The ‘fifth wave’ of COVID-19 is here. What you should know about the delta variant and masking

The Seattle Times

The delta variant of the coronavirus got off to a slower start in Washington compared to other states, but it has recently bullied its way to the front of the variant pack here.

The emergence of delta coincides with what some public health officials are calling a “fifth wave” of COVID-19 infections that is tearing through the state’s unvaccinated population.

The state Department of Health’s (DOH) latest sequencing and variants report has delta making up 57.5% of cases that have been genotyped. A big increase from the previous report that had delta at 27.5%. Gov. Jay Inslee and state health officials said Wednesday disease modeling shows delta likely now accounts for more than 90% of new cases.

Another report from DOH released Wednesday makes clear the pandemic is far from finished. Between February and June, Washingtonians 12 and older who are unvaccinated made up 97% of COVID-19 cases, 96% of hospitalizations and 94% of deaths.

As of Wednesday, just 52.4% of Washington residents were fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

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Friday, July 30, 2021 - 11:32am