Although Washington’s vaccination rollout has remained smooth and rapid, COVID-19 transmission is increasing statewide.
According to the Washington State Department of Health (DOH), increasing infection rates are highlighting the need to continue wearing masks and maintaining physical distance while vaccination efforts continue.
The DOH reports that statewide daily case counts began increasing in late March, following a plateau in mid-February. Many counties saw increases in the last two weeks, including Clark, King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties.
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“As we work to get more and more people vaccinated, our collective behavior still matters a lot,” said Acting State Health Officer Scott Lindquist, MD, MPH, in a news release.
“Right now, 80% of our state’s population is still susceptible to the virus, and we’re seeing increasing circulation of variants that spread more easily. This is particularly concerning when we’re already working from a higher baseline than we saw before previous waves.”
Data is showing that younger people aged 10 to 49 who are less likely to be vaccinated are showing the biggest increases in infection rates across the state. There are also slight increases in hospital admission rates for people ages 20 to 39 and 60 to 69.
The DOH is continuing to ask people to avoid crowds and to wear masks in public regardless of vaccination status.
Consider having fewer, shorter, smaller, and safer gatherings. Gather outside or increase ventilation if you have to go indoors. Keep your distance, wash your hands frequently, and get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms.