Covid cases are on the rise in King County, 18% above where they were two weeks ago. And more and more epidemics are linked to restaurants, bars and travel.
At the same time, gyms, restaurants and many other businesses in Washington state can open up to 50% of their capacity as of Monday.
King County public health official Dr Jeff Duchin told a press conference on Friday that he hopes people will continue to take precautions and avoid indoor spaces where people are unmasked or where ventilation is poor.
“The risk is not gone – the virus is still with us,” he said.
“The vast majority of the population remains sensitive to Covid-19. The viruses that are currently circulating are more efficient at spreading from person to person, ”he explained. “So I think these factors will increase transmission.”
Duchin said thousands of people in King County currently have infectious Covid.
“It would be a shame if many people were infected over the next two months, when vaccines are about to be widely available to most of the population,” he said.
Duchin said that thanks to the vaccination, cases were down in people over 65, but up in people in their 20s and 30s. He added that Covid is “not a trivial disease, even for young adults”, many of whom still have symptoms months after their diagnosis.