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Washington state COVID summary for November 4, 2021

COVID cases are dropping statewide 2-1/2 weeks after the vaccine mandate deadline.

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[KING COUNTY, Wash.] – (MTN) Although new cases statewide were almost unchanged, they are plummeting in the rural counties of Washington. Hospitalization data for Covid-19 patients receiving acute care also is looking promising. If the state can maintain these trends past Thanksgiving and COVID VUI-21 doesn’t get a foothold in the United States – let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.

This abbreviated update uses the latest data from the Washington State Department of Health (WSDOH), released on November 4, 2021.


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Washington State Update for November 4, 2021

Washington state Covid-19 update

The number of new Covid-19 cases in Washington was steady but a couple of really interesting trends are happening this week.

We had predicted that the return of cold rainy weather would have a split impact in Washington. For densely populated areas infection rates would creep upward with more people moving back indoors. In rural areas, we predicted the rates would decline as people become more isolated and the peak of farming activity winds down. We also predicted this wouldn’t be a one size fits all situation because vaccination rates, age, race, and income levels would also have some impact.

This is exactly what we’re seeing. Washington has 12 counties with fewer than 25,000 residents. Only one, Klickitat, has not seen a sharp decline in Covid-19 cases in the last two weeks. Although case rates in Ferry County are still high (568.9) it is 60% below its peak from two weeks ago.

Five Washington counties have more than 500,000 residents, and case rates are declining much slower in those areas. Vaccination rates are just part of the equation and this sudden drop in Eastern Washington started 14 days after the October 18 vaccine mandate deadline. Cause is not correlation, but the mandate is certainly one of several factors driving new cases down east of the Cascades.

We will likely see a shift in infection patterns seven to 14 days after Thanksgiving weekend.

For the first time, new case rates are essentially the same in all but the most vaccinated counties, which continue to remain significantly lower.

Percent of Total Population Fully VaccinatedTotal Population in GroupAverage 14-Day New Case Rate
70% or above (3 counties)2,343,250202.3
60.00% to 69.99% (4 counties)1,242,200335.0
50.00% to 59.99% (15 counties)3,433,900350.4
40.00% to 49.99% (9 counties)599,225352.5
31.20% to 39.99% (8 counties)158,300346.0
14-Day New Covid-19 Cases per 100K average by Vaccination Rate for Total Population, Adjusted for Population by County

Through November 3, Washington’s statewide 14-day rolling average is 303.6 Covid-19 cases per 100K. If this trend can continue hospitalizations should start to decline faster in two to three weeks.

Only Skagit County has a case rate between 600.0 to 799.9 – and after peaking at 669 has dropped to 616.3.

Asotin, Chelan, Douglas, Ferry, Grant, Klickitat, Lewis, Okanagan, and Spokane counties have a new case rate between 400.0 and 599.9. Cowlitz, Mason, Pend Oreille, and Stevens were just under 400.

Eleven counties have a 7 day moving average case rate under 100 and Columbia, Garfield, and San Juan are under 25.

The 7 day case rate was unchanged for most age groups and slightly down for people 80 and older. Hospitalization rates were mixed but didn’t indicate a significant trend.

Age Group7-Day Case Rate7-Day Hospitalization Rate
Ages 0-11133.80.7
Ages 12-19125.71.3 (up)
Ages 20-34124.63.9
Ages 35-49139.07.3
Ages 50-64105.110.8 (down)
Ages 65-7978.217.2
Ages 80+74.6 (down)20.3
7-day case rate and 7-day hospitalization rate is per 100K within the age group – the target for 7-day case rate is <25.0, but there are other factors such as vaccination rates within the age groups, how many total tests within the 7-day period, and the positivity rate within each age group

The USA Today COVID Tracker reported 34 deaths on Wednesday.

Travel Advisories

With new cases starting to decline statewide, we continue to hope the East Hospital Region travel advisory can end in the next six to 13 days. For now, we’re maintaining our recreational travel advisory to the region, including Adams, Asotin, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Wahkiakum, and Whitman counties. Acute care and ICU capacity remain limited.

Additionally, we are maintaining the travel advisory for the Northwest Hospital Region. The region includes Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap, and Mason counties.

