OLYMPIA — COVID-19 cases are surging throughout Washington state as the delta variant becomes more widespread, and more people need to be vaccinated to keep cases from spiking even more, state health officials said Tuesday.
“With transmission increasing and immunity levels dangerously low in many communities, every vaccine matters,” Dr. Scott Lindquist, acting chief science officer and state epidemiologist, said in a news release. “If you’ve been waiting to get vaccinated for any reason, now is the time to protect yourself, your family and everyone around you.”
The latest COVID-19 modeling and surveillance situation report shows the delta variant is the dominant strain circulating in Washington but that vaccinations are protecting people from severe illness. As of July 4, estimated hospital admission rates among unvaccinated people ages 45-64 were about 20 times higher than rates among people of the same age who were fully vaccinated, according to the report.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed course Tuesday, recommending that even vaccinated people wear masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the coronavirus is surging. Health officials in at least nine western Washington counties on Monday recommended mask wearing in public indoor spaces to help stop virus spread.
Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested, regardless of vaccination status or previous infection, officials said.