COVID case numbers tick back up in King County, but ‘positive trends’ persist

Mar 30, 2022, 12:06 PM
Harborview Medical Center (Flickr Creative Commons)
(Flickr Creative Commons)

After two months on the decline, King and Snohomish Counties’ coronavirus numbers are going up. The slight uptick is concurrent with reports that the omicron subvariant has become the dominant COVID strain in Washington state.

Omicron subvariant goes from 7% to 25% of local cases within a week

King County health trackers say cases have jumped 26% in the past week. Hospitalizations are climbing there as well, but death rates continue to drop. The increases come a little more than two weeks after our state’s indoor mask mandate ended.

“The first and foremost important thing is the fact that overall, [we are] continuing to see positive trends in our state, which remain … continuing good news for all of us,” the state’s Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah said Wednesday.

Dr. Shah noted that the subvariant of omicron, BA.2, has become the dominant strain of COVID in the U.S. and in the state of Washington.

“The data are not showing that it is impacting hospitalizations as of yet. While overall the cases and hospitalizations continue to decrease, the proportionality of BA.2 … has increased. I think that’s an important message,” the health secretary continued.

“We [recognize] how it’s playing out in other parts of the country and the globe. Hospitalizations are similar to the low point in the summer of 2021.”

As for how the uptick in the omicron subvariant affects public health policy and safety precautions, the DOH is recommending a second booster dose for the immunocompromised.

“There’s not data to show that giving people a second booster or fourth dose nationally, to everybody who’s eligible for any vaccination, would necessarily be something that’s necessary to deal with omicron,” Dr. Angela Rasmussen, a virologist with the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization, told KIRO Newsradio. “Based on some data from Israel, as well as some data from clinical trials that have been conducted by Pfizer and Moderna, it does look like for people who are at higher risk of developing severe COVID, that a fourth shot does provide an additional benefit, especially in terms of protecting against mortality and hospitalization.”

“It’s not as big of a benefit as the third shot compared to having two doses, but it does provide some extra protection,” she added.

Local News

Nate Connors

Weekend Traffic Report: NCAA March Madness comes to town

NCAA Women's Basketball is heading to Climate Pledge Arena Friday through Monday. Friday's game starts at 4:30 p.m.
22 hours ago
Bill Kaczaraba

Starbucks CEO Narasimhan plans to ‘reinvent’ the company

Starbucks new CEO Laxman Narasimhan held his first shareholder meeting Thursday and offered proposals to reinvent the company.
22 hours ago
(KIRO 7)...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Aurora borealis captured in night skies across Washington

Although the aurora was hidden behind clouds, parts of the region were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the display.
22 hours ago
Frank Sumrall

10-month-old girl found after being abducted near Des Moines area

Washington State Patrol (WSP) searched and found a 10-month-old Gihanna Smith, who was allegedly abducted.
22 hours ago
Frank Sumrall

Remo Borracchini, owner of beloved 100-year-old bakery, dies at 92

But, like many other local community establishments, Borracchini’s had to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
22 hours ago
seattle humane...
Nicole Jennings

Pet surrenders up at Seattle Humane, not likely to slow down

The number of pets being surrendered at Seattle Humane is on the rise. Many people can no longer afford to keep their dogs and cats.
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.
SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!
safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
COVID case numbers tick back up in King County, but ‘positive trends’ persist