SEATTLE (AP) — The Washington state Department of Health says COVID-19 cases are down across all age groups, including school-age children.
The Seattle Times reports the encouraging trend, revealed Wednesday, comes several weeks after the state passed a peak of infection driven by the delta variant, which health and hospital officials have said brought the highest numbers of infections and hospitalizations yet.
“We’re seeing some signs of improvement, but disease remains high across the state,” Lacy Fehrenbach, DOH’s deputy secretary for COVID-19 response, said during a news conference.
As of Oct. 3, the state’s seven-day case rate was 234 infections per 100,000 people, Fehrenbach said. According to DOH’s coronavirus data dashboard, the current rate is similar to early January and down from a peak in early September of over 300 infections per 100,000 people.
Infection rates remain higher in Central and Eastern Washington. Ferry, Grant, Klickitat and Garfield counties, which have the highest seven-day rates in the state, continue to report more than 300 infections per 100,000 people.
Statewide, hospitalizations have also been decreasing for the past several weeks. At the beginning of October, epidemiologists recorded a seven-day rate of 11 hospitalizations per 100,000 people — close to where the state was at the peak of last winter’s surge — DOH data shows.
In all, 8,152 Washingtonians have died from the disease.
Vaccination rates continue to trend upward, as the state’s Oct. 18 immunization mandate deadline approaches. More than 77% of the state’s eligible population has received at least their first vaccine dose, and as of Sunday, 205,000 Washingtonians have gotten Pfizer booster shots.