inslee

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Gov. Jay Inslee said Thursday that Washington state has entered its fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

Inslee pointed to data showing rising cases, hospitalizations and the spread of virus variants, including the more contagious variant first detected in Britain, which has become the state’s dominant variant, The Seattle Times reported.

“Unfortunately, we now are seeing the beginnings of a fourth surge in the state of Washington,” Inslee told reporters.

The increases come as state officials race to get more people vaccinated and as demand has lessened in some parts of the state. Inslee called the situation “simply too dangerous to persist,” and urged people to get vaccinated, wear masks and keep their distance.

Data showed marked increases in hospitalizations for children, as well as for people between the ages of 40 and 59 years of age.

Dan Getz of Spokane’s Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Holy Family Hospital called it a steady and worrisome increase, though still manageable.

MultiCare in Pierce County is also seeing a slow rise in hospital patients, said Dave Carlson, chief physician officer. Younger patients are being seen there too, said Carlson, especially people who have health conditions like obesity, diabetes and lung disease.