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New Health Department Report Indicates COVID-19 Transmission is Accelerating Across Washington State

wa state dept of health, wa state deptartment of health, washington state department of health, wa state dept of health press release,The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) released the latest statewide situation report, Friday, which highlights alarming trends in COVID-19 transmission and hospitalization data.

Report findings include:

  • The spread of COVID-19 continues to accelerate across most of Washington state as of the start of July. The reproductive number (the estimated number of new people each COVID-19 patient will infect) is still well above one in both eastern and western Washington, with the exception of Yakima County. The goal is a reproductive number below one, which would mean the number of people getting COVID-19 is declining.
  • In Yakima County, the encouraging signs highlighted in previous reports appear to be plateauing. The reproductive number in Yakima County is estimated to be close to one. However, the test positive rate (the proportion of people who test positive) remains high. To maintain this progress, the county must continue to strictly follow mask and distancing policies.
  • Changing our behavior makes a difference. The report contrasts the sharp turnaround in Yakima County—where recent efforts to control the virus resulted in increased use of face masks and distancing—with the exponential and accelerating growth of cases in Spokane County.
  • The level of daily new cases is higher than the state’s previous peak in March.
  • Recent growth in cases among 20-29 year olds is spreading into all age groups. This includes low but increasing rates among children and teens. It reflects the age breakdown among new infections in Florida just one month ago, which have since spread broadly into younger and older age groups.
  • Hospitalization rates are rising throughout the state. In eastern Washington, hospitalizations continue to increase across all age groups. In western Washington, these rates are just starting to increase, led by hospitalizations among 20-39 year olds. As case counts once again grow among older and more vulnerable people, hospitalizations are likely to continue trending up.

“In these trends, we are seeing the impact of our collective decisions. We are jeopardizing the gains we made as a state with the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order and the actions each one of us takes now will determine what happens next,” said Secretary of Health John Wiesman. “If we want to send our kids to school in the fall and avoid new restrictions, we must all make a conscious shift in the way we live our lives. That means staying at home as much as possible, reducing how many people we see in person and continuing to wear face coverings and keep physical distance in public.”

DOH partners with the Institute for Disease Modeling, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Washington, and the Microsoft AI for Health program to develop this weekly report. More COVID-19 data can be found on the DOH website and in the state’s risk assessment dashboard.

The DOH website is your source for a healthy dose of informationFind us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Sign up for the DOH blog, Public Health Connection.

The above is a press release from the Washington State Department of Health.  The Auburn Examiner has not independently verified its contents and encourages our readers to personally verify any information they find may be overly biased or questionable. The publication of this press release does not indicate an endorsement of its contents. 

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One Comment

  1. Robert Blevins Robert Blevins July 18, 2020

    The lines will be long when (and IF) they finally make a proven vaccine available for Covid-19. I can tell readers of the Examiner that I see many people in Auburn without masks. Especially those under 30 years of age. Forget that stuff you may have read about ‘herd immunity’. There is no such thing for Covid-19, any more than there is for the typical yearly flu. If there WAS such a thing, 19 million people would not, on average, get the flu each year in the United States. And remember…a lot of folks get the flu shot each year. Still, there are millions of cases each season, but the death rate from your average flu is about one in a thousand cases, mostly seniors, or those with pre-existing breathing or heart conditions. Covid-19 can kill anybody at any age, and even if you don’t die, you can suffer permanent organ damage, especially to your lungs, which will shorten your life in the long term. And the death rate from Covid reaches across ALL ages, with a death rate of about one in twenty people.

    Being stuck on a ventilator, gasping for your next breath, and wondering whether you will live or die in the next two weeks is nothing you want to experience. I have seen videos at YouTube taken by hospital workers and nurses, on request from some Covid patients. These patients gasp for air, while begging YOU to wear a mask so that you don’t get what THEY got. It’s sobering. Wear a mask. Think of your family, your friends, your neighbors, your fellow citizens…and as Spike Lee once said, Do The Right Thing.

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