Where are we?
We are more than a year into the COVID-19 response. Many people are waiting patiently for their turn to get a vaccine. We are excited about the vaccine and hopeful for an end to this pandemic. But with all the recent focus on vaccines, you might be wondering what else is happening with COVID-19 right now. How are we doing with cases and hospitalizations? Who is getting the vaccine? Here’s where Washington is at right now.
Cases and Hospitalizations
We are moving in the right direction. In early January, we saw a sharp decrease in case counts. That brought us back to where we were in early November, before the December spike. Right now, case numbers are still higher than we’d like, but the spread of the virus is clearly slowing down across the state. This is great news! It means that we are all doing the right things to stop the spread. Thank you for doing your part!
Hospital admissions were pretty high in November. They were admitting over 100 people every day. But since mid-January, hospital admissions started to go down. If cases continue to go down, there will be fewer cases requiring hospitalization. That means more rooms will be available for hospitals to treat other people.
We are getting closer to reaching our goal of 45,000 doses a day. Vaccine providers already administered over 1.4 million doses of vaccine from the 1.8 million we received from the federal government and that’s over 77%. Last week, providers averaged 26,200 vaccine doses every day.
Originally, we sent most of our vaccine allocations to hospitals. That helped us reach workers in health care settings that were at the most risk. But now, we are spreading our vaccine supply to sites across Washington state to help reach more people. Vaccines are also going to community health centers, mass vaccination sites, pharmacies, and Tribes and Urban Indian Health Programs.
We are working to distribute vaccine doses equitably. Vaccine supply is very limited, so we need to make sure that communities who were most impacted by the pandemic get the vaccine as soon as possible. You can read more about our community engagement efforts on our allocation and prioritization webpage.
We know there’s questions about who’s getting the vaccine. Vaccine providers report race, ethnicity, and ages of the people they vaccinate to DOH. We look at this data to see who is getting the vaccine and to make decisions how to deliver doses fairly and equitably. Learn more about vaccination coverage by race, ethnicity, and age on our COVID-19 data dashboard.
What phase are we in?
When we talk about phases, that can mean two things:
- Vaccine phase. This tell us where we are in the vaccine distribution process.
- Roadmap to Recovery phase. This tell us where we are in Washington’s phased reopening plan.
We are currently in vaccine delivery Phase 1B, Tier 1. Anyone eligible in this phase can get the vaccine now. You can read more about the current phase in our blog about Phase 1B.
We are also in the Roadmap to Recovery Phase 2. All regions in Washington have met the conditions to advance to the second phase of the Governor’s reopening plan. In Phase 2, restrictions on some activities are eased. Visit the Roadmap to Recovery plan and data dashboard to learn more (links are in English).
Keep it up, Washington!
We are moving in the right direction. The spread of COVID-19 is slowing down and cases and hospitalizations are decreasing. We are getting the vaccine out as quickly and fairly as possible. These signs of success are encouraging — and only possible because of you. Washingtonians pitched in and followed the safety measures to slow the spread, and it is working!
With a faster-spreading COVID-19 variant now here in Washington state, we need to keep it up! We all play a role in keeping each other safe. Continue to wear a mask, stay six feet away from others, and wash your hands. Get tested if needed and get the vaccine when it’s your turn.