COVID-19 July 24 update: Washington State and Snohomish County

Updated July 25 with local case numbers.

The State of Washington reported 766 new COVID-19 cases and 14 more deaths over the July 21-22 period, pushing the total since the pandemic began to a sobering new record of 50,009 cases and 1,482 deaths as of July 22 at 11:59 p.m., according to the following summary table from the State Department of Health’s COVID Dashboard.

This continues the trend of the past several weeks of ever-steepening increases in the daily case count, as graphically laid out in the chart below from Johns Hopkins University. (Note that these numbers include the July 24, 3 a.m. EDT update, and will differ slightly from those in the above table.)

With these numbers stoking fears that we may be in the early stages of the same pattern that brought Florida to the top of the US hotspot list, Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday announced a tightening of restrictions in an effort to slow the spread in Washington.

This situation in Snohomish County is not as dire, with no new records being set, but the trends are nonetheless disturbing as the following numbers overview and cumulative case count chart illustrate.

A critical factor in tracking and ultimately controlling spread of the disease is effective contact tracing. These efforts have been increasing at the county level, with the most recent data showing that more than 90 percent of those identified as having come in contact with a source of infection, have been interviewed to ascertain others to whom they may have passed the virus.

Data from these contact tracing efforts continue to indicate that the majority of infections come from close contact and community contact, underscoring the importance of following masking and social distancing guidelines as the best front-line defense against contracting the virus.

The following chart from the Snohomish Health District provides a breakdown of the status of these cases over the full reporting period, illustrating that the vast majority of infections end with recovery.

The recent increase in cases continues to move the county ever further from the Phase 2 reopening threshold level of fewer than 25 new cases per 100,000 population over a two-week period, a goal the county met for a fleeting period in early June when Snohomish County received approval to move to Phase 2 reopening.

Statewide hospitalization counts are likewise creeping up since the mid-May low point, as more of the newly infected find they require hospital care, but have yet to reach the critical level of some states whose hospitals are literally running out of beds.

Again, Snohomish County reflects the statewide pattern, but to a lesser degree.

Deaths continue to remain relatively stable at both the state and county level, as the following two charts illustrate.

Testing activity is ramping up at both the state and county levels, as the following two charts show. Note that positive results in the county continue to run a full percentage point higher than the state.

The following table from the Snohomish Health District provides a breakdown of total test, positive and negative results, and percentages by week.

The Snohomish Health District was able to successfully create more capacity at its drive-thru testing site this week, seeing 250-300 people daily. The health district will continue drive-thru testing at McCollum Park, located at 600 128th St. S.E. in Everett.

For the week of July 27, the schedule is as follows:

  • Monday, July 27 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, July 28 from noon to 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, July 29 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Thursday, July 30 from noon to 7 p.m.
  • Friday, July 31 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information about eligibility is available here. You may schedule your drive-through test here.

While the most recent demographic data show actual percentages shifting slightly, the patterns of the previous weeks still hold, with high numbers of younger age groups contracting the virus, accompanied by deaths and hospitalizations skewed toward older demographics.

The local numbers as of July 18, 2020:

These data are taken from the COVID-19 Weekly Update report from the Snohomish Health District, which summarizes verified data as of the end of the previous week.

Some more recent, but as yet unverified, current data are available on the Health District’s COVID Case Count page here.

The data, tables and charts in this report are taken from the following:

—  By Larry Vogel

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *