Washington state reduces virus death toll, cases linked to 300-person wedding up

The Washington State Department of Health has reported 2,550 new cases and reduced the number of COVID-19 deaths by 166.

The state removes deaths from the statewide total when the primary cause of death is determined not to have been COVID-19.

The Seattle Times reports the update brings the state’s totals to 192,413 cases and 2,850 deaths, meaning that 1.5% of people diagnosed in Washington have died, according to the state. The data is as of 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.

In Washington’s most populous King County, 755 new cases were reported, and the number of deaths was reduced by 50, to 894.

The DOH also reported 88 new hospitalizations as of Wednesday because of the virus and said 12,084 people have been hospitalized in the state since the pandemic began.

In Moses Lake, contact tracing has connected additional COVID-19 cases and possible deaths to a 300-person wedding near the Adams County-Grant County line in November, KXLY-TV reported.

The Grant County Health District said Thursday evening it has linked 47 cases in its county to wedding attendees. Of those cases, two people were staff members at Lake Ridge Center, a nursing home in Moses Lake. Since the wedding, 65 COVID-19 cases have been reported at Lake Ridge and 15 residents have died.

The agency also found potential links to health care workers including one person who worked at Samaritan Hospital and one nursing student. Contact tracing also revealed 11 Moses Lake School District staff members attended the wedding and tested positive for COVID-19, the county said.

Grant County found 14 additional cases in people with a family member who attended the wedding or had a social gathering with someone who went to the wedding. One of those cases involved a person employed by Moses Lake School District, the county said.

Seven cases in Adams County and five in the Tri-Cities area stemming from the wedding have also been reported.