Overall Plateau, Potential Decline in Statewide COVID-19 Cases


Deborah Trisiero (R) visits her husband Douglas Smith in Kirkland, Washington, on August 24, 2020 at Kirkland’s Life Care Center. This is only the second time they have seen each other through the feature of COVID-19 in February. (Photo by Karen Dose / Getty Image)

According to data from the Washington State Reporting System, the Health Department’s latest status report has seen some good news. The number of new cases of 24 shows “an overall plateau and a possible slight decline”. COVID-19 statewide.

Death rates from COVID-19 have also remained mostly constant over the past three weeks in Washington, with an average of 10–15 deaths per day. If the state stays in its current pattern, the DOH reports that Washington will experience approximately 1,250–1,875 additional deaths by the end of 2020. When combined with the deaths that have already occurred, it could make COVID-19 the top five cause of death in the state this year.

Trends across the state are made up of a mix of patterns with some counties plateauing while others are decreasing, and some are still growing. The report says the shortage is encouraging.

In Whitman County, off-campus college students, with recent outbreaks in Valha Valca County at State Penitentiary, and in a hospital in Kitsap County, susceptibility to COVID-19 is high. The data of these known outbreaks will be reflected in future reports due to a lag. As observed with previous outbreaks, they are likely to lead to wider community dissemination.

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Limiting the size and frequency of transmission, wearing masks, and maintaining physical distance are important in limiting the spread of transmission.

As an effective reproduction number, which indicates how many people each infected person will infect, the rate in both eastern and western Washington has remained close to 1 since mid-July. Generally, breeding numbers below 1 or below indicate that the outbreak is under control. The steady state near 1 suggests that the prevalence of active infection has remained fairly constant, although it varies by county.

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