Vaccines have delivered a gut punch to COVID-19, but the stubborn respiratory virus is refusing to go down for the count.
Three vaccinated individuals in San Juan County were diagnosed this month with COVID-19, that county’s health officer confirmed on social media July 17. Closer to home, the virus’ delta variant “has now officially been found in Skagit County,” Skagit County Public Health spokeswoman Danica Sessions said July 16 in a weekly video update posted online. And on July 14, another Skagit County resident died from COVID-19 — the 78th local death since the pandemic reached this area in March 2020.
Nevertheless, county officials maintain that getting vaccinated is the best way to reduce the risk of contracting the virus or getting seriously ill if you do.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported July 16 that unvaccinated Americans account for virtually all recent COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths.
“We know that the delta variant spreads quicker and easier than some of those other variants, which could lead to possible increases in COVID,” Sessions said. “The good news is COVID vaccines are providing protection against the delta variant, particularly against severe illness which can lead to hospitalization or death. Our recommendation is get vaccinated as soon as possible.”
The monthly rate of new cases continues to decline locally, as it has since vaccinations became widely available in January.
There have been 59 new COVID-19 cases and eight hospitalizations in Skagit County in July as of Monday, and the county remains on track to have one of its lowest monthly rates of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations since the pandemic reached the county in March 2020, according to data on the Public Health website.
All told, COVID-19 has been diagnosed in 5,393 people, sent 362 to hospitals and killed 78 since March 2020, according to Public Health’s online data. Some 58.6% of county residents 12 and older are fully vaccinated, according to the state Department of Health.
Statewide, COVID-19 has been diagnosed in 421,528 people, up from 419,094 the previous week; killed 6,042, up from 6,000; and hospitalized 26,071, up from 25,887. Some 60.5% of Washingtonians 12 and older are fully vaccinated, up from 60.1% last week, the state reported Monday.
Nationwide, COVID-19 has been diagnosed in 33.8 million and killed 606,526 since the pandemic began, up from 33.6 million cases and 604,720 deaths last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Monday. Some 56.8% of those 12 and older are fully vaccinated, up from 56.2% last week, the CDC reported.
Globally, COVID-19 has been confirmed in 189.9 million people and killed nearly 4.1 million, up from 186.8 million cases and 4 million deaths last week, according to the World Health Organization.
As of Monday, 3.4 billion vaccine doses had been administered worldwide, up from 3.1 billion last week. The world population is 7.7 billion, according to the U.S. Census.
To find a local vaccine provider, visit vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov; or call 360-416-1500, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.