PANDEMIC UPDATES: Weekly check-in #3, 7/25/2021

Every Sunday night, we’re publishing weekly pandemic updates. Tonight, the third one. First, the newest local numbers.


115,479 people have tested positive – 1,250 more than a week ago (4,019 in West Seattle, up 44)
6,640 people have been hospitalized – 44 more than a week ago 201 in West Seattle, up 3)
1,684 people have died – 2 fewer than a week ago (67 in West Seattle, down 1) *data adjustment*


74.5% of King County residents 12+ have completed their vaccine series (up .6% in the past week)
By West Seattle zip code:
98106 – 77%
98116 – 83.7%
98126 – 72.7%
98136 – 85%
98146 – 71%


Briefing: “The Delta variant is a game-changer,” said King County Public Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin during his briefing on Friday. Watch it here:

He said Delta is identified in 56 percent of the sequenced cases in King County right now. This briefing is also where he recommended indoor mask wearing, even if you’re vaccinated. Not a mandate – but a recommendation, as an “extra layer of protection.” You can hear his explanation starting at 13:29 in.

‘Power of Providers’: The state announced an initiative to encourage health-care providers to proactively encourage patients to get vaccinated, and to encourage those who are to share their status with people they know.


Go here to see where you can change that.

34 Replies to "PANDEMIC UPDATES: Weekly check-in #3, 7/25/2021"

  • Teste July 26, 2021 (6:37 am)

    Are there mobile vaccine teams that will go to someone’s home to vaccinate them if they are home bound?

  • Still masking July 26, 2021 (6:44 am)

    Around 15:50 min in, Dr. Duchin shares that if universal masking were to be immediately implemented in Washington, it’s expected between 540-880 deaths could be avoided over the next 15 weeks in Washington.

    And around 18:45 he strongly stresses the importance of ventilation and airflow for indoor settings.

    • July 26, 2021 (3:33 pm)

      The hot spots in Washington state appear to be east of the mountains which is consistant with some low vaccination rates there. Deaths and hospitalizations are more likely to occur there than in King County which has one of the highest vaccination rates in the country. Info to help you visualize what’s happening over the past seven days:

  • Pessoa July 26, 2021 (10:12 am)

    Asking the vaccinated to wear masks is not reasonable, it is promoting fear and paranoia and further damaging an already damaged society.  We cannot live on an emotional roller-coaster. The vaccines are effective against the variants, and the fatality risk posed to unvaccinated children is microscopically tiny (.0002%) and essentially zero for children with no serious pre-existing conditions. 

  • psps July 26, 2021 (10:25 am)

    I wish businesses would take this more seriously. I had to stop going to Thriftway because their staff is mostly unmasked now.  While the vaccine would almost certainly prevent my going to the hospital or having any serious side effects, I could still get infected and be susceptible to long-hauler effects.

    • trickycoolj July 26, 2021 (11:25 am)

      For shoppers concerned with masking, Costco Sodo everyone both employees and shoppers were masked last Wednesday. I maybe saw 2 couples shopping without a mask on. I haven’t been masking in my office since my space is isolated, but I dug out a mask to go in Costco after I saw how many had them on. 

  • Derek July 26, 2021 (11:22 am)

    Please wear your masks! You can transmit delta variant even if you have the vaccine. I don’t know why businesses aren’t enforcing this. I hope King County changes that. 

  • Pessoa July 26, 2021 (1:31 pm)

    I beg to differ with the good doctor.  There are no free lunches, so to speak, and we pay a price for masking mandates.  We have to ask ourselves if the slight reduction in risk warrants the psychological damage – fear, paranoia, irrationality – we are imposing on society;  not to do so is irresponsible and shortsighted. 

    • MrsT July 26, 2021 (2:25 pm)

      What price is it, exactly, that we pay for wearing masks indoors during a global pandemic? Genuinely interested in the rationale behind that statement.

    • wsperson July 26, 2021 (2:27 pm)

      It might seem slight to you but to the people who are going to die and the ones they leave behind it’s significant – death is significant even if they refused the vaccine for some reason.

      If you choose – you can help to prevent the suffering of others out of love – it doesn’t have to be done out of “fear, paranoia, and irrationality”.

