State hits new record for COVID-19 cases

The Associated Press

SEATTLE — The state Department of Health has reported 2,589 additional COVID-19 cases and 23 more deaths, setting another new record on Tuesday.

The previous record was set Sunday with 2,519 cases, The Seattle Times reported. The state has set multiple new records in the past week.

The update brings the state’s totals to over 134,000 cases and 2,571 deaths. That means 1.9 percent of people diagnosed in Washington have died.

State health officials also reported that 9,573 people have been hospitalized in the state because of the virus with 55 new hospitalizations since Monday.

Health officials also said Tuesday that a deadly outbreak of the coronavirus among residents and staff at Josephine Caring Community in Stanwood has grown to 99 cases.

The 99 cases — split about evenly between residents of the long-term care facility and staff — is an increase from 94 reported over the weekend. Seven people have been hospitalized, including five who have died, Dr. Chris Spitters, Snohomish County’s health officer, said in a Tuesday briefing.

The cause, according to Spitters, is widespread virus activity in Snohomish County, where infections are rising and putting increasing stress on emergency medical services and hospitals.

“It’s very difficult, we’re seeing this with many long-term care facilities, that even with good infection-control precautions, it’s hard to interrupt the spread of this virus in close congregate settings like long-term care facilities,” Spitters said.

A wedding earlier this month near Ritzville with more than 300 people is now linked to dozens of cases of COVID-19 and two subsequent outbreaks, according to health officials in Grant and Adams counties.

On Tuesday, officials said the tally was nearing 40 in Grant County and was at three so far in Adams.

“This is the perfect example of what we don’t want to see,” said Karen Potts, director of the Adams County Health Department. The Nov. 7 wedding was held indoors in a large agricultural building in unincorporated Adams County, The Seattle Times reported.

Wedding ceremonies had been capped at no more than 30 people when the wedding was held. Starting this week, indoor wedding receptions are banned in Washington to slow the spread of the virus.

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