A total of 3,180 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Washington state in the past seven days, approaching the weekly totals seen at the height of the epidemic in the state almost three months ago.
Latest statewide total represents 14% increase from the previous week, according to GeekWire’s analysis Washington State Department of Health data. This is a 150% jump from the weekly state low of 1,252 confirmed cases of COVID-19, which occurred during the week ended May 23, there are just over a month.
Appearing on CBS ‘Face the Nation Sunday morning, Washington Governor Jay Inslee highlighted the importance of wearing masks and criticized President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for their recent comments on the crisis.
“When I heard the vice president talk about how things are just dory, it’s just exasperating,” said Inslee. “The situation is critical in many places in the United States, and all the happy talk and wishful thinking that the world is not going to take away.”
He added, “So we are taking very strict measures to hide people. We know this is the solution from a health perspective and the way to reopen our economy. “
Inslee has established a statewide order for mandatory face covers which started on Friday, and saturday has taken steps to slow the reopening of the economy in some countries.
Speaking on CBS, Inslee said that President Trump’s messages had not helped.
“Instead of tweeting the other day about the importance of masks, he tweeted about monuments. We need a president who will care more about living Americans and less about dead Confederates. It has a huge impact. And if we can force everyone to wear a MAGA hat, we will tame this virus. “
The increase coincides with greater availability of tests, with more than 10,000 tests being performed in the state on certain days. (Updated from original publication with test numbers. Thanks to Gregg Daugherty for reporting the omission.)
In the Seattle area, the numbers also continued to climb, with more than 600 cases reported in King County in the past week, an increase of 45% compared to the previous week.
The latest weekly total is more than twice that of King County two weeks ago, when the weekly number had bottomed out at 241 cases after a period of steady decline.
However, the latest weekly count of 607 cases still represents less than half of the more than 1,300 weekly cases reported in early April, the peak of the epidemic in the region.
The biggest difference in this latest wave: a relatively small number of hospitalizations and deaths, compared to previous peaks in the region and the state. Public health officials and researchers have indicated an increase in transmission among younger populations as one of the main reasons for the decline in death and hospitalization rates.
Washington State reported a total of 34 deaths from COVID-19 in the past week, down 32% from the previous week, and the state’s lowest total since mid-March . One death has been reported in King County, the lowest weekly total since public health officials began monitoring the disease in late February and early March.
Seattle and King’s County had a total of 11 new hospitalizations in the past week, a fraction of the number seen in late March. Washington State sees about 20 new hospitalizations a day, on average, compared to more than 80 a day during the previous peak of the epidemic.
A key statistical indicator of COVID-19 transmission remains above the threshold necessary to further stem the spread of the pandemic, according to the latest status report released on Friday afternoon, based on research from the Institute for Disease Modeling, Microsoft and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
Washington, COVID-19’s epicenter of origin in the country, is now one of 31 states where cases are again on the rise, according to the New York Times.