    • Elton July 26, 2021 (2:32 pm)

      I’m not at all an expert in psychological damage and don’t pretend to be: but I don’t see how mask vs no mask helps with psychological damage from the pandemic. Sure, wearing a mask is a visual reminder of the pandemic, but not wearing a mask means that the Delta variant is going to spread and continue to cause a steady/increasing rate of hospitalizations and death and prolong the newsworthiness in the local community of COVID. So I don’t know what’s more short sighted: wearing a mask to try to reduce the severity of the pandemic or not wearing a mask and contributing to the pandemic dragging on for longer.It’s not just unvaccinated adults at risk, it’s unvaccinated children and immunocompromised individuals (yes, even those who are vaccinated).Whether or not there’s a mask mandate, I’m going to keep wearing my mask in indoor spaces. Honestly, I think masks are a good long term thing for crowded spaces like airports and grocery stores in terms of even shortening flu season and other infectious diseases. It’s a minor inconvenience for patrons that can be hugely beneficial to your community if you happen to be sick and not know it. It’s quite commonplace in East Asian cultures.

    • psps July 26, 2021 (2:40 pm)

      Um, it’s far from a “slight” reduction in risk.  Delta is 60-times more contagious. Just wearing a mask is a “slight” inconvenience that any responsible citizen would be glad to “endure.”

      • Anna July 26, 2021 (9:14 pm)

        Just as an FYI, the delta variant isn’t estimated to be 60 times more transmissible. It’s estimated to be 60% more transmissible, which is quite less than 60 times.

        • Still masking July 26, 2021 (11:07 pm)

          They are also saying the delta variant is 1000x more virulent.

          ‘Delta’s greater virulence means that unvaccinated people who become infected will be sicker and the burden on the health care system will be greater. Evidence suggests, for example, that an unvaccinated person with Delta infection is roughly twice as likely to require hospital treatment than a person infected with the previously dominant variant.’

          Not sharing to cause anxiety for anyone or to invite argument, just sharing info that might be helpful to know.

    • DeeJay July 26, 2021 (4:58 pm)

      I totally agree.  Are we going to keep this up for eternity?  Its time for those at high risk to accept their fate, and/or do what they need to do to be safe – stay home, vaccinate, whatever it is, and those refusing to get vaxed to pay what is coming to them.  Us low risk, vaccinated should not have to adjust or lives for those less intelligent or in ill health, or paranoid.

    • AMD July 26, 2021 (7:59 pm)

      If seat belts don’t cause “fear, paranoia, and irrationality”, I don’t know why a mask would.  A safety device is a safety device.  Construction workers use PPE much stronger than face masks every day, and have for years.  They’re not suffering “fear, paranoia, and irrationality” due to common sense safety items.  Wearing a face mask is honest-to-god one of the EASIEST things that can be done to keep people safe.  I do NOT understand what kind of world people live in that see it as anything but an extra accessory to don before leaving the house.

      • Anna July 26, 2021 (9:26 pm)

        I am happy to wear a mask indoors, but I don’t think it has the same effect as a seat belt. Not seeing someone’s facial expressions does change things quite a bit. Of course, we all adjust, but I still look forward to a day when masking indoors is no longer needed or common practice. Isn’t it also good to expose yourself to (non-covid) germs from strangers? I was under the impression that your immune system is a bit like a muscle that needs to be challenged. It’s at least like this for kids—we want our children to get sick—but not sure if it’s the same for adults.

        • Still masking July 26, 2021 (11:17 pm)

          Understand not being able to see facial expressions can be really hard, moreso for some than others.

          I bet most could all agree we’d rather not have to wear masks anymore for a multitude of reason. Though some of us would still agree it’s worthwhile to keep masking in some settings for now.

          Regarding seatbelts vs covid vaccines, think if you look up and compare efficacy, you might actually be surprised to learn that some covid vaccines are more effective at preventing serious injury/illness and death from covid, than seatbelts are effective at preventing serious injury and death from car accidents.

          • Still masking July 26, 2021 (11:37 pm)

            Oops, kind of got my wires crossed there regarding masks and vaccines. It’s late, oh well :)

  • Al King July 26, 2021 (2:07 pm)

    AMEN Pesoa. The virus and mandates have exposed the fact that there are A LOT of people that were on the edge and have fallen over. I’ve been SHOCKED at how many people have mental health issues exposed because of the mandates. We’re in BIG trouble here. If you thought the pandemic was bad……………….

