By Richard Van Winkle, News of Mill Creek.
At an August 24, 2021, virtual press conference Snohomish County Health District Administrative Officer Shawn Frederick said the county’s Covid-19 case rates continue to increase.
The rolling two-week average is now at 442 cases per 100,000 people, the second highest rate since the pandemic began.
Frederick reported that the health care system is struggling with a surge of Covid-19 and non Covid-19 patients being admitted to hospital, and the shortage of health care workers is also contributing to the problem.
As of August 24th there were 85 people with Covid-19 in the county’s hospitals, with 11 requiring ventilators to help them breathe.
The Delta variant is driving about 95% of new infections according to data from the Washington State Department of Health.
“Delta is really the only virus in town,” commented Frederick.
He said that the Delta strain is causing people to become ill more quickly, “making it easier to spread and infecting more people.”
Frederick said that the number of infections of fully vaccinated people is increasing with the Delta variant, but the latest data shows that unvaccinated people still account for about 80% of new infections.
He summarized that the vaccines’ effectiveness against the Delta is still very good, and reduces the chance of severe illness and hospitalization.
“We need everyone’s help de-escalating the current situation by masking up and getting vaccinated, if eligible,” he said.
Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers said he was encouraged by Monday’s news that the Pfizer vaccine has now received full approval from the federal Food and Drug Administration.
He commented, “If anyone was waiting to get vaccinated until FDA approval, the time has arrived.”
“We want to try every incentive we have available before we impose a mandate,” Somers said.
He went on to say, “Particularly in light of the FDA’s full approval of the Pfizer vaccine, I believe now is really the perfect time to keep yourself and your community healthier by getting vaccinated.”