‘No question’ Washington is in fourth wave even as vaccinations pick up
“There is no question that we are now in a fourth wave of this disease,” said Cassie Sauer, Washington State Hospital Association CEO.
Even as vaccinations pick up, cases and hospitalization rates for COVID-19 are rising across Washington state. Sauer says the uptick is partly because of the number of different variants circulating in the population, including some that have shown to be more contagious or may cause more severe illness.
“We are seeing a lot of variant action, and that appears to be part of why the case numbers are going up,” Sauer said.
As of Monday morning, there were 600 hospitalizations for COVID-19, with a sharp increase among the young adult population.
“We are becoming as worried as we were in November. We’re worried for the younger adults,” Sauer noted. “People need to take this very seriously.”
Nearly 27% of Washingtonians are fully vaccinated, but there are some people now expressing hesitancy in getting a shot. Sauer says it’s not yet known how many people in Washington are refusing the vaccine because the state is still in the early days of opening eligibility to everyone age 16 or older. She encourages anyone who is eligible to sign up for a vaccine appointment.
In Seattle, Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Monday that due to an increased supply of doses, there are “tens of thousands” of vaccine appointments available this week for anyone 16 or older who lives or works in King County. At the Tacoma Dome, a new mass vaccination site that will be open for six weeks, seven days a week starts Tuesday.
Find a vaccine location near you online here, or call 800-525-0127 to get help finding an appointment.
The KIRO Radio Newsdesk contributed to this report.