Washington sets daily record in new cases of coronavirus

Washington set a daily record for new coronavirus cases, with 1,777 new confirmed cases announced Saturday, and the state Department of Health warned that COVID-19 cases are spreading in the Puget Sound region.

In a written statement, the health agency said that the high numbers the state has seen over the past week reflect an overall surge that started in mid-September. King, Snohomish and Pierce counties are currently the hot spots in the region, officials said.

“COVID-19 is currently spreading very quickly in Washington state,” said Secretary of Health John Wiesman. “We are very concerned that disease transmission will only grow over the next few weeks with the holidays coming up. The threat to overwhelming not just our hospital systems, but our ability to do contact tracing, is real. We need everyone in Washington state to take action now to stop the spread.”

The update brings the state’s totals to more than 116,000 confirmed cases and 2,439 deaths.

For most, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks, although long-term effects are unknown. But for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.