COVID-19 isn’t going away anytime soon, so we need to learn to make protecting each other’s health part of our daily lives, King County’s top public health official said Friday.

“It’s just critical that, as a community, we understand the long-term nature of COVID-19,” Dr. Jeff Duchin, health officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County, said during a news conference. “None of us asked for this, none of us wanted this. But it’s with us and we have to deal with it. And if we don’t deal with it, it will deal with us.”

As of Friday, 11,577 people in King County had been diagnosed, Duchin said.

King County saw an average of 118 new cases per day during the week ending July 9, according to the county’s COVID-19 dashboard. That’s nearly triple the daily average for the week ending June 9 (40.3 per day).

Most King County residents contracting the coronavirus recently are young, Duchin noted. People younger than 40 account for almost three-quarters of cases during the past two weeks, with more than one-third of new cases during that time span occurring in people in their 20s.

But those young people are likely to spread it to older and more vulnerable populations unless they limit unnecessary interactions, stay a safe distance away from others and wear masks, Duchin said.

“Regardless of our age or personal health status, we are highly interdependent and interconnected,” Duchin said. “Our success moving forward as a community depends on the ability of every sector of our society to decrease COVID-19 transmission. We all have to pull our weight.”

You can watch Duchin’s full remarks from Friday here.