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News >  Spokane

Declining or flat COVID-19 rates seen statewide in Washington, more vaccinations needed

UPDATED: Wed., June 23, 2021

 (Molly Quinn / The Spokesman-Review)
(Molly Quinn / The Spokesman-Review)

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are declining in Spokane County, recent data from the district show.

The Spokane Regional Health District has reported fewer than 100 new cases each day for more than two weeks.

The current case rate is 149 cases per 100,000 residents; last month there were well above 200 cases per 100,000 residents.

The number of people testing positive is also declining locally. In the week of June 10-16, the last week data is available, only 6.1% of people in Spokane County who were tested for the virus actually tested positive.

Statewide, many counties are seeing similar trends. In Washington, COVID-related hospitalizations have declined since April, but in some regions, they have reached a plateau.

Vaccination is keep people out of the hospital, but modelers have found that more Washington residents need to get vaccinated in order to continue to curb transmission of COVID-19 and prevent hospitalizations.

“The proportion of the population protected by vaccine-derived immunity is now over double the proportion protected by immunity from prior infection, showing the important role of vaccination in recent improving case and hospitalization trends,” the June 16 state situation report says. “The burden of SARS-CoV-2 in Washington State is currently being experienced primarily in unvaccinated individuals.”

As of Saturday, 54% of the state’s total population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. More than 67% of state residents over the age of 16 have received at least one dose of a vaccine as of last week.

People who are hospitalized with the virus have disproportionately not been vaccinated. The hospital admission rates among Washington residents ages 45 to 64 are 21 times higher than in those who are fully vaccinated. For residents 65 and older, those who are unvaccinated are being hospitalized at 15 times the rate as those who are vaccinated.

With variants that are more easily transmissible circulating in the state and country, modelers warned that more people need to get vaccinated to keep COVID cases and hospitalizations declining.

“Current declining disease trends are promising, however, greater population vaccination coverage, as well as continued caution and use of (non-pharmaceutical interventions) until fully protected by vaccination, remain critical in order to prevent reversal of current positive trends,” the report says.

Vaccines are available at local pharmacies and health care providers. To find a clinic or vaccine, visit the state’s vaccine locator or call the state’s COVID hotline at (800) 525-0127, then press pound (#).

Local numbersThe Spokane Regional Health District confirmed 44 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday and one additional death. There have been 660 deaths due to COVID-19 in Spokane County residents.

There are 34 patients in Spokane hospitals being treated for COVID-19.

The Panhandle Health District confirmed 43 new COVID-19 cases and no additional deaths. There are 25 Panhandle residents hospitalized.

Arielle Dreher's reporting for The Spokesman-Review is funded in part by Report for America and by members of the Spokane community. This story can be republished by other organizations for free under a Creative Commons license. For more information on this, please contact our newspaper’s managing editor.

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