COVID-19 infection rate holding steady in WA, report says

Loosening restrictions could create another peak, according to Institute for Disease Modeling.

Number of COVID-19 positive cases and deaths in King County as of April 29, 2020. Courtesy of Public Health - Seattle and King County.

Number of COVID-19 positive cases and deaths in King County as of April 29, 2020. Courtesy of Public Health - Seattle and King County.

A report on COVID-19 in King County shows that transmission has dropped significantly since the outbreak began due to social distancing measures.

Prepared by the Institute for Disease Modeling in Bellevue, the report shows that the number of people who can be infected by someone with a positive case of COVID-19 remained near one as of April 9, down from roughly three other people when the outbreak began. This is known as the reproductive number.

“Policy action to reduce transmission further may be required to bring the daily case count down before partial relaxation of social distancing policies can occur without substantial risks to the community and healthcare system,” the report states.

Social distancing policies, which were enacted in March, have prevented infections from multiplying exponentially and overwhelming hospitals, according to the report. The rate of new infections in King County has held steady at about 100 new cases daily. The number of people each person with COVID-19 can infect has similarly held at about one since March 22.

The course of the pandemic will depend on people’s behavior, social distancing and other containment policies, according to the report, which outlined three paths the outbreak could follow.

If social distancing is partially relaxed on May 1, the model anticipates a rapid rise in new cases that would likely exceed recent peaks by the end of the month. If new strategies are adopted to fight the outbreak, the reproductive number could drop to 0.5 and case rates would fall.

The report doesn’t recommend policies, but it does lay out options. These include increasing physical distancing recommendations along with scaling up testing and contract-tracing operations.

Gov. Jay Inslee has been allowing certain portions of the economy to reopen in recent days. On April 24, he announced construction projects could resume if supervisors could show they’re following new safety guidelines amid the outbreak. Crews working low-risk projects that were underway during March will be allowed to continue, and construction workers must follow social distancing.

Beginning May 5, the state’s parks and forests will begin to reopen and allow activities such as hiking, fishing, hunting and golfing. But the state is asking people to not engage in these activities with people they don’t live with. If there’s an increase in COVID-19 infections, the state could reinstate restrictions and closures.

See the latest King County reports on COVID-19 cases here.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@courierherald.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.courierherald.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in News

Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
Alvin Sweet is a resident of Martin Court in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood. Martin Court is a former motel which was transformed into a supportive housing complex two decades ago. New funding from King County’s Health through Housing ordinance could expand this type of program across the county.
King County wants to buy motels for emergency, affordable housing

The concept has proven results in addressing homelessness.

Two signs are found on the Enumclaw Youth Center window this week. The older, on the right, explains the center's March closure. The sheet on the left announces the center will now be open four hours per week. Photo by Kevin Hanson
Enumclaw Council unhappy with Youth Center, cuts funding

The Youth Center hasn’t been open to the public until recently due to the pandemic, although it received $70,000 from the city at the beginning of 2020 to offer services.

Image courtesy the Enumclaw Drama Club
EHS drama students offer remote version of “Frankenstein”

Sign up now to catch a performance on Oct. 29, 30, or 31.

Courtesy image
Local nursing homes offer webinar on senior depression

The webinar is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 29.

Courtesy image
Sunday weather allowed for continued search for Rainier hiker

It’s been two weeks since Sam Dubal was reported missing.

The Enumclaw pool won’t be filled for several months more, as extra repairs need to be done first.  Photo by Ray Miller-Still
Cold water thrown on pool’s grand-reopening

Plans to open the pool early November have been scrapped as more repairs appear necessary.

Courtesy photo
State demanded more drop boxes, and now it must pay for them

A King County judge says a law requiring more ballot boxes was an illegal unfunded mandate.

©1998  EyeWire, Inc.
Flu vaccine now available for uninsured adults at no cost | DOH

Uninsured Plateau residents can get their shot in Kent of Renton.

Vote pin for american election

Most Read