COVID-19 cases surging across Washington state, vaccination urged

(Photo by Jens Schlueter/Getty Images)

The latest COVID-19 report from the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) is showing a surge in new cases, which experts link to the widespread delta variant. 

The state's latest sequencing data showed that delta variant cases constituted 58% of the sequenced specimens collected between June 20-July 3, according to DOH.

By mid-June, statewide COVID-19 cases had started to flatten but since the first week of July, cases have increased. As of July 8, hospital admission rates have also risen, according to the report. 

Since July 4, approximate hospital admission rates among unvaccinated people between the ages of 45-64 were 20 times higher than among the vaccinated individuals in the same age group. Washington health officials estimate that statewide population immunity was at 51.9% on July 8.

Acting Chief Science Officer, Scott Lindquist, MD, MPH, expressed concern over the areas of Washington with lower vaccination rates.

"With transmission increasing and immunity levels dangerously low in many communities, every vaccine matters," Dr. Scott Lindquist, acting chief science officer and state epidemiologist, said in a news release. "If you’ve been waiting to get vaccinated for any reason, now is the time to protect yourself, your family and everyone around you."

RELATED: New CDC mask guidelines: Vaccinated should mask indoors, as should K-12 schools

If you have questions, reach out to your healthcare provider or visit DOH’s Frequently Asked Questions page. To find vaccine near you, you can use the state’s Vaccine Locator website, text your zip code to GETVAX (438829) or VACUNA (822862) to receive addresses of nearby available vaccination sites, or call 833-VAX-HELP.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed course Tuesday, recommending that even vaccinated people wear masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the coronavirus is surging. Health officials in at least nine western Washington counties on Monday recommended mask wearing in public indoor spaces to help stop virus spread.

Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested, regardless of vaccination status or previous infection, officials said.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.