Covid cases up 18% in Seattle area as region reopens – KUOW News and Information

Covid cases are up in King County, 18% above where they were two weeks ago. And more outbreaks are being tied to restaurants, bars, and travel.

At the same time, gyms, restaurants, and many other businesses in Washington state can open up to 50% capacity starting Monday.

King County’s public health officer Dr. Jeff Duchin said in a Friday press conference that he hopes people continue to take precautions and avoid indoor spaces where people are unmasked or ventilation is bad.

“The risk is not gone — the virus is still with us,” he said.

“The vast majority of the population remains susceptible to Covid-19. The viruses that are currently circulating are more effective at spreading from person to person,” he explained. “So I think those factors are going to drive transmission up.”

Duchin said thousands of people in King County have infectious Covid right now.

“It would be a shame if many people became infected over the next month or two just as vaccines are about to become available widely to most of the population,” he said.

Duchin said, thanks to vaccination, cases are down among people over 65, but they’re up among people in their 20s and 30s. He added that Covid is “not a trivial disease, even for younger adults,” many of whom still have symptoms months after their diagnosis.

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