News updates on the coronavirus pandemic in Seattle and Washington State.
As of Monday, May 16, 2022, the King County and Washington State Departments of Health report:
- Covid cases have increased 8% in King County over the past seven days, with a daily average of 1,042 new cases.
- Hospitalizations in King County fell 13% last week, with an average of 10 people hospitalized each day.
- Covid deaths have increased 133% over the past week in King County, with an average of two people dying each day.
- 85.1% of eligible King County residents are fully immunized; 72.1% of eligible Washingtonians were fully immunized; 58.6% of eligible Washingtonians received a booster shot.
- 1% mortality in Washington State since the start of the pandemic.
- 197 Covid cases per 100,000 people in Washington State.
MONDAY MAY 16
How Covid vaccines spurred HIV vaccine development
About a year ago Dr Jesse Clark was caring for people in hospital with Covid when he met a man he will never forget.
“I thought he was sleeping,” says Clark, an infectious disease specialist at the University of California, Los Angeles. The man was motionless in the bed. “But when I got to the other side of the bed he looked at me and said, ‘My mum just died of Covid. My cousin brought this into the family. She said she was wearing a mask, but she didn’t. She caught the Covid. Now she is dead too. She has two children. What will happen to them?” “
Then the man says, “Am I going to die from Covid?”
The man was doing well enough to fight off SARS-CoV-2, Clark said. And finally he recovered. But that moment lingered in Clark’s memory because it reminded him of another incredibly sad — and scary — time in his life.
It happened when he was a young man at the start of the HIV pandemic.
“I’m a gay man who grew up in the 80s and 90s, long before we had effective treatment for HIV. And friends, colleagues, people were dropping dead left and right. And you couldn’t help it. do it,” Clark said, with a lump in his throat. “And the question was always, ‘Am I next?’ “
At that time, many people in the LGBTQ community were in constant fear of losing their lives, Clark says. “You try to help take care of the people around you, but you also wonder, is this going to happen to me?”
But many people outside that community didn’t understand the fear of HIV, he says – at least not until early 2020 when Covid hit. “Covid has brought that feeling back to a lot of people in a way that HIV didn’t.”
This shift in perspective – or new understanding – has reignited the fight against HIV, which still kills an estimated 700,000 people each year. “It made people try again to end the HIV epidemic,” Clark says.
Read more here.
— Michaeleen Doucleff, RPN
Representative Pramila Jayapal tests positive for Covid
She made the announcement on Friday, saying she had flu-like symptoms and had self-isolated. se. She said she would return to Washington, DC once she tested negative.
Jayapal also said she was vaccinated and doubly boosted, and encouraged others to get a second booster if eligible.
FRIDAY MAY 13
Covid sewage data missing for almost a month
An early warning system for Covid outbreaks went dark for nearly a month in western Washington, even as known cases hit some of the highest levels in the past two years.
Tracking Covid concentrations in sewage can reveal outbreaks and viral variants before they show up in the nasal swab tests that public health officials rely on as a key indicator of the severity of the pandemic.
A sewage tracking website run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published some of this data, though far from all, since early 2022.
But results from most sites in western Washington faded in mid-April, as the CDC’s contract with Canadian testing company LuminUltra expired on April 15.
“It’s really difficult to assess the risk of transmission right now!” Seattle resident Philip Ries, one of several KUOW readers who noticed the data shutdown, said via email.
Wastewater test results from 17 sites in Clark, King and Snohomish counties have not been released since mid-April. Results from six sites in eastern Washington continued uninterrupted.
When asked why the information was no longer available, CDC spokesman Brian Katzowitz said the agency was moving to a new testing company for sites not run directly by the local health authorities. He said the missing results should be back online the week of May 16.
— John Ryan