Why Washington state is seeing a 4th COVID-19 wave – Everett Post

(OLYMPIA, Washington) – Even as COVID-19 vaccines roll out in the United States, Washington state suffers from a fourth wave of infections with an increase in hospital admissions for people aged 40 to 59 – and, among many, much younger.

Virus cases and hospital stays have increased steadily since March, and Governor Jay Inslee announced last week that the state had entered its fourth wave. In early April, he had three counties reset to phase 2 of the reopening restrictions.

Currently, 40 to 59 year olds make up the highest number of patients in hospitals, followed by 20 to 39 year olds. This is based on government data showing hospitalizations with COVID-like illnesses that do not rely on diagnosis, but monitor general trends.

Ryan Erlewine, director of pharmacy and clinical support at Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center in Vancouver, Washington, told ABC News that people with “pandemic fatigue” who have not been vaccinated may be contributing to this increase.

“Most of the 40 to 59-year-olds who are hospitalized are largely unvaccinated,” he said.

“We’re about half of what we were tallest [hospitalization] Levels when we had the highest in December, ”he said. “We saw a sharp increase in cases on site in the last week. … So that’s the concern – we may be seven to 14 days away from our peak, unfortunately due to the increasing number of cases we’ve seen in the community. “

More than 600 virus hospitalizations have been reported in Washington state’s 44 hospitals – most in months, Fox subsidiary KCPQ reported last week.

The state reported 483 hospitalized patients with COVID-like illness on April 25, with a hospitalization rate of 7%. While there is a noticeable decline from the December high of 13%, that is still an increase from February’s 4.2% rate.

Dr. Amy Compton Phillips, CEO of Providence Hospital Systems, said the system’s 26 hospitals in the Pacific Northwest had seen worrying increases in case numbers.

“What we see is a bit scary,” she told ABC partner KOMO. “We had about 500 more people in our hospitals this April than last April, so we’re actually seeing more cases than last April when the whole world was closed.”

At a press conference, Dr. Jeff Duchin, Seattle King County’s Health Officer, said there is an increase in people in their twenties hospitalized with COVID-19 compared to those in their seventies.

“We haven’t vaccinated enough younger adults to counter the spread of the variants,” Duchin told NPR.

Erlewine said young, unvaccinated people attending gatherings played a role in the recent wave.

In Washington, the 16-year-olds and older were approved for the vaccine on April 15. So far, only 6% of 16 to 17-year-olds, 22% of 18 to 34-year-olds and 32% of 35-year-olds-to-49-year-olds are fully vaccinated according to state information.

Erlewine urges young people to get the vaccine to protect their community.

“Younger people generally think that they are a little more invisible,” he said. “I think it’s hard for younger people to understand that you are simply not getting immunity, you are preventing others from getting it from you too. We really need to turn the script around a bit and see it as a little bit selfless. We do something for the common good. “
Inslee offered an optimistic message on Tuesday, announcing a “two-week hiatus” to decide whether more districts would be phased out.

“If people keep doing it,” said Inslee, “there is reason to believe we will have a more substantial reopening sometime this summer.”

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