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WSU Greek Row area tied to an increase in COVID-19 cases

Off-campus gatherings are believed to be connected to an increase in coronavirus cases in Whitman County.

WHITMAN COUNTY, Wash. — Whitman County health officials reported 48 new coronavirus cases and one new death on Thursday, Nov. 12.

Whitman County Public health released a report that the new cases are results from Wednesday, Nov.11 and Thursday, Nov. 12.

The new death reported was a man over the age of 80, the release says.

The total number of cases in Whitman County now sits at 1,986. Five people are currently hospitalized and all others are self-isolating. According to health officials, 20 people in the county have died from the virus.

According to Whitman County Public Health, 15 outbreaks in the county have been reported to the Washington State Department of Health. There have been 127 cases linked to Washington State University Greek Housing, 37 cases linked to WSU dorms, 94 cases linked to nine long-term care facilities, eight cases linked to two schools and five cases at two other facilities.

Whitman County has been struggling with COVID-19 outbreaks since August when students began returning to Washington State University in Pullman. 

The county had very low rates of coronavirus until late August when some students began returning to campus. WSU instruction is currently all online.

RELATED: Washington State University begins semester online as coronavirus cases go up

The Pullman Police Department is working to educate the public on the city’s mask mandate. Officers are participating in community outreach, patrolling different areas to speak with residents. They are focusing mainly on education by giving warnings, the police department said.

If someone is not wearing a mask, they could technically be fined up to $5,000 or spend up to 365 days in jail. No one has been arrested so far. 

RELATED: Pullman police respond to a dozen of party complaints despite COVID-19 warnings

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