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Our latest COVID-19 surge is falling fast. Let’s look forward with hope!

UPDATED: 02/09/2022

We’ve been seeing the clues for a few weeks. Now it’s finally happening. The latest and largest surge of Pierce County COVID-19 cases is falling fast.

We started seeing cases drop a few weeks ago. And last week, cases and case rates on the state dashboard, which include a reporting lag, started dropping. Hospitalization counts and rates are also down.

This follows a trend seen around the country. It’s cause for celebration and reason to look forward with hope. The Omicron variant took a toll on many of us. The surge hit:

  • Our homes.
  • Our friends.
  • Hospitals.
  • Schools.
  • Workplaces.
  • Long term care facilities.

Even though symptoms are generally milder for most people, Omicron still brought interruptions in work and school for many families. Seeing this latest trend brings a sigh of relief.

Other numbers temper that relief. While we can see a light at the end of the tunnel, we’re still in the tunnel.

Too many people are hospitalized or dying from COVID-19. We reported 31 deaths this week. While that’s fewer than last week, it’s still tragic. And high numbers of hospitalizations still stress our local healthcare workers and hospital systems.

Many of those worst outcomes could have been avoided. Nationalstate and local data continues to show that COVID-19 vaccines help prevent COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths. 

Falling fast.

Pierce County cases rose sharply in December. Pierce County data from the state dashboard show:

  • A 25% drop in 14-day case rates per 100,000: Jan. 2-15; 4,040 vs. Jan. 12-25; 3,036.
  • A 38% drop in 7-day average daily cases: Jan. 13; 2,671 vs. Jan. 25; 1,652.
  • A 40% drop in 7-day hospitalization rate per 100,000: Jan. 10-16; 42 vs. Jan. 19-25; 25.2.

These numbers are still significantly higher than our previous Delta variant peak in August, but our more recent data shows this trend continuing. Our total cases dropped more than 30% this week vs. last week.

Reason for hope.

We’re approaching the 2-year mark of our first recorded COVID-19 case in Pierce County. We’re all feeling the frustration in many ways. While COVID-19 will be with us for the foreseeable future, getting vaccinated is the best way to reduce its impact on our community.

Thousands of our neighbors have tested positive for COVID-19 during the latest surge. Research shows people who have had COVID-19 may develop some infection-acquired immunity, which can help protect them from reinfection.  That’s great news!

But in some cases, people get infected again and some become seriously ill. Even if you’ve had COVID-19, up-to-date vaccination provides the best protection against serious illness and death in the future.

And you can do even more to help stop the spread.

UPDATED: 02/09/2022