King County has been hit with its fifth wave of COVID-19 due to the Delta variant. According to the Washington State Department of Health data, with the emergence of the new strain, COVID-19 cases have quadrupled in comparison to June’s numbers. However, case numbers still remain lower than Washington’s original spike.
The Delta variant is even more contagious than the previous COVID-19 strains we’ve seen. According to studies conducted by Public Health Scotland and EAVE II collaborators, it’s also twice as dangerous, meaning hospitalization rates doubled in those with the Delta variant compared to the Alpha variant. However, most current studies show little difference because of the lack of data available about this variant. Experts are saying that continuing to get vaccinated is the best way to protect ourselves against all strains of COVID-19.
In the latest news conference with Gov. Jay Inslee, there was little to no information given on rollbacks and mask mandates in response to the rise in cases. While we didn’t get any information about new guidelines, the governor stated he did not want to close any Washington businesses. Further information will be coming by the next weekly conference which will be posted here.
The Delta variant has the same symptoms as previous strains of COVID-19. If you were to catch the virus right now, the chance that you have the Delta variant is substantial. Delta variant cases are making up for a large majority of the cases in this fifth wave of COVID-19. Be sure to watch out for symptoms such as fever, chills, fatigue, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat and congestion or runny nose.
So what can you do to protect yourself?
- Get vaccinated (remember, you are not fully vaccinated until two weeks after your second dose).
- Wear your mask indoors, even if you are fully vaccinated.
- Make sure rooms are well-ventilated and air is circulating properly.
- Continue to follow distancing guidelines when around other people. Meeting people outside is still the safest option.