The latest COVID-19 report from the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) shows a new surge: cases are increasing in the state as the Delta variant becomes more widespread. DOH advises that as cases stemming from the Delta variant rise, anyone who has signs or symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested, regardless of vaccination status or prior infection.
The data, which was released Wednesday, shows that between February and June, over 97% of COVID-19 cases were among those not fully vaccinated, and more than 94% of all COVID-19 related deaths can be attributed to individuals who have not been fully vaccinated. According to the latest genetic sequencing data, the delta variant, a more transmissible strain of the virus, is now the dominant strain in circulation in Washington.
While overall population immunity continues to increase, the pace has slowed considerably and more vaccination is needed to keep cases from spiking higher. Despite increasing transmission and a bigger presence from the delta variant, vaccination is still working to protect people from severe COVID-19 illness.
In Massachusetts, however, the CDC reports that 74% of cases in Barnstable County in July occurred in fully vaccinated people. It’s also been found that fully vaccinated people infected with the delta variant can transmit the virus.
Gov. Inslee announced Wednesday that Washington will follow CDC guidance and recommend vaccinated individuals wear facial coverings in public indoor settings in areas where there is a high rate of COVID-19, and where the vaccination status of those around you is unknown. There’s no requirement by the state to wear masks in the veterinary setting at this time.
A note about WSVMA and COVID-19 requirements and guidelines
The WSVMA receives calls from members, non-members, and clients asking why we’re dictating what veterinarians can and can’t do. The WSVMA’s role in the pandemic is not to dictate, but to alert you to state and federal mandates and guidelines and to distill information. The WSVMA has issued recommendations, the purpose of which is to keep you practicing legally as well as to help you keep staff, clients, and patients safe from COVID.
Posted July 30, 2021