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WA sees 1,500 new cases a day of COVID-19 in recent days

Ted S. Warren
The Associated Press file
Brant McAdams, left, football coach at Pacific Lutheran University, wears personal protective equipment as he prepares COVID-19 tests for student athletes on Feb. 3, 2021, on campus in Parkland.

Washington state has seen an average of 1,500 new cases a day of COVID-19 over the past four days, and health officials said Tuesday they are concerned about not only a rise in cases but hospitalizations due to the highly contagious delta variant.

The Department of Health said that hospital occupancy is at the highest levels seen to date this year, with more than 600 people hospitalized with COVID-19, an increase of more than 20% from last week.

Officials say that more than 94% of all recent cases, deaths, and hospitalizations in Washingtonians 12 years of age and older involve people who have not been fully vaccinated.

After a backlog from July 30, the state said 6,000 new cases would be reported Tuesday to the state's database, which had confirmed cases at more than 439,000, with 42,000 probable cases.

The delta variant makes up the vast majority of cases in the state, with Lacy Fehrenbach, deputy director for COVID-19 response for the Department of Health, saying last week that 96% of the new cases are from the delta variant, up from 70% since early July.

As of Aug. 2, nearly more than 69% of people age 12 and older have initiated vaccination and about 62% are fully vaccinated.

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