Department of Health situation report shows increased virus activity
Significant increases seen in Eastern Washington, some milder spikes noted in Western Washington.
The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) released its latest statewide COVID-19 situation report. The report shows a significant increase in viral activity in Eastern Washington with concentrated spikes in Yakima, Spokane, Benton and Franklin counties. A rising positive test rate means that among tests administered, an increasing proportion of them return positive results. This indicates increased viral activity.
Another important indicator is the effective reproductive number, represented as Re. This is commonly referred to as the “R-naught” number. This is an estimation of the average number of others to whom an infected person will transmit the virus. Recent Re increases in both Western and Eastern Washington suggest increasing transmission statewide. In Western Washington, the latest best estimate is Re = 1.16. In Eastern Washington, the latest best estimate is Re = 1.48. The statewide goal is Re = 1.00.
The Safe Start reopening plan accelerates economic activity based on local public health conditions. These increases in viral activity are alarming warning signs and may delay expansion of permitted business activity in affected counties.