Delta still dominant COVID strain in WA, but officials worry

Covid Variant

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington health officials said Tuesday at least 400 cases of the new COVID-19 variant had been confirmed, but that omnicron hasn’t yet overtaken delta cases in the state.

“Our early surveillance from a lab standpoint was very much related to detecting omicron in our state,” state Health Secretary Dr. Umair A. Shah said at a news conference. “Now we have to shift to do more representative sampling across the entire state so we can get a better picture of how and where it’s spreading.”

Over the past two weeks Washington state has averaged more than 1,500 new, likely cases of COVID-19 a day.

Hospitalizations and deaths remain consistent, but Washingtonians will likely be in for a “difficult winter” of both influenza and omicron because health care systems are already strained, state epidemiologist Dr. Scott Lindquist said.

The Seattle Times reports that statewide, about 81.7% of residents 12 and older — about 5.4 million people — have received at least one vaccine dose, while about 75.3% are fully vaccinated. About 1.7 million Washingtonians had received an additional vaccine dose as of Tuesday.

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