State Health Department says new report indicates COVID-19 cases are plateauing

The latest statewide situation report issued by the Washington State Department of Health reflects the flattening of new case counts in most counties in western and eastern Washington.

Report findings include:

  • The reproductive number is hovering around one. The best estimate of the reproductive number (the estimated number of new people each COVID-19 patient will infect) in Western Washington was likely between 0.79 and 1.15 on July 26, with a best estimate of 0.97. In Eastern Washington, the best estimate on July 25 was likely between 0.82 and 1.13, with a best estimate of 0.98. The goal is a reproductive number well below one, which would mean the number of people getting COVID-19 is declining.
  • The department said the report reflects the impacts of people using face coverings across the state. This report suggests that reductions in the reproductive number are attributable to statewide policy changes like the June 23 and July 7 mask mandates and pausing county movement with the Safe Start plan.
  • Case counts are plateauing or declining across age groups in King and Yakima counties. Pierce County case counts may be starting to decline after alarmingly high growth in June and July. Spokane County cases started to decline in 0-39 year olds, but are on the rise again due to a sharp uptick in the 40-69 and 70+ age groups.

“While this is encouraging news and a sign of our collective efforts, we must not let our guard down,” said Secretary of Health John Wiesman. “Plateauing is not enough to keep this pandemic under control; we must transition to a state of sustained decline in new cases. It remains critical that we continue to stay home when possible, keep interactions with others brief and wear face coverings.”

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