More than 400 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Seattle and King County in the past week, up nearly 70% from the week before, according to GeekWire’s calculations from data reported by Public Health – Seattle & King County.
It’s the first time since early April that the weekly case count has risen in King County compared with the prior week, the numbers show. The region had been experiencing steady week-over-week declines in COVID-19 cases.
However, the number remains well below the peak of more than 1,300 weekly cases in King County at the peak of the health crisis in early April. The jump also coincides with an overall increase in testing capacity. The number of reported COVID-19 deaths in the county fell to a new low of four for the week.
The increase in reported cases comes as King County enters what’s known as Phase 2 of Washington state’s plan for returning from widespread COVID-19 shutdowns, allowing for small gatherings and letting retailers reopen at reduced capacity.
Statewide, the number of reported COVID-19 cases rose 38% in the past week to 2,775. There were 40 deaths in the state for the week, down from 56 the week before. Gov. Jay Inslee issued an order for mandatory masks for residents of Yakima County in public due to a spike in COVID-19 cases there.
A report last week showed overall transmission rates of COVID-19 rising back above a key threshold in the western part of the state, based on research by the Institute for Disease Modeling, Microsoft and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The report cited likely transmission by people during Memorial Day activities, and said protests did not appear to be a significant factor.
Washington state, which was the first known epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the US, is now 23rd among states in total number of COVID-19 cases. The state’s 28,680 cases represent about 1.25% of the country’s 2.29 million cases, and its 1,270 deaths are about 1% of the national total of nearly 120,000 deaths.
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— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) June 20, 2020