County Health Official Says COVID-19 Cases Are Rising in Retail, Youth Sports, and Travel


People arrive to receive the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine on the opening day of the Community Vaccination Site, a collaboration between the City of Seattle, First & Goal Inc., and Swedish Health Services at the Lumen Field Event Center in Seattle. , Washington, March 13. , 2021. (Photo by Jason Redmond / AFP) (Photo by JASON REDMOND / AFP via Getty Images)

While cases are declining at long-term care facilities throughout King County, Dr. Jeff Duchin, a health officer for Seattle and King County Public Health, says they are seeing increases elsewhere.

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Duchin explained in his weekly address Friday that there is an increase in cases in child care settings and K-12 schools to less than 2% in January to 5% in the last three weeks.

“We have also seen eight outbreaks associated with youth sports leagues in the last eight weeks,” he said, adding that those teams reported taking precautions during games and practices.

However, there have been risks and opportunities for transmission during travel to and from games, practices, and tournaments, and during communal meals and socializing that occur before and after.

Duchin said they are also seeing outbreaks related to non-healthcare related work environments.

“Over the past eight weeks, there has been a 16% increase in outbreaks in non-healthcare workplaces, and these include manufacturing, retail, delivery, hospitality and other businesses,” he said.

Duchin said that nearly 40% of those cases reported having gone to work in the past month. That increased from 30% in January.

There has also been an increase in cases associated with social and community events.

“Nearly 30% of the cases reported attending events, family visits, group meals, parties and weddings during their exposure period,” Duchin said. “That’s 10% more than 20% in January.”

About 11% of the reported cases had attended bars and restaurants, 5% more than in January. Ten percent of the cases reported visiting retail establishments, which is also up from 5% in January.

Duchin said the number of travel-associated cases has doubled in the past four weeks: 4-6% in January to 8-11% today. That includes people returning from a spring break trip.

While travel is not recommended, Duchin reminds people to get tested in advance, 3-5 days after they return, and to avoid other people for 7 days afterward. If the test is not done, quarantine yourself for 10 days.

Duchin said to remember that about 30% of cases do not report contact with someone who knowingly has COVID-19, and up to 50% of cases spread before people report experiencing symptoms or knowing they are ill. .

“It is important to remain vigilant and take precautions,” Duchin said.

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