“We’ve just got too many people getting together with friends or family members who aren’t fully vaccinated, aren’t wearing masks and aren’t keeping their distance,” he said. Despite increasing vaccinations, Spitters said there isn’t yet enough immunity in the county to prevent the case surge. The virus is also fighting back, Spitters said. There are more cases of highly-transmissible coronavirus variants showing up.
To stay in phase 3, counties need to stay below 200 new cases and 5 hospitalizations per 100,000 over a two-week period. Every county is evaluated based on these metrics every three weeks. “Going back a phase is painful and carries a heavy toll for many. That’s where we’re headed in the next few weeks if these numbers don’t turn around,” Spitters said.
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Spitters said that although there hasn’t been an surge in COVID deaths or long-term cases, “COVID is circulating very much in our area and is increasing.” He also said the rates in the region more broadly are going the wrong way – Pierce County was already bumped back to phase 2 last week.
Source Currently, 47% of adults in Snohomish County have their first dose and 30% have completed the coronavirus vaccine, according to data provided by Spitters in a health briefing.
If Snohomish County residents mask up and get vaccinated as soon as possible, he said there is a “reasonable chance” of avoiding tighter restrictions. “It’s time for everyone to step up their efforts and mask use when outside the home,” Spitters concluded.
The News Highlights
- Snohomish County will likely return to phase 2, said the health director – KIRO 7 News Seattle
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