The highest rate of coronavirus cases of any county on the U.S. West Coast is in Washington state’s Yakima County.
Health experts point to a large number of essential workers, a large number of cases in long-term care facilities and a large agricultural workforce living and working in close quarters as the causes. The county has about 250,000 residents.
“We just haven’t been as much down as the rest of the state because our workforce is going to work,” said Lilian Bravo, a spokeswoman for the Yakima Health District. “Physically going to work every day is going to put you at a higher risk than others.”
As of Friday, Yakima County had 1,203 positive cases, a rate of 455 cases per 100,000 residents, the highest in the state. Second was Franklin County at 326 cases per 100,000. The statewide average was 185 cases per 100,000 residents.