Testing

Women wearing personal protective equipment prepare to conduct a drive-through COVID-19 test last April at Hawks Prairie in Lacey.

Thurston County Public Health and Social Services on Friday recorded its single-largest daily increase of new COVID-19 cases. Twenty-five new cases were added to the county’s total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, which now stands at 346.

Five of the 25 cases reported Friday, July 10, were recorded in children ages birth to 9 years old. A total of 17 were recorded in individuals in their 30s or younger.

This comes as states across the country are reporting an increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases, especially within young people.

“In recent days, traveling and private gatherings with family and friends are common ways people are contracting COVID-19,” Thurston County Health Officer Dr. Dimyana Abdelmalek said in a letter earlier this week, which was linked to in Friday’s COVID-19 count updates on social media. “If you must gather, outdoors is better than indoors. The advice for preventing COVID-19 remains the same: cover your cough, wash your hands, wear a mask and stay more than 6 feet from people who are not part of your household when possible.”

Back on July 2, Bellevue-based Institute for Disease Modeling released a report alongside the state Department of Health which showed that cases have been increasingly shifting towards younger age groups.

From January to March, cases in people under the age of 35 years old accounted for 22 percent of total cases. By May and June, cases in people 35 and younger accounted for 46 percent of cases.

“While the overall number of cases have recently been increasing, COVID-19 deaths have been decreasing. This is likely primarily driven by the caseload shifting to younger people, who have substantially lower mortality risk from COVID-19 infection,” the report read.

The trend of decreasing deaths is not definitive, the report notes, and could later drive a resurgence of cases in older and more vulnerable populations.

A total 39,218 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Washington state thus far, according to the Department of Health, with 4,662 hospitalizations and 1,424 deaths.

A total of 37 Thurston County residents have been hospitalized since the start of the pandemic, and five deaths have been reported. Approximately 231 recoveries have been reported.

The department this week also reported it had resolved its outbreaks at two long term care facilities.

A total 15,761 COVID-19 lab tests have been conducted in Thurston County, with the county’s test-positive rate standing well below the state’s rate at 2 percent.

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