Coronavirus, Vaccines

COVID-19 transmission and hospitalizations at a new all-time high in Washington state

Prevalence is the percentage of Washington state residents with active COVID-19 infection.

COVID-19 cases and hospital admissions in Washington state have reached their highest levels to-date, Washington State Department of Health officials said in a statement Thursday.

“These upward trends are likely to continue in the coming month due to the delta variant. With hospital staff and capacities strained statewide, both masking and vaccination are now crucial to control and manage disease transmission,” the officials said.

SARS-CoV-2 transmission rates doubled from June to July, and the COVID-19 prevalence, the total number of cases at a given time, nearly quadrupled between July 8 and August 6, so that currently about 1 in 156 Washingtonians has an active COVID-19 infection. “These levels are similar to those at the height of the third wave in the winter of 2020,” DOH officials said.

Vaccination continues to prevent serious illness, officials said: “Unvaccinated people ages 16-44 and 45-64 are 10 times more likely to be hospitalized than those who are fully vaccinated. Admissions are about 6 times higher for unvaccinated people ages 65 and up.”

“If the entire population were to experience the rates of hospitalizations currently seen in the unvaccinated, the hospital system would be completely overwhelmed,” they added.

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