    • wsperson July 26, 2021 (2:36 pm)

      The mental health issues are being caused by the pandemic, not by the mandates created to protect us. Imagine the mental health issues if there were no mandates and the virus was just allowed to run rampant through the community…

      • Come on July 26, 2021 (4:33 pm)

        The virus DID  run rampant, hugely, throughout the globe.  It killed a half million people in this country alone.  Most of the country wore masks, for a year, nearly everywhere.  Nearly every single person in this city wore a mask relentlessly for over a year.  Our hospitals were packed and people died.  I know  I work in the icu.  People in this city wore two masks at once! Mandatory masks simply slowed down the inevitable.  Fauci has said that repeatedly.  He strongly suggested wearing masks but in certain situations and within reason.  Not in your own car or in the shower.   Everyone around here needs to stop with the selective hearing and listen to what he says.  A lot of what he has said has been ignored on both sides.  People who say masks should never be worn are wrong, as are those who think masks should be worn on a ski slope.This new coronavirus is here for good.  Let’s use common sense to help this permanent transition be as painless and least devastating as possible.  Do what helps and do NOT do what doesn’t.  Wearing a mask unnecessarily makes it hugely hard for those trying to teach people to wear it when it’s really important.  Do you see Biden always wearing a mask now?  Nope. Wearing a mask in the crowded indoors can help, on a kayak in the middle of the sound can not.  Use the masks responsibly, as Dr Fauci keeps saying.  A huge part of Seattle is not doing this.

      • Pessoa July 26, 2021 (7:20 pm)

        wsperson: In the end, a virus is just a virus. How we respond sets us
        apart from these bizarre self-replicating, strands of RNA, called viruses.  We are self-determiners of our mental health.  

  • Brian July 26, 2021 (2:25 pm)

    It’s a real big brained take to say “the mandates are making people break down” and not have the takeaway be “mental health services in this country are in the toilet”.  Instead it seems yall just want to give up. No thanks. 

    • Pessoa July 26, 2021 (5:59 pm)

      Our mental health system is  “in the toilet,” as you so pithily put it.  On this we can agree.  We might not, however, agree on the solution(s). 

  • Mj July 26, 2021 (5:35 pm)

    It’s very frustrating that adults who choose not to get vaccinated and get sick and go to the hospital are not being held financially accountable for the choice.  How is it equitable or fair to foist the cost on taxpayers and via higher insurance premiums?

    Those of us that have been vaccinated have done our part it’s time to put pressure on those that have not and not force mask mandates on vaccinated people.  

    • Brian July 26, 2021 (6:32 pm)

      I agree 100% and think we should start shaming children under 12 without cessation. /s

    • James July 27, 2021 (9:59 am)

      This is just going to be more confusing now. I have been very diligent about yelling at every masked person I see for not being vaccinated. But now if vaccinated and non-vaccinated people are masked, how do I tell the difference?

  • Mj July 26, 2021 (7:51 pm)

    Brian I specifically stated ADULTS in my comment! If all these adults had gotten vaccinated it is very unlikely case counts would be going up now.

  • Still masking July 26, 2021 (9:18 pm)

    Think one of the hardest things on our collective mental health, has been all the contentious disagreement, and disrespectful attitudes, towards different perspectives and experiences during this pandemic.

    Some of us are more impacted hearing of the great toll the virus has had on individuals and families, others seem more impacted by having to wear a mask, or their business being closed, or not being able to go out to eat with their friends, some have been directly impacted by covid, others have not… Etc.

    If I could wave a wand and change anything right now, it might be to have people listen to one another and share info, their perspectives, opinions, and concerns, without being insulting and offensive.

    Believe this shift could have positive impacts on people’s mental health, as we continue to weather this, and other social crises, of these current times, together, while also having our own individual experiences too.

    • Anna July 26, 2021 (11:02 pm)

      Totally agree still masking. I was trying to figure out how to say what you articulated so well. 

      • Still masking July 26, 2021 (11:26 pm)

        Nice, thanks Anna, good to hear this connected with others.

  • CAM July 26, 2021 (9:30 pm)

    Legitimate question, but how many of the experts in this comment section opining on the long term mental health impacts of seeing people wear masks have an advanced degree in anything approaching a mental health field??? Or, could you cite the expert who has those qualifications who has offered those opinions? There seem to be a whole lot of psychological experts in comment sections recently. 

Sorry, comment time is over.