Valley Covid cases on the upswing concern that climb in overall cases means ‘fall surge’ is starting. Experts say we must act now to reverse trends

Data from the Washington State Department of Health show that case numbers in western Washington counties are climbing at an alarming rate, near or beyond previous peaks in some areas. Between October 6th and 20th, there were 31 new cases in local area zip codes.  As cases in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties continue to trend sharply upward, health officials warn we may now be entering the fall surge.

This is not a problem we’re facing on our own. Nationwide, numbers are concerning: last Friday, there were 70,000 cases in one day in the United States, matching the largest number set back when disease activity was high in July. These cases are climbing, not because of localized outbreaks but because of widespread disease transmission. A surge in cases right now could have dire consequences for our healthcare system, local plans to open schools, the state’s economic recovery, and beyond.

“When this happens, we place everyone, but particularly our elders, parents, grandparents and those with diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases at great risk. A surge in COVID-19 along with flu season puts us at enormous risk of overwhelming our hospital systems and undoing other important statewide progress toward containment,” says Secretary of Health John Wiesman. “However, all of us doing our part can turn this trend around.”

Photo by Mélissa Jeanty on Unsplash

There is so much happening right now that make our efforts challenging. People have been at this for months, online schooling is pulling the attention of people with children at home, and everyone is feeling some level of isolation fatigue. Now is the time to join your neighbors and commit to key behaviors that keep the virus from spreading, like:

  • Wearing a mask, even with people you see regularly and in your smallest social circles and anytime you are using shared transportation, including while in your own vehicle with other people.
  • Keeping gatherings small and hold them outside whenever possible.
  • Avoiding any social gatherings indoors, but if you must participate, wearing a mask and ensuring windows and doors are open to maximize ventilation.
  • Washing or sanitizing hands often and not touching your face.
  • Staying home if you’re sick or if you’ve been exposed to COVID-19.

“It’s time to flatten the curve again,” said Dr. Kathy Lofy, State Health Officer. “I’m optimistic we can get our kids in school, keep our businesses open, and control the spread of COVID-19 if everyone does their part.”

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Comments

  1. We are testing more than ever. The CDC decided to allow asymptomatic testing again so not surprisingly, our numbers are up. However, 166 cases in Snoqualmie and in North Bend – 1 death (Unincorporated KC) and 5 hospitalizations in 8 months? I can’t say these numbers concern me. Likely this spread earlier than the first death reported late February. We need to open our schools, this is madness. Schools have been shown not to spread the virus – many, many reports coming out about this. Parents, we need to stand up for our kids right to learn!

    • It isn’t either or nor a question of kids right to learn (lots of children were successfully home schooled for years before Covid)
      We can safely open schools but remember kids don’t go to school by themselves – it takes teachers, bus drivers, lunch staff, custodians etc and it is clear that the kids spread it to their friends (our neighbors daughter is on a Cascade soccer team that had six of the local cases) family and the people they are around who then spread it to the most vulnerable (elderly or those in LTC). Even in those who don’t have symptoms 60% show evidence of heart damage according to a study in JAMA.

      In the EU in countries that opened up schools have had to close them back down. The key is a multi-factored approach mask up and test and when we find a case isolate them and those they came in contact with ASAP.

    • Robert merikle says

      Sorry but the 200k+ deaths do concern me especially when compared to other parts of the world. Constantly seeing front line workers in tears because they can’t believe we are not taking this serious also concerns me. There have been many examples of schools and other activities that involve large amount of people clearly point to spread. It hurts me deeply that there so many concerned about themselves and not their fellow citizens.

  2. On a normal dat, not one of us has all the information needed to make an educated decision, about anything. If you think otherwise, I pray for you and your children. The press can write and publish whatever they want (without science or fact bases data). Anyone can publish a press release, which is then usually shared like gospel. I like Dr Kathy’s optimistic outlook however. I don’t recall seeing the science or data that we actually did flatten the original “curve”. When I say science, I mean data produced from systematic processes and real research. Not the articles anyone can publish in order to get back links/increase their google ranking. Believe none of what you hear amd only half of what you see. People die, no matter what happens we cannot out life, life itself. Wear a mask if you want. Social distance if you want. Otherwise, eat well, sleep 7-9 hours every day, exercise 30 minutes 3-5 times a week, smile, invest and don’t be afraid of your own demise. Nobody really cares about you but you. Truth is they never have and never will. Here’s the final progression. Stimulus checks get approved (before the election), then trump looks like a hero, he gets re-elected because money releases endorphins and makes people feel good, then COVID slowly fades as the president focuses on other things. Rule by fear. Good luck

  3. Don’t like wearing a mask? You can always go somewhere where the culture tends toward anti-masking, like Idaho. Of course, you might end up coming back to Washington pretty soon, as their hospitals fill up and Idaho sends their infected patients to Washington. https://www.seattletimes.com/life/with-1-in-4-patients-sick-with-covid-19-an-idaho-hospital-tries-to-weather-the-storm/?utm_source=marketingcloud&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Morning+Brief+10-22-2020_10_22_2020&utm_term=Active%20subscriber

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