BFHD Announces 1st Confirmed COVID-19 Death
Posted on 03/18/2020

Benton-Franklin Health District (BFHD) was notified today that a local woman who passed away in a local hospital over the weekend tested positive for COVID-19. She was in her 80s with underlying health conditions.

“Our first thoughts are with the family and loved ones of this woman,” said Dr. Amy Person, Health Officer for Benton and Franklin Counties.

She was a resident at Bonaventure of Tri-Cities (Bonaventure), which is a senior living community in Richland. This is the first death attributed to COVID-19 in Benton and Franklin Counties.

Bonaventure has been very responsive and BFHD is working closely with them. BFHD has requested assistance from the Infection Control Assessment and Response (ICAR) team from the Washington State Department of Health to aid in the investigation and response at that facility.

People over the age of 60 and those with underlying health conditions are at highest risk for COVID-19 as well as influenza, which is still actively circulating in our area. That means that residents and staff at all types of senior living facilities, including assisted living centers, skilled nursing facilities, and adult care homes, are at highest risk.

The health and safety of the people in Benton and Franklin Counties remains the Health District’s top priority. The community is encouraged to help prevent the spread of illness by following social distancing and hygiene guidelines and to support the response to this outbreak by staying informed and sharing reliable information. We are at the very beginning stages of this investigation and new details and information will emerge over the next days and weeks.