Two new deaths related to COVID-19 were reported Tuesday in Latah County as confirmed virus cases continue to rise sharply on the Palouse.

The two deceased individuals are a man in his 80s and a woman in her 70s. There have been 15 total deaths in Latah County since the pandemic began.

The number of infected people is spiking. Local health districts reported 54 new confirmed or probable cases Tuesday across Whitman and Latah counties.

In response to the rising number of cases, the city of Pullman announced it will require masks in all indoor public spaces within city facilities. These include Pullman City Hall, Neill Public Library, the Police Department lobby, Pullman Aquatic and Fitness Center, and the Senior Center.

The Pullman Fire Department announced on its Facebook page this week that all in-person public access to the fire stations is now prohibited.

“This is a necessary caution to protect our members’ health and wellness,” the department said in a statement.

It assured that emergency services have not been affected in any way by the virus. However, all administrative service requests and inspections should be arranged by phone or email.

According to Whitman County Public Health, there were 24 new cases confirmed Tuesday and one new hospitalization. The county’s total number of cases since last year has risen to 4,615 and hospitalizations have risen to 140.

One new death was reported Monday in Whitman County. The county has seen 54 deaths since the pandemic started.

Thirty confirmed or probable cases were reported Tuesday in Latah County, which has seen a total of 63 new cases since Friday.

The 30 newly infected people include seven younger than the age of 18, six between ages 18-29, seven in their 30s, two in their 40s, one in their 50s, two in their 60s, two in their 80s and three in their 90s.

There have been 3,227 confirmed cases and 191 probable cases in Latah County since the start of the pandemic.

Seventeen confirmed or probable cases were reported Tuesday in Nez Perce County.


Kuipers can be reached at akuipers@dnews.com.

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