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Plateau in Washington COVID-19 spread, according to new state report

“While this is encouraging news and a sign of our collective efforts, we must not let our guard down,” said Secretary of Health John Wiesman.

Editor's note: the video attached originally ran on June 22.

The spread of coronavirus has started to flatten, according to state health officials, who are attributing the plateau to mask use.

Case counts are plateauing or declining across age groups in King and Yakima counties, according to a new report. Pierce County cases also might be on the decline, according to the state.

However, that doesn't mean that people can let their guards down, according to state Secretary of Health John Wiesman.

“Plateauing is not enough to keep this pandemic under control; we must transition to a state of sustained decline in new cases. It remains critical that we continue to stay home when possible, keep interactions with others brief and wear face coverings,” he said in a prepared statement. 

The state estimates that the number of new people each COVID-19 patient will infect, also called the reproductive number, in western Washington was likely between 0.79 and 1.15 on July 26 and between 0.82 and 1.13 in eastern Washington on July 25.

However, the goal is a reproductive number well below one, which would put COVID-19 on the decline in Washington state.

The apparent plateau comes after a sharp rise in cases in the first two weeks of July, when the level of daily new cases was higher than the state’s previous peak in March, the DOH said. 

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