New report shows COVID-19 cases hitting a plateau in some areas of Washington state

The Washington State Department of Health of Friday released the latest statewide situation report, which reflects an overall plateau and slight decline in COVID-19 cases in some areas.

Report findings include:

  • The reproductive number (how many new people each COVID-19 patient will infect) remained close to one as of mid-August. The best estimate of the reproductive number at that time was 0.86 in Western Washington and 0.91 in Eastern Washington. The goal is a number well below one, which would mean COVID-19 transmission is declining.
  • There is a mix of disease activity across the state. Some counties (including Clark and King) are seeing plateaus, while others experience decreases (including Benton, Franklin, Pierce and Yakima) or increases (including Grant, Lewis and Walla Walla). The report includes a comparison of case, hospitalization and mortality data in these three counties to illustrate how much trends are varying in different areas.
  • Outbreaks continue to occur across the state. COVID-19 remains active in many communities. Outbreaks in Walla Walla County (at the Washington State Penitentiary), Whitman County (among off-campus college students), and Kitsap County (at a hospital) highlight our continued susceptibility.

“While we see some positive trends in our data, we must continue to think differently about the ways we interact with one another,” said Secretary of Health John Wiesman. “It remains critical that we limit the size and frequency of our social gatherings, wear face coverings and stay home when we are sick. A continued plateau of cases is not enough to safely open schools.”

The Department of Health 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 department website and in the state’s risk assessment dashboard.

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