COVID-19 Weekly Report for Oct. 12, 2020: As global numbers trend upward, local numbers follow

Each week we scour the internet to collect the latest information on the COVID battle from global to local levels.  Our aim is to provide you – our readers – with a one-stop-shop to gain a comprehensive overview of progress in fighting the pandemic at all levels.

This week’s global count shows a gain of almost 2.4 million new cases, up from 2.1 million last week (see our earlier reports for Oct. 5 and  Sept. 28 for comparison). Deaths worldwide continue their upward swing, with 39,939 added compared to 39,556 last week and 37,221 the week before. The United States continues to lead the world in sheer numbers of cases, surpassing 7.7 million, ahead of India, Brazil, and Russia in that order.

In our area, the Oct. 9 reports show an uptick of new cases in both Washington state and Snohomish County. Total cases this week for the state and county stand at 93,035 and 7,434 respectively, up from 89,874 and 7,154 a week ago (see overview maps below in the state and county sections).

The world and national situation:

Monday’s global overview map and chart from Johns Hopkins reports more than 37 million cases worldwide, with the death toll climbing toward 2 million.

The most recent tabular display of the top 10 nations worldwide from the World Health Organization shows similar numbers, the discrepancies due to the updates being taken in different time zones (WHO is based in Europe, and due to time differences the numbers are approximately 10 hours earlier than Johns Hopkins).

While the U.S. leads the world in overall case numbers, when the playing field is leveled to reflect cases per 1 million population, the U.S. moved up to 11th place, leapfrogging Brazil. See the complete interactive table where you can rank countries by any of the various metrics here.

Taken by region, the Americas daily case gain shot up dramatically this week, joining Europe and Asia as regions of increasing viral activity.

In COVID deaths per 100,000 population, the U.S. again finds itself in sixth place this week, increasing to 65.64 COVID deaths per 100K compared to 64.1 last week. (Mortality chart from Johns Hopkins University).

The Washington state situation:

The most recent (Oct. 9) state overview from the Washington Department of Health (DOH) shows confirmed cases at 93,035 with 2,190 deaths, up from 89,874 and 2,142 respectively last week. In addition, testing activity has increased with more than 126,000 new tests administered and tabulated, a gain of almost 30,000 since our last report.

The daily new case count in Washington state appears to be leveling off from the climb begun in mid-September. The most recent count shows 642 new cases on Oct. 9, still well below the July 18 high of 959 (see the interactive chart for Washington state on the Johns Hopkins website here).

 

This is not reflected in the Oct. 8 case rate of 84.6 (cases per 100K population, two-week rolling average) which shows an increase of 9.1 percentage points from the previous weeks figure of 75.5, putting the goal of 25 even further out of reach.

Trends in daily hospitalization and death counts continue with little change from last week. These typically lag behind counts of total caseloads and newly infected individuals, as these patients advance through the course of the disease (note that the hospitalization chart from DOH reflects Oct. 3 data, while the mortality chart from Johns Hopkins includes data through Oct. 2).

Despite more tests being administered in Washington State (see above), the positivity rate remains at 3.3 percent, unchanged from last week’s report but still short of the 2 percent DOH goal.

While the underlying numbers have shifted, there has been no change since last week among Washington counties regarding current reopening phases, with Chelan, Douglas, Yakima, Benton and Franklin counties still in modified Phase 1. In our area, Island County continues as the lone county in the northwest quadrant of the state to qualify for Phase 3 reopening. Note that the numbers to the left of the map also reflect this week’s uptick in the two-week rate per 100K of newly diagnosed cases, up to 84.6 from last week’s figure of 75.5.

State demographic patterns continue unchanged, with the Oct. 9 report following the familiar pattern of most infections among younger people, and most hospitalizations and deaths in older populations.  Note that more than half the COVID-related deaths occur among those age 80 and older.

 

The Snohomish County situation:

The county numbers overview as of Oct. 9 shows total confirmed cases at 7,434 (up from 7,154 last week) and 218 total deaths, six more than last week. Testing activity is up, with total tests now standing at 157,320, up more than 12,000 from last week’s report.

Unlike the state as a whole, where this week’s numbers show some leveling, the Snohomish County daily new case count continues to climb from the early September low point.

Trends in critical county measures over time (total cases, recovered cases, and active cases) are shown below (these numbers are through Oct. 9).

As of Oct. 3, the case rate (cases per 100K population, two-week rolling average) continues to climb, growing to 54.8, up 8.5 percentage points point from the previous week’s level of 46.4 and moving us further from the state goal of 25.

Deaths at the county level continue to show little change from last week, reflecting the statewide trends (compare these tables with the charts posted above).

 

The testing activity table and chart below reflect and compare overall counts with numbers of positive results through Oct. 3.  Note that the positivity rate in the county jumped up eight- tenths of a percentage point to 4 (4.1 on the line chart), moving us further from the state goal of 2.

The local situation in our home cities:

 Note: With the exception of death numbers, these data are taken from the most recent updates from the Snohomish County Health District Snapshots and Reports web page.  Verified death numbers lag by a week, and are taken from the  COVID-19 Weekly Update report from the Snohomish Health District. Because these are coming from two different sources, where necessary figures have been interpolated for clarity.

Critical metrics (total cases, recovered cases, deaths, and active cases) for our home cities are shown in the charts below.  Note that death and active case figures are not available for Mountlake Terrace for 6/6, 6/13 and 6/20.

 

The local numbers summary, data as of 10/2:

The data, tables and charts in today’s report come from the following sources:

— By Larry Vogel

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