Washington tops 1,000 virus cases for first time since July

State health officials reported more than 1,000 COVID-19 new cases Friday, the first time the number has surpassed 1,000 since mid-July.

The Washington Department of Health reported 1,047 cases Friday, saying it’s more evidence that another surge has arrived.

These upward trends threaten the progress made toward containment and could impede other statewide progress in the future, state officials said in a news release.

State Health Officer Kathy Lofy said they are also concerned about the risk of overwhelming hospital systems when they see spikes like this. “Our hospitals do not have unlimited capacity,” she said.

The update, including seven additional deaths reported Friday, brings the state’s case totals to 106,573 and at least 2,366 deaths.

An outbreak in University of Washington sororities and fraternities has also continued with 16 COVID-19 cases reported this week. As of Thursday afternoon, at total of 321 positive student cases have been confirmed involving 19 of the 45 organizations, according to university spokesperson Victor Balta.

“Winter weather will challenge us to move gatherings indoors where COVID-19 spreads more easily, so we have to stay vigilant and find safer alternatives,” Lofy said.