Experts advise to keep COVID precautions in mind ahead of summer

COVID-19 cases remain high in Washington state and across the country, and according to the Department of Health’s COVID dashboard, we’re also seeing a slight rise in hospitalizations.

Ahead of summer, experts are saying it’s time to return to some key pandemic precautions with infection rates growing and immunity for all starting to wane.

“It’s time to third dose if you only have two,” said Dr. Ali Mokdad of the University of Washington epidemiology department. “Time to get your fourth dose if you only have three. And especially if you have received that second dose or the third dose five or six months ago, your immunity right now against infection is less than 20%.”

Dr. Mokdad says if people are indoors or around large crowds, wearing a surgical or N-95 mask is a good option.

“We still need to remain vigilant, this virus is not done with us,” Dr. Mokdad said. “This virus is waiting for us outside and it will find a weak among us — and by weak I mean somebody who has less immunity — either from the vaccine, or from a previous infection, and that virus will infect you.”

According to UW Medicine hospitals, there were 40 COVID patients being treated at one point. Previously, they were around 20 to 30.

In Pierce County, the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department says they’ve had several outbreaks at businesses and long-term health care facilities, resulting in hundreds of cases.