Washington state infections and hospitalizations hit record

An infection control nurse accompanies a patient who was born on Jan.

Karen Ducey | Getty Images

Covid-19 transmissions and hospitalizations in Washington state are at all-time highs, according to the state’s Department of Health.

On July 8, Washington recorded a Covid infection prevalence of 1 in 588 residents. Just one month later, on August 6, that number almost quadrupled to a Covid infection prevalence of 1 in 156 residents, the department said on Thursday. The latest numbers exceeded those of the state’s third wave of Covid infections in the winter of 2020.

According to a CNBC analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University, Washington state reports a seven-day average of 38.5 daily new cases per 100,000 population, ranking 22nd among all states.

Four counties had 14-day new infection rates of 500 per 100,000 Washington residents and five counties had rates of 300 to 500 per 100,000 residents. Sixteen counties had rates from 200 to 300 and 12 counties had rates from 100 to 200. The delta variant accounts for 98% of the cases in the state.

Hospital admissions in the state also rose, with a seven-day moving average of 29 hospital admissions for Covid on June 16. The number remained relatively low through July 8, but tripled by August 6 to a seven-day moving average of 96 hospital admissions for Covid symptoms. The state found that hospital admissions for people between the ages of 20 and 30 have increased, a trend seen in hospitals across the country as most older Americans were vaccinated.

Admissions to state hospitals for the unvaccinated and over 65s are six times higher than for those who are fully vaccinated. In people aged 16 to 64, unvaccinated people are ten times more likely to be hospitalized than their vaccinated counterparts. “If the entire population were to experience the hospitalization rates currently observed in unvaccinated people, the hospital system would be completely overwhelmed,” the state health department said in a statement.

Death rates have been down since Jan.

Immunity to prior infection in the state is only 15.5%, which would leave 84.5% of Washington residents unprotected if they did not have access to Covid-19 vaccines. According to the Ministry of Health, by August 16, 71.5% of the population aged 12 and over had received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine.

In the nationwide population, immunity to previous infections and vaccinations is 54.7%, an increase of only 2.8% since July 6.

“It is imperative to realize that literally any of us or our loved ones could be in need of hospital treatment in the near future,” said Acting State Science Director Dr. Scott Lindquist. “To ensure that care is available when needed, our hospitals are currently counting on each of us to be masked and vaccinated.”

CNBC’s Nate Rattner contributed to this report.

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