Record COVID-19 infections reported in Washington's King County

<p><p>SEATTLE — Data updated Monday shows coronavirus infections in Washington’s most populated county have jumped in the past week as the omicron variant surges.</p></p><p><p>According to King County’s COVID-19 data dashboard, the county has seen a 195% increase in cases in the past seven days, averaging 1,586 infections per day, The Seattle Times <a href=”” target=”—blank”>reported</a>.</p></p><p><p>The recent spike marks the highest number of daily cases in King County, which is home to Seattle, since the beginning of the pandemic. The county recorded 2,249 confirmed COVID-19 cases last Thursday, about three and a half times the peak of its delta wave, which had a seven-day average of about 630 cases in late August.</p></p><p><p>It’s unclear how many of the cases are attributed to omicron, but local health experts have been predicting a “rapid surge” from the variant that could overwhelm health care systems and disrupt businesses and schools as employees get sick.</p></p><p><p>Partly because of the omicron surge, U.S. health officials on Monday cut isolation restrictions for Americans who catch the coronavirus from 10 to five days.</p></p><p><p>On Friday, 13% of University of Washington Medicine’s collected samples in Seattle returned positive for the coronavirus, the highest positivity rate the sites have ever seen, Dr. Patrick Mathias, vice chair of clinical operations for the UW’s Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, said on Monday.</p></p><p><p>In addition, while more and more fully vaccinated people are testing positive for the virus, county data shows being unvaccinated still poses a higher risk of transmission.</p></p>