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COVID-19 cases declining in Washington state ahead of flu season

According to state health officials, COVID cases have continued to decline since July. They are now lower than the Omicron spike earlier this year.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — As Washingtoners prepare for any remaining COVID-19 restrictions until sundown, cases are also falling.

According to state health officials, COVID cases have continued to decline since July. They are now lower than the Omicron spike earlier this year.

Secretary of State for Health Dr. Umair A. Shah said 7% of hospital beds are now occupied by people with COVID symptoms, up from 11% at the end of August.

When Gov. Jay Inslee’s COVID-19 emergency orders and state of emergency ends October 31, the only requirement remains face coverings in health care facilities and correctional facilities. The health department is checking the requirement.

“We are without a doubt in a significantly different place than we were in early 2020,” Shah said.

Lacy Fehrenbach of the Department of Health reiterated that while the pandemic may be smaller, the pandemic is not over yet. Wearing well-fitting masks remains one of the best ways to stop the spread of COVID, said the assistant secretary for prevention, safety and health.

In addition, Washington residents can still take 10 free tests through the Say Yes! COVID testing program.

As for COVID vaccinations, nearly 180,000 booster doses have been provided since September 1st. The bivalent booster vaccine became available this month and targets the Omicron variant.

In addition to declining COVID cases, state health officials are reporting that rates of monkeypox are also declining. The state has registered around 550 infections and 15 hospitalizations. No one has died from monkeypox in Washington state.

With the cuts, health officials have another warning: flu season.

Shah points out that this will be the first winter in a number of years where masks will not be required. He said it’s “crucial that we don’t forget that before COVID-19, the flu was killing Americans.”

CLOCK: Inslee to remove remaining COVID-19 orders

https://www.king5.com/article/news/health/covid-19-cases-declining-washington-flu-season/281-de5f60b2-d31a-4acb-afac-177832c239c1 COVID-19 cases declining in Washington state ahead of flu season

Alley Einstein

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