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Staying home and limiting contact with others is helping, but must continue in order to limit the peak of COVID-19, and Public Health—Seattle & King County announces 171 new cases

Summary

Staying home and limiting contact with others is helping slow the spread of COVID-19, and those limits must continue in order to reduce the impact of the outbreak. Public Health—Seattle & King County announced 171 new cases of COVID-19 today, bringing the official case count in King County to 2,330. In addition, nine new deaths are reported, bringing the total of deaths in King County to 150.

Story

Staying home and limiting contact with others is helping, according to new report

A collective commitment to stay home and limit person-to-person contact appears to be making a difference in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in King County, but those measures need to continue, according to two new reports by the Bellevue-based Institute for Disease Modeling (IDM), which were released in partnership with Public Health—Seattle & King County.

Continuing the limits on contacts is essential in order to both decrease and delay the peak of the outbreak.

Daily life has been turned upside down, and I know people are anxious, seeing days pass without a paycheck, not knowing when kids will get back to school. The bit of good news in today’s IDM report should strengthen our resolve to do everything we can to keep people safe, and to get through this crisis together,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine.

Two reports from IDM analyze the overall “mobility” of people in King County, before and after a series of physical distancing policies were announced – and use a model to show the impact on virus transmission. These polices began at the county level and culminated in the statewide “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. Using anonymized mobility data, results from one report showed reductions in mobility beginning in early March. Then, in a second report, IDM researchers looked to see if these reductions in mobility could be related to reductions in COVID-19 transmission. They found that a measure of transmission, called the effective reproductive number, dropped by about half between late February and March 18th.

We are seeing a positive effect from the social distancing and other measures we’ve put in place, although significant numbers of cases and deaths continue to occur,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health—Seattle & King County. “No one should take these findings as an indication to relax our social distancing strategy. The threat of a rebound that could overwhelm the healthcare system remains and will remain for the foreseeable future if we let up too soon.”

More information is available on the Public Health Insider blog.

For additional information about COVID-19 and the response in King County, be sure to check our webpage: www.kingcounty.gov/covid

Case updates

Public Health is reporting the following confirmed cases and deaths due to COVID-19 through 11:59 p.m. on 3/29/20.

  • 2330 confirmed positive cases (up 171 from yesterday)
  • 150 confirmed deaths (up 9 from yesterday)

Important Note: With the launch of a data dashboard (www.kingcounty.gov/covid/data), Public Health will no longer be listing individual deaths by age and gender in our News Release. Detailed information about demographics of those who died from COVID-19 is available on the dashboard. Be sure to click the button to filter by “positive results only” to see age and gender of deaths.

Isolation and quarantine facilities update

Isolation and quarantine is a proven public health practice for reducing the spread of disease. Examples of people who may need this assistance include people who cannot safely isolate from a family member who is elderly or medically fragile, or people experiencing homelessness. Individuals can only be placed into the King County sites after a health professional with Public Health—Seattle & King County has determined that they need isolation or quarantine.

Fifteen people are currently staying in King County isolation and quarantine facilities. A third site, located in Issaquah, opened over the weekend.

The number of people at King County's isolation and quarantine sites will be included in regular updates provided by Public Health. No other identifying or personal information will be provided.