We are adding Colorado to our list of states to avoid all nonessential travel. On Sunday, Governor Jared Polis signed an executive order implementing crisis standards of care. We continue to strongly advise against all nonessential travel to Alaska, Idaho, and Montana. Alaska and the Idaho Panhandle are experiencing an extreme number of Covid-19 hospitalizations. Hospital resources in these regions are constrained, and you may receive inadequate care if you experience a serious medical emergency.

We are downgrading our travel advisory for Wyoming and recommend avoiding recreational travel at this time. The situation has improved significantly in the last two weeks.

Thank you

Thank you to our new subscribers and those of you who have made one-time contributions. On behalf of the entire team, thank you for helping us keep the lights on!

In August, King County Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin mentioned the N95 Project as a trusted source for N95 masks. A check on the website showed that a 50 count box of United States manufactured N95 masks are available for $40.00. We recommend wearing N95 masks indoors as they provide the best protection against COVID when properly fitted.

No promotional consideration has been given, or requested from the n95 project or any manufacturer of masks

Vaccination

Vaccinate Washington web portal now includes Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric ages 5 to 11 vaccine locator

Despite up to 316,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 expected to arrive in Washington this week, officials are asking for patience and kindness as parents scramble to make appointments. The Washington State Vaccine Locator provided by the Washington State Department of Health has added Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric ages 5 to 11 as a filter for searching for appointments and locations.

To find a location for your child, or a booster for yourself, you only need to provide your zip code at the Vaccinate WA website. On the results page, you can click on the down arrow to add filters, and select Pfizer-BioNTech Pediatric age 5 – 11.

A search this afternoon provided four locations in Seattle including Docere Center for Natural Medicine, UW Medicine at two locations, and Harborview Medical Center.

CVS, Rite-Aid, Walgreens, and Walmart are also accepting appointments online.

King County, Washington is reporting over 88.6% of age eligible residents are vaccinated with at least one dose. The highest rates of positivity are in areas with low vaccination rates statewide. The FDA has provided full approval of the Pfizer vaccine for anyone 16 and over and EUA approval for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

COVID vaccines and boosters are free for anyone 5 and older. Lyft and Hopelink provide free transportation, and KinderCare, the Learning Care Group, and the YMCA offer free childcare during vaccination appointments or recuperation.

For information on getting a vaccination in King County, you can visit the King County Department of Public Health website.

Malcontent News

Hospital Status

According to the DoH COVID Dashboard, 91% of all staffed acute care beds are occupied, and 14.7% of patients have Covid-19. Statewide, hospitals have the staff to support approximately 657 additional acute care patients. The ratio of acute care Covid-19 patients is down in every hospital region. We should start to see a faster decline in ICU utilization in the next 10 to 20 days. Regrettably, some of that decrease will be driven by fatalities.

ICUs are at 88.5% of capacity statewide, with 25.0% of ICU patients fighting Covid-19 – an estimated 294 patients with 58.0% on ventilators. The state has the staff to support approximately 138 additional ICU patients.

On Wednesday, the 7-day rolling average hospital admission rate for new COVID patients was 94. The Department of Health reported 1,004 Covid-19 patients statewide on November 3, with 172 requiring ventilators.

Hospital Region readiness was largely unchanged from yesterday. The East Hospital Region is showing signs of improvement and if the trend continues, the travel advisory will likely be downgraded or lifted next week.

Hospital RegionCountiesICU OccupancyICU COVID PatientsAcute Care OccupancyAcute Care COVID Patients
EastAdams, Asotin, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Wahkiakum, Whitman87.0%33.5%89.8%19.2%
NorthIsland, San Juan, Skagit, Whatcom61.4%28.0%63.7%12.3%
North CentralChelan, Douglas, Grant, Okanogan89.2%55.4%78.7%23.5%
NorthwestClallam, Jefferson, Kitsap, Mason88.5%33.3%96.5%18.1%
Puget SoundKing, Pierce, Snohomish93.0%20.5%96.0%12.5%
South CentralBenton, Columbia, Franklin, Kittitas, Walla Walla, Yakima91.4%24.3%83.9%19.2%
SouthwestClark, Cowlitz, Klickitat, Skamania 73.5%21.7%88.0%13.5%
WestGrays Harbor, Lewis, Pacific, Thurston89.8%29.4%91.2%17.1%
Hospital status by region – ICU Occupancy should be below 80%, ICU COVID Patients should be below 20%, Acute Care Occupancy should be below 80%, and Acute Care COVID Patients should be below 10%

