711 new COVID-19 cases reported in Pierce County in one day

On Wednesday, the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department reported 711 new COVID cases. An astounding record-high number of new cases. The department says because of a spike in testing, there may be some delays in numbers being reported.

Of the 711 new cases reported in Pierce County today, there is one new death: a man in his sixties who had underlying health conditions.

But the reality is cases are higher than ever. A number that illustrates that is the case rate per 100,000 people. As of now, the 14-day rate per 100,000 Pierce County residents is 393. To put that number in perspective, in June that number was 25 per 100,000.

“These are very high levels in our community, we're seeing widespread transmission in all age groups, in all areas of the county,” said Nigel Turner, division director for communicable disease control at the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department.

As many expected, the virus took a turn for the worse as the seasons changed. Health officials say many cases are stemming from social gatherings, people in the workplace, and essentially any scenario involving people close together without masks.

“This is a disease that's passed from person to person fairly easily and it’s something we're going to see in waves over time until we get widespread use of the vaccine,” says Turner.