DOH: COVID-19 on a path to ‘runaway growth’ in Washington state

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DOH: COVID-19 on a path to ‘runaway growth’ in Washington state

The report found that the spread of COVID-19 continues to accelerate across most of Washington state as of the start of July.

SEATTLE — On Friday, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) released its latest statewide coronavirus situation report, which painted an alarming picture of trends in transmissions and hospitalizations, particularly in eastern Washington. 

The report found that the spread of COVID-19 continues to accelerate across most of Washington state as of the start of July. The estimated number of new people each COVID-19 patient will infect is still well above one in both eastern and western Washington, with the exception of Yakima County. Health guidelines say the goal for a reproductive number is below one, which would mean the number of people getting coronavirus is declining.

The level of daily new cases is higher than the state’s previous peak in March, the DOH said. 

When the virus first made its way through Washington, infection rates were the most common in those who were elderly with compromised immune systems. 

Now, both eastern and western Washington areas are seeing increasing rates among those in the 20-39-year-old age range.

The DOH report reiterates advice from public health officials in stopping the spread: practice social distancing, wear a mask while out and stay home if you can. 

“In these trends, we are seeing the impact of our collective decisions. We are jeopardizing the gains we made as a state with the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order and the actions each one of us takes now will determine what happens next,” said Secretary of Health John Wiesman. “If we want to send our kids to school in the fall and avoid new restrictions, we must all make a conscious shift in the way we live our lives. That means staying at home as much as possible, reducing how many people we see in person and continuing to wear face coverings and keep physical distance in public.”

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