The number of COVID-19 cases in most counties across the state appears to be increasing.
According to a recent report from the Washington State Department of Health, coronavirus transmission is increasing in western Washington and recently plateauing in eastern Washington.
The reproductive number, or estimated number of new people that each coronavirus patient will infect, was 1.12 in western Washington and 0.94 in eastern Washington as of September 27. The goal is a number well below one, which would mean COVID-19 transmission is declining.
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“The situation in eastern Washington is unstable and efforts to control the spread of the virus must be strictly maintained or intensified to avoid a backslide,” stated the report.
Per person, the rate of coronavirus cases in eastern Washington is twice as high as in western Washington, while the daily hospitalization rate remains more than twice as high.
Western Washington is not out of the clear, however, as rates are also increasing across all age groups in the western part of the state, suggesting that increases are due to broad community spread.
Several larger counties such as Clark, King, Kitsap, Pierce, Snohomish, and Thurston are seeing steady increases, while smaller counties such as Lewis, Mason, Pend Oreille, and Skagit are experiencing increases while the total number of recent cases remains low. Benton and Franklin counties are seeing gradual but steady increases as well.