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COVID cases have quadrupled in King County thanks to delta variant

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

King County is seeing a spike in coronavirus cases, thanks to the emergence of the delta variant.

“Over the past seven days, we’re reporting 230 cases daily, which is a 63% increase over last week,” said King County Public Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin.

Watch Duchin’s update here

Also on the rise are the number of people who have received their first dose of vaccine. Duchin said nearly 1,500 people were vaccinated in the last 24 hours, likely over concerns about the delta variant.

Duchin recommends everyone, even those who are vaccinated, wear masks indoors, and make sure that rooms are very well ventilated. Meeting people outside is still the safest option.

About one in 1,000 vaccinated people in Washington state have been a breakthrough case, but your chances may be higher if you are older or immuno-compromised.

“Not everyone responds equally well to vaccination and some people have lower protection than others,” Duchin said.

He asks everyone else to do their part to protect the most at-risk by getting vaccinated and masking up indoors.

The vaccine provides on average about 95% protection if you’re exposed to the virus, and helps prevent severe symptoms.

Health officials worried about a fifth wave in COVID cases, delta variant

On Friday, new documentation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that the delta variant is as contagious as chickenpox. But what does that mean, especially for younger children who may be vaccinated against chickenpox and will never experience the symptoms?

“I understand that people don’t really know what that means. How contagious is Ebola? Ebola is not an airborne disease. Influenza, chickenpox, pertussis, measles — the bottom line is that COVID-19 is highly contagious through the air. Chickenpox is [also] highly contagious through the air.”

Duchin said plainly that this virus travels very easily from one person to the next through the air, particularly if you’re in an area that isn’t well ventilated with multiple people who are unvaccinated.

He doesn’t believe ranking the diseases or viruses is helpful, and that it’s more useful to understand generally that the delta variant is highly transmissible.

KIRO Radio’s Nicole Jennings contributed to this report.

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