The path to reopening: 63 percent of Washington adults received first dose of vaccine

SPOKANE, Wash. — Memorial Day weekend offered Washington and the rest of the U.S. a taste of normalcy.

Vaccinated Americans ditched the face mask and summer travel has already surged.

Now, Washington state is trying to make the comeback permanent, as soon as 70% of adults get that first shot of the vaccine.

Right now, that number sits at 63% across Washington, according to the State Department of Health, and Spokane is trying to reach that goal, too, as 50% of adults in the county already have one dose.

“I do believe Spokane county will get there, too,” said interim Health Officer Dr. Frank Velazquez. “Maybe a little later, maybe right in line with the 30th [of June], but it doesn’t really matter; as long as we get there.”

As long as the entire state reaches 70%, then all counties will reopen completely. Vaccine clinics have helped and will continue to with upcoming events at the Spokane Arena, Spokane Fire Department and local schools.

In the meantime, Spokane with confusing case trends, because of a backlog in reporting. The county reported 1,115 new cases between May 20 and 28, but 41% of those are lagging cases.

“If we look at those cases we had backlogged and kind of adjust for that, it doesn’t look really like we are rising as much as it would show currently,” Spokane Regional Health District said. “We’re either plateauing or slightly declining.”

New cases or old cases, the cases are all coming from the same group of people.

People between 20 and 49 years-old account for 54% of Spokane County’s cases in the last two weeks, but, the health district is still confident about the path forward.

“It looks like we’re starting to head in the right direction, which is what’s important, so we got to keep moving in that direction,” Dr. Velazquez said.

COVID-related hospital visits prove that, too.

Spokane County reported 32 new visits last week, compared to 38 the week before.

RELATED: Washington will fully reopen by June 30, maybe sooner depending on vaccinations