a news release from LCPHSS, Abplanalp says the recent increase in confirmed cases is not due to an increase in the amount of tests being administered. 

“He said the number of tests performed per week has remained about the same over the past five weeks. Abplanalp also noted that for nearly half of 22 people who tested positive in the last two weeks, the source of their infection can be linked back to household and social contacts,” the news release stated. 

Of the county’s cases, 31 have ultimately recovered and three cases have resulted in death. According to the state Department of Health, 13 Lewis County residents have been hospitalized.

Out of the county’s 60 cases announced as of Thursday, Abplanalp said only one person was hesitant about cooperating with health officials.

“People, I think overall, are understanding what we are trying to do is help them keep their friends and family safe,” Abplanalp said. “We’re not there to monitor them, we’re not the health nanny, we really are just giving them the tools.” 

According to DOH, 2,903 tests have been administered in Lewis County as of 11:59 p.m. on June 24. Of those tests, 1.8 percent have returned with a positive result. 

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