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The virus is spreading too fast for us to be vaccinated.

Coronavirus cases in King County have been on the rise for weeks, and health officials are voicing concerns about what looks like the beginning of the fourth wave.

Although vaccinations are increasing throughout the state But people were not vaccinated soon enough to stop the increase in patients. Since the first dose of the drug was administered in Washington on Dec. 15, only 18% of the state’s population has been fully vaccinated.

“Ultimately, vaccination will put this epidemic under control and the impact of COVID-19 will be reduced as more people are protected with vaccinations,” said Jeff Duchin of Public Health – Seattle & King County said during a news briefing last week. “But at the moment the virus is spreading too fast for us to be vaccinated, the threat is real and still serious.”


Although the number of patients and hospitalizations are rising, But deaths in the county continued to decline. In March, the state found fewer than five deaths per day on average, according to the Washington State Department of Health. That’s a big drop from Dec. 8, with an average of 40 deaths per day.

Last week, King County saw an average of 250 new cases per day, an increase of about 26 percent from the previous week, and a nearly 80 percent increase from cases that started to rise again in February, Duchin said, the highest rates of cases were. Among adults who were younger than 18-24, but more cases were among most age groups, adults 75 and older had the lowest rates of morbidity and high rates of vaccination.

Hospital admissions are on the rise across the county, especially among people ages 40 to 69, but other age groups are on the rise. Hospitalization was still lower than what the county saw in most of the fall and winter. But hospital admissions rates have roughly doubled since the beginning of March.

“Even though most of our oldest adults are vaccinated, they are not vaccinated. But not everyone is vaccinated, “said Duchin,” and as transmission increases in the community, the virus continues to find its way to the most vulnerable and unprotected. “

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Over the past several weeks, the number of outbreaks associated with long-term care facilities has dropped significantly, Duchin said, but there has been an increase in cases and outbreaks linked to child care and K-school settings. 12 and youth sports leagues, including non-healthcare workplaces and social events.

“Cases and hospitalizations are on the rise, and we have no signs of this trend going down anytime soon,” Duchin said. How much or how much damage will it cause? “

Duchin said the county needs to be prepared to see an increase in patients and hospitalizations as more people take part in activities and travel, and infectious strains spread in the community. More Deaths could also be increased, Duchin said, but are likely to be less in the past – from early November to early February, the state had more than 10 average deaths per day.

Vaccinations are on the rise across the county as more people are eligible to be vaccinated. According to the latest data, more than 700,000 people have received at least one vaccine, or nearly 40% of King County residents. Nearly 23% of people are fully vaccinated. Among adults 75 and older, more than 90% were vaccinated, more than 80% of adults 65-74 received at least one dose.

By April 15, all adults aged 16 and over will be eligible for the vaccine. Limited vaccination remains the main challenge in getting the vaccine available to all eligible people and those in need of the vaccine.

“Last week, I raised concerns about extending eligibility if vaccination was insufficient to avoid having new, lower-risk eligibility competing with current eligible candidates on the basis of” immunization. ” “An increased risk or equality consideration,” said Duchin, “Gov. Inslee has assured us that the vaccine will be sufficient to be eligible for April 15 for everyone.”

There are approximately 300,000 people in the area eligible for the vaccine. But have not received The county expects to need more than 100,000 first doses of the drug each week before April 15 to adequately meet that demand.

“We hope things will go in the right direction,” Duchin said. However, regardless of any vaccine available now and beyond, we remain focused on addressing vaccination barriers and facilitating them. The convenience of accessing vaccines for community members most affected by COVID morbidity and mortality, and most of them face the barriers to safe appointments.

Until more people get vaccinated, people need to take ongoing action to slow the spread of the virus, including wearing masks to prevent social distaste.

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