King County official: COVID-19 case surge could lead to a rollback

KITSAP/BUSINESS — A public health official on Friday clarified that COVID-19 is rapidly spreading, and it is impossible to vaccinate people so fast in such a short period. He further stated that the cases and hospitalizations are increasing throughout King County and all across Washington state.

Dr. Jeff Duchin, health officer for Public Health–Seattle & King County, said if COVID-19 continues to rise over the next week or two, the County may return to the more-limited Phase 2 of the reopening plan.

Currently, Washington state entered Phase 3, which allows up to 10 people from different households to gather indoors, and outdoor gatherings of up to 50 people. If the COVID-19 goes on spreading like this, then more strict restrictions could be reinforced.


Dr. Jeff Duchin, health officer for Public Health–Seattle & King County, said, “We need to be prepared for further increases in cases in hospitalizations over the coming weeks, as the effect of recent travel, increasing activities, and the impact of more infectious variant strains continue to promote the spread of COVID-19,”

DR. Jeff Duchin further reported that “While the number of people hospitalized because of COVID-19 is about a sixth of the peak surge during the fall and winter, the hospitalization rate has more than doubled since early March.”

The number of hospitalized people is increasing in a short period and over the past few weeks is attributed in part to new COVID-19 variants. More than 600 cases of variants and a few variants connected to the UK variant have been detected in the County, and every day new issues are still being discovered throughout the Washington state.

Public Health–Seattle

Additionally, about 30% of those diagnosed with COVID-19 recently in King County said they had attended social events — a 10% increase from January. About 11% of people with COVID-19 recently also reported visiting bars and restaurants during the period in which they were exposed, up from 5% in January.

The number of cases in Kitsap County where people were exposed while traveling also rose over the past few weeks, compared to up to 4%-6% in January.

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