Citing delta variant, Washington state urges indoor masks

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SEATTLE (AP) — Washington state’s top epidemiologist is recommending that everyone wear a mask or face covering in crowded indoor places because of the rise of the COVID-19 delta variant — even if they have been vaccinated.

Dr. Scott Lindquist said Friday the state is seeing a “fifth wave” of the new coronavirus that is sending more people to the hospital.

The state reported 2,572 new cases reported Wednesday – compared with 750 seven days earlier.

The Department of Health reports that about 350 people statewide are hospitalized with COVID-19, which is roughly half the figure for earlier waves of the pandemic.

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