Skip to main content

You make this possible. Support our independent, nonprofit newsroom today.

Give Now

Covid cases are on the rise nationally. In Seattle?

caption: A 15-minute, at-home Covid test.
Enlarge Icon
A 15-minute, at-home Covid test.
Dyer Oxley / KUOW

Nationally, Covid numbers are ticking up. A summer wave is expected. This is based on levels of the virus detected in wastewater. But Covid levels in Washington state remain low, as do hospitalization numbers, for now.

"It doesn't take much to tip this over the edge and I anticipate that once schools start and the weather gets colder, and people start gathering in doors, and all of the other viruses come back, those hospitalization numbers will start to go up," Dr. Helen Chu with UW Medicine told KUOW's Seattle Now.

Despite the low numbers in the Seattle area, currently, other local health officials are noting that the numbers are rising.

Anecdotally, Seattle Now host Patricia Murphy commented that she's noticed people around her coming down with Covid, some without symptoms. Chu has noticed the same thing.

"Anecdotally, I've also heard that a lot of people are having ... Covid right now, and it may be just a matter of days before it starts showing up," Chu said. "Certainly, a lot of the time this travels from east to west, so things that happen on the East Coast just take a little bit of time to make it over to the West Coast."

National Covid levels are not as severe as previous waves, like omicron or delta. But as before, case severity can range, depending on one's age, vaccination status, and overall health. Chu said younger people who are vaccinated aren't getting as sick, but folks above the age of 60 are more often getting hospitalized.

Chu added that another booster shot for Covid is slated to arrive in the fall, and that those who are more vulnerable should plan on getting it. The new booster specifically targets the variant going around right now.

Check out Seattle Now's full conversation with Dr. Chu here.

Why you can trust KUOW