WENATCHEE — Twenty-four COVID-19 patients are hospitalized at Central Washington Hospital as of Tuesday, the highest count since early January and more than double the number since the start of July.

Four of the 24 patients are in the intensive care unit, three more than the ICU had about a week ago, according to data from Confluence Health.

This rise in hospitalizations arrives as cases increase in the region and across the state. Chelan County’s COVID rate reached triple-digits with 102.9 per 100,000 new cases in the last 14 days as of July 21.

Douglas County is at 180.6 per 100,000 news cases as of July 21, according to Chelan-Douglas Health District data.

COVID-19 case rates remain below 100 per 100,000 in both Grant and Okanogan Counties as of July 21.

Rising cases across the state coupled with concerns about the highly infectious Delta variant led King County health officials to recommend everyone in the county mask up indoors, regardless of vaccination status.

The state Department of Health and Gov. Jay Inslee’s office have not changed masking guidelines but are currently considering it, according to Dr. Scott Lindquist, the state epidemiologist. Under the current guidelines, masks are not required in most cases for fully vaccinated people, but are required indoors for those who are not fully vaccinated.

The Chelan-Douglas Health District could not be reached for comment on whether the county is considering changing mask requirements.

One case of the Delta variant originating from Chelan County was identified as of July 21, according to the state Department of Health. Another five Delta cases were identified in Grant County and two in Okanogan County.

Not every positive COVID test, however, is sent to the state Department of Health to be studied for mutations. About 18% of all COVID-19 cases in the state were sequenced in June, according to the latest state variant report.

Oscar Rodriguez: (509) 665-1179

rodriguez@wenatcheeworld.com