Video: Press Briefing – Public Health Leaders Urge Public to Prepare for Rapid Surge in COVID-19 Cases

On Friday, December 17, Public Health – Seattle & King County hosted a media briefing with local public health experts, including: Jeff Duchin, Health Officer, Public Health – Seattle & King County; Trevor Bedford, computational biologist, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; Santiago Neme, Medical Director, UW Medical Center – Northwest; and, Alex Greninger, Assistant Director, UW Medicine Clinical Virology Laboratory.

The panel cautioned that the number of Omicron cases in King County is projected to spike to levels three times higher than the highest peaks we’ve seen in the pandemic and rise even further in January.

“If we do a very simple 10-day projection of this rate of growth, we should expect approximately 2,100 daily Omicron cases in King County on December 22, 2021. This is approximately 3.5 times the Delta peak in King County in August,”

Trevor Bedford, computational biologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

They recommended the public take steps now to reduce their risk (read more about the advice given during the briefing in our summary blog post).

“The biggest risk from this rapid spread of Omicron is for those who are unvaccinated. Vaccination and boosters will protect many people from severe illness, given our relatively high rates of vaccine coverage in King County. But with this fast surge, we could see a rapid increase in serious cases in unvaccinated people as well as an increase in less-severe breakthrough cases.”

Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer, Public Health – Seattle & King County

View the full briefing:

Originally published December 18, 2021