Back to School

School DistrictStatusLess than 10 Active Cases10 or More Active Cases
BellevueYELLOW– Ardmore (1*)
– Bennett (1*)
– Big Picture (1*)
– Enatai (1*)
– Highland (4*)
– Lake Hills (1*)
– Newport Heights (2*)
– Sammamish (1*)
– Stevenson (2*)
– Tyee (1*)
– Woodridge (1*)
None
Lake WashingtonYELLOW– Alcott (5)
– Bell (24)
– Blackwell (5 – see notes)
– Carson Elementary (6)
– Clara Barton (3)
– Eastlake High (48)
– Ella Baker (6)
– Finn Hill Middle School (6)
– Frost (5)
– ICS (4)
– Juanita Elementary (1)
– Juanita High (17)
– Kamiakin Middle School (25)
– Keller (6)
– Kirk Elementary (10)
– Lakeview Elementary (7)
– Lake Washington High School (7)
– McAuliffe (1)
– Muir Elementary (1)
– Redmond Middle School (1)
– Redmond High School (52)
– Rockwell (2)
– Sandburg/Discovery (4)
– Timberline Middle School (28)
– Twain Elementary (15)
None
NorthshoreYELLOW– Arrowhead Elementary (7)
– Bothell High School (15**)
– Canyon Creek Elementary (4)
– Canyon Park Middle School (2)
– Crystal Springs Elementary (19)
– East Ridge Elementary (3)
– Fernwood Elementary (5)
– Frank Love Elementary (11)
– Hollywood Hills Elementary (7)
– Inglemoor High School (16**)
– Kenmore Elementary (22)
– Kenmore Middle School (18)
– Kokanee Elementary (8)
– Lockwood Elementary (7**)
– Maywood Hills Elementary (3)
– Moorlands Elementary (1)
– North Creek High School (19**)
– Northshore Middle School (12)
– Ruby Bridge Elementary (9**)
– Shelton View Elementary (6)
– Skyview Middle School (18**)
– Sunrise Elementary (4)
– Timbercrest Middle School (5)
– Wellington Elementary (9**)
– Westhill Elementary (19)
– Woodin Elementary (10**)
– Woodinville High School (6**)
– Woodmoor Elementary (6)
None
Local Districts Scorecard – * indicates positive cases only ** indicates 5 or more confirmed positive cases

We redefined the school district statuses. Information for classroom and building closures has been a challenge to obtain, both for closures and reopening. We are adopting moving any school with more than ten active COVID cases reported into the red, and we’ve adjusted the third column to reflect this change.

There was a parent confirmed Covid-19 case reported at Blackwell Elementary in the Lake Washington School District on Monday and an additional parent confirmed COVID case on Tuesday, including three in quarantine. Because LWSD updates data weekly, we add a footnote for parent-reported cases during the week.

Woodinville High School in the Northshore School District now has five confirmed Covid-19 cases, adding two more this morning.

We continued to encourage parents to request daily updates from the Lake Washington School District. We would also encourage parents to request the Bellevue School District include data on close contacts. These two changes would bring the three school districts we track into alignment.

Kirkland-Bellevue-Woodinville

Kirkland Health Fair and Community Vaccination Event on November 6

The Kirkland Health Fair and Community Vaccination Event will be held on Saturday, November 6, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m at Juanita High School. Hosted by the City of Kirkland in partnership with Public Health – Seattle and King County, the event will provide Covid-19 vaccination, information, education, and more.

The City of Kirkland has confirmed that vaccinations for 5 to 11-year-olds will not be available.

National Round-Up

Johns Hopkins University Cumulative Case Tracker reports 83,501 new cases and 1,904 deaths nationwide on Wednesday.

Brief summary for the nation today. There are five states with at least one hospital operating under crisis standards of care – Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. The states are first, fifth, tenth, second, and fourth for new Covid-19 cases respectively.

State Updates

Taking the night off

Disinformation

Taking the night off

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Vaccination for 5 to 11 year olds

When will you vaccinate your 5 to 11-year-old children to protect them against COVID-19?

Thank you for voting!

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