Seattle-area hospitals see hopeful signs in virus fight

SEATTLE (AP) — Health officials say the Seattle area is seeing a downward trend in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, bringing some relief to exhausted doctors and nurses who hope they are turning a corner as vaccination efforts proceed. Earlier this week, there was only one patient in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at UW Medical Center-Montlake. The unit had cared for as many as eight patients at a time during the heights of the pandemic. However, some experts believe the current lull could be upended as more variants of the virus spread throughout the U.S. State health officials have confirmed the presence of the so-called UK variant just north of Seattle.