News for the Week of August 16

News highlights for the week of August 16.

Latest Numbers. In Mercer Island, there have been 730 positive cases reported as of August 19. DOH reported a total of 474,342 confirmed cases as of August 18. There have been 6,330 COVID-19 deaths in Washington. For the latest city and county data, click here.

Advance appointments recommended at COVID-19 testing sites. Testing sites are experiencing longer than usual wait times and advance appointments are highly recommended or may be required at some sites. Even vaccinated people may need to get tested to help track the spread of variants in Washington state like the delta variant.

DOH: Third dose of COVID-19 vaccine recommended for certain immunocompromised individuals. Health care providers can now offer third doses of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to certain immunocompromised individuals. Read more here.

Joint Statement from HHS Public Health and Medical Experts on COVID-19 Booster Shots. On August 18, public health and medical experts from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the following statement on the Administration’s plan for COVID-19 booster shots for the American people. Follow this link to read the statement.

DOH: COVID-19 transmission and hospitalizations at a new all-time high. The latest COVID-19 modeling and surveillance situation report from the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) shows current COVID-19 cases and hospital admissions at their highest levels to date. Highlights from the report include:

  • COVID-19 prevalence has nearly quadrupled between July 8 and August 6. DOH’s best current estimate of prevalence is 0.64% as of Aug. 6, which means about 1 in 156 Washingtonians has an active COVID-19 infection.
  • Death rates are fairly flat, with some variability. The seven-day rolling average has varied between 5 and 10 deaths per day since March 23 and is currently at 6 per day as of July 30.
  • Delta variant is now dominant. About 98% of cases are estimated to be caused by the Delta variant.
  • Case rates increased sharply in most Washington counties. Twelve counties had 14-day rates of new cases between 100 and 200 per 100,000 people.

Situation Reports. Click here to catch up on the latest information and reports.

Vaccine News

Local Vaccination Summary. As of August 18, the County reports that 93% of Mercer Island resident ages 12-and-up, have completed a vaccine series. Countywide, 82% of residents have had at least one dose and 76.6% of King County residents have completed their vaccine series.

King County COVID-19 Vaccine Data At-a-Glance. Page updated daily here.

Breakthrough Delta Infections Might Have Similar Viral Load. A recent report by the CDC points to potentially similar viral load from the Delta variant for both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons. Read the report here.

School News

Inslee announces educator vaccination requirement and statewide indoor mask mandate. Gov. Jay Inslee announced a vaccination requirement for employees working in K-12, most childcare and early learning, and higher education, as well as an expansion of the statewide mask mandate to all individuals, regardless of vaccination status. Read the full news release here, and watch the press conference here.

Resources

Pregnancy Guide. Pregnancy presents a possible increase in risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Visit the CDC’s guide for expectant families.

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