COVID hospitalizations decrease in King County

KING COUNTY, Wash. — After a fifth wave of COVID-19 brought record hospitalizations, Public Health - Seattle & King County says hospitalizations are on their way down.

The system hit a high on Sept. 9 with 320 patients; now there are 192 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in King County. That’s a 40% drop in a month.

COVID rates are dropping, but not as quickly among children, according to Public Health Seattle and King County. From Aug. 31 to Oct. 1, COVID cases in adults dropped 32%, while the rate in children dropped 16%. The health department is analyzing the difference and trying to find out why.

One month into the school year, the health department is not seeing a spike in COVID cases among children. Health officials credit safety precautions and the vaccination rate. So far 70% of all 12-17 year-olds in King County are vaccinated. But the rate varies throughout the county, from 80% in North Seattle to 45-50% in South and SE King County.

Dr. Jeff Duchin, Public Health - Seattle & King County, says with the declining hospitalizations, and increasing vaccination rates, he is cautiously optimistic.

“I expect future waves and I expect a winter surge. Although, given our vaccination rates, the size and impact of future surges should be lower than the past,” said Dr. Duchin.