COVID-19 case rates across the Snoqualmie Valley decreased in some areas over the last two weeks, according to county data, but rates in Snoqualmie, North Bend and Fall City all remain high compared to previous months.
Between Aug. 25 and Sept 9, the King County Health Department found that case rates dropped in both Snoqualmie and North Bend when compared to the previous two-weeks, between Aug. 10 and 24.
North Bend had 62 cases in the last two weeks, which was one less case than the previous period. The city’s case rate of 401 cases per 100,000 residents, is about 200 lower than the county average.
Snoqualmie dropped from 54 cases in the previous period to 36. Snoqualmie also dropped its case rate from 346 to 230. Fall City had 16 cases in both periods, with a rate of 284.
Despite case rates remaining relatively high, the valley continues to see little to no hospitalization or deaths. Over the last two weeks, the county health department reported two hospitalizations — one in Fall City and one in North Bend — and a single death in Snoqualmie.
In the last 14 days, as of Sept. 9, King County had 6,173 cases, 289 hospitalizations and 33 deaths. In the last 30 days, the county health department is reporting that unvaccinated individuals are seven times more likely to test positive, 50 times more likely to be hospitalized and 30 times more likely to die than those who are vaccinated.
Vaccination rates continue to vary widely among the three Valley cities. As of Sept. 8, Snoqualmie had the highest vaccination rate at 82.6%, followed by North Bend at 75.5% and Fall City at 69.1%. The King County average rate was 78.2%
Vaccination rates continue to remain low among teenagers in North Bend and Fall City, where rates for those between 12 and 19 are below 54% in both cities. In Snoqualmie, 95% of those between 12 and 19 are vaccinated.
Starting Oct. 18, all Snoqualmie city employees will be required to get the vaccine as a condition of employment. North Bend previously said they do not have plans for a mandate for city employees, but were monitoring the situation. Those working at schools in the Snoqualmie Valley will also be required to get vaccinated as part of a state mandate.
Statewide 34.3% of ICU beds are being used to treat COVID patients. In a press release, the state Department of Health said the surge in infections has stressed the state’s hospital system. To slow the spread of COVID-19, the state reintroduced an outdoor mask mandate, Sept. 9, at events with more than 500 people.
As of Aug. 26, Washington has reported 6,465 excess deaths from COVID-19, according to The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. The IHME is projecting that the state will experience an additional 2,399 excess deaths from COVID-19 by Dec. 1. If universal masking is adopted, the number could be limited to 1,264 excess deaths.