People in seven Washington counties should wear masks indoors and on public transportation, according to recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
These counties are Grays Harbor, Thurston, Clark, Grant, Adams, Spokane and Walla Walla.
The CDC’s most recent COVID-19 community levels were calculated Thursday, July 7, using data from June 30-July 6. The number of Washington counties classified as high risk decreased this week; 15 counties were classified as high risk on June 30.
Community levels are calculated based on COVID-19 cases per capita and the percent of inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, according to the CDC.
“Cases overall seem to be flattening at this stage, though it is difficult to determine if these short-term trends are more representative of testing rates versus actual infections,” said Emily Fredenberg, a spokesperson with the Washington State Department of Health.
The BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants are both increasing in Washington, with BA.5 representing 35 percent of cases from June 19-June 25, Fredenberg said.
COVID-19 data reported on the state level likely only represents 10 percent of infections in Washington due to many residents self-testing at home, Fredenberg added.