LOCAL NEWS

King County hovering just below Phase 3 threshold

Apr 17, 2021, 6:56 AM
The sign outside the Lumen Field COVID-19 vaccination site. (MyNorthwest photo)...
The sign outside the Lumen Field COVID-19 vaccination site. (MyNorthwest photo)
(MyNorthwest photo)

King County is hovering right below the threshold for remaining in Phase 3, and the next reassessment date is May 3.

Business organizations urge Gov. Inslee to delay rollback decision

Dr. Jeff Duchin, health officer with Public Health – Seattle & King County, said on Friday that the 14-day incident rate was 198.5 per 100,000 residents, which is similar to last week and about double the fall-winter surge.

Hospitalizations have been on the rise since March. Duchin said last week, 97 King County residents were hospitalized with COVID-19, which is up 15% compared to the week prior.

That’s one person hospitalized every one hour and 45 minutes, currently. The hospitalization rate is hovering around 3.5 to 4 per 100,000 residents per week, which is double what is was in early March.

The greatest number of recent hospitalizations are among adults age 40-69 years old, Duchin said. The next age group is 20-39 year-olds.

In order to remain in Phase 3, large counties need to have 200 or fewer new cases per 100,000 residents over two weeks and five or fewer hospitalizations per 100,000 residents over the past week. Counties with a population under 50,000 need to have 100 or fewer total new cases over two weeks and three or fewer hospitalizations over the past week.

Gov. Inslee announced Monday that Cowlitz, Pierce, and Whitman counties would be rolling back to Phase 2 of reopening. Those three counties rolled back on Friday.

Gov. Inslee defends decision to roll three counties back to Phase 2

Previously, any county that fell out of compliance with one of those two criteria would have to move back to Phase 2. Gov. Inslee announced in early April that a county would now have to fail to meet both criteria before moving back.

COVID deaths

Weekly deaths have fallen dramatically since the fall-winter surge, according to Duchin. In the past week, 1-2 King County residents have died each day from COVID-19. That’s compared to nine per day during the winter peak.

Over the past 14 days, 9% of deaths are in the 25-49 year-old age range, compared to 2% overall during the outbreak.

Over the last 14 days, 27% of deaths are among the 50-64 year-old age range, compared to 13% during the outbreak as a whole, Duchin said. The rate of death has fallen for those over the age 65 from 65% to 27% in the last two weeks.

COVID cases

Duchin says the county has seen almost two months without decreasing the level of COVID-19. He says the recent increases are likely due to the reopening of activities, combined with the presence of more infectious variant strains.

As for cases, the highest rates are among 18-34 year-olds, but every age group is trending up except those over 65 and below age 5.

Cases remain highest in cities in south and southeast King County, including Covington, Enumclaw, Auburn, Kent, Federal Way, Burien, Renton, Seatac, and Tukwila.

“Over the past 14 days, these places are experiencing double to triple the number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths compared to north and central Seattle, Shoreline, the Eastside, and Vashon Island,” Duchin said.

Vaccination in King County

As of Thursday, 51% of King County’s residents over the age of 16 had received one or more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, Duchin said. He expects cases will decline as more people are vaccinated, but until then, he says it’s up to residents to mask up, social distance, avoid gathering with people outside your household who aren’t vaccinated, and pay close attention to ventilation.

About 32% of all King County residents are fully vaccinated.

For those 65 and older, across all racial and ethnic groups, the county has passed the 75% or higher vaccination coverage rate for one or more doses, Duchin said. Disparities are more prominent in groups 16 years or older. He expects numbers to improve with eligibility, and as the county works to make vaccination events more easily accessible.

Local News

U-district shooting...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Driver fleeing U-District shooting hits, kills 21-year-old with vehicle

A driver fleeing the scene of a reported University District shooting hit and killed a pedestrian with their vehicle on Saturday morning.
17 hours ago
Orca Humpback Fight...
Colleen West, KIRO 7 News

Rare clash between orcas, humpback whales witnessed in Salish Sea

A large group of orcas and pair of humpback whales harassed each other during an hours-long encounter about 25 miles west of Port Angeles.
17 hours ago
weekend traffic...
Micki Gamez

Closures to cause heavy traffic through Seattle this weekend

Be prepared for long commutes in Seattle this weekend as construction closures are set to cause heavy traffic on I-90, I-5, SR-9 and more.
17 hours ago
autumn...
Ted Buehner

Dry summers delay changes in leaves, but brilliant autumn colors around the corner

This sunny dry weather is expected to continue through Columbus Day Weekend, providing more unseasonably warm weather for enjoying fall hues.
2 days ago
investigations...
Hanna Scott

No timeline for Office of Independent Investigations use of force cases to begin

“The new Office of Independent Investigation will increase transparency and trust in investigations of deadly uses of force by law enforcement."
2 days ago
mariners...
Nicole Jennings

The drought is over! Mariners fans are ready for postseason baseball

With playoffs closer than ever, Mariners fans await tonight's results with baited breath
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
King County hovering just below Phase 3 threshold