WA Department of Health concerned over rise in cases and hospitalizations
OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) said on Tuesday it is concerned about the rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across the state due to the spread of the delta variant, and has made several updates to its COVID-19 data dashboard.
Over the past four days, the department said an average of 1,500 new cases have been reported each day. The percentage of people testing positive for the virus is also climbing to 5.5 percent, which is up from 2 percent a month ago.
In today’s data dashboard update, the department said 6,000 new cases will be reported due to a backlog from July 30; more than 600 people are hospitalized with the virus, an increase of more than 20 percent from last week; and the delta variant, which is a more transmissible strain of the virus, is the dominant strain in Washington making up around 76 percent of cases.
According to the data dashboard, 12.6 percent of statewide ICU is occupied by COVID patients.
While no vaccines are 100 percent effective, the department said it is proven the vaccines provide strong protection against variants, prevent severe illness and hospitalization, and lower a person’s risk of death.
“Higher vaccination rates across the state are needed to protect our communities,” said Secretary of Health Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH. “If there was ever a time to get vaccinated, it is now in the race against this variant.”
On July 28, the department said more than 94 percent of all cases, hospitalizations and deaths in Washingtonians 12 years and older can be attributed to people who have not been fully vaccinated. This data was measured from February to June 2021.
The department said “not fully vaccinated” is defined as those who have not received the vaccine, or have received one or more doses of a vaccine but are not fully protected. Full protection happens at about two weeks after receiving the final dose, because it usually takes that long for the body to build a high enough level of protection to fight the virus.
As of August 2, DOH said 69.6% of the population 12 and up has received at least one dose of the vaccine.
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