Submitted by Washington State Department of Health
A new statewide report shows COVID-19 transmission is persisting in western Washington and slowly increasing in eastern Washington. The measure of how many new infections a single COVID-19 case will produce – known as the effective reproductive number – has not changed significantly in either region since the last statewide report, and continues to be higher than ideal.
“The new report is one more data point emphasizing how critical physical distancing and other disease control measures continue to be,” said Secretary of Health John Wiesman. “We’ve seen some success in our state because of the work each and every one of us is doing to stop the spread of the virus, and an exponential increase in cases is still a possibility. I’m asking everyone to keep up the good work to protect their families and communities.”
The Department of Health worked with Bellevue-based Institute for Disease Modeling and the Microsoft AI for Health program to develop the report, which updates the estimates in a previous statewide report with data collected through early May.
The report is one of many data sources the state is using to assess COVID-19 risk levels, https://coronavirus.wa.gov/what-you-need-know/covid-19-risk-assessment-dashboard. These data sources help inform the state’s Safe Start planning and guidance, https://coronavirus.wa.gov/what-you-need-know/safe-start. Read the report at https://covid.idmod.org/data/COVID-19_transmission_patterns_across_Washington_State.pdf.
For more information on COVID-19, visit the Department of Health’s website, https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/Coronavirus, or call 1-800-525-0127. You can also text the word “coronavirus” to 211-211 to receive information and updates.