Economic Impacts & Today’s Public Health Report | Tue July 28

Photo by Ben Garratt on Unsplash |

COVID’s many troubling economic impacts are only now just starting to come into focus, just as many eviction moratoriums come to a close and Congress considers reducing and/or ending the $600 monthly unemployment bonus. 

Yesterday’s post in the Public Health Insider laid out the local unemployment numbers in stark terms with almost 436,000 new unemployment claims, putting the county unemployment rate just over 14% (up 2.7% just this year.)  That’s the largest leap in unemployment in modern times. 

Whether in lost jobs, lost revenues or lost opportunities, the numbers show devastation across the economy and especially among Latinx, Black and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander communities.  With a pre-pandemic wage gap of as much as 39%, the income loss in communities of color is devastating.  And those inequities are even further compounded by gender.

Within the creative sector, the losses and inequity are even worse, though the lack of current, coherent and consistent data on the sector makes it hard to estimate by what degree.  With the near total closure of venues, events, cultural attractions, film productions and related economic activities, artists and creative workers have taken a massive toll.

To better understand the needs of the sector, the new creative industry organization Whipsmart is conducting a survey on the sector’s experience of and need for social safety net services.  All creative workers should take 20 minutes to complete the survey. The deadline to fill it out is Wednesday, August 5.

Otherwise, the rest of this post is our regular synthesis of the Public Health data, provided by Will Daugherty of Pacific Science Center.  Thanks Will!  

Public Health has updated the data dashboard.  The daily summary shows that there were 14,619 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in King County as of 11:59 on July 26, 186 more than the previous day.  There have been 643 confirmed deaths in King County due to COVID-19, 4.4% of all confirmed cases.

The first graph below shows new cases (blue bars) and the 7-day average (red line).  Of the 186 new cases reported today, 123 were confirmed yesterday and the remaining 63 were confirmed in previous days.  The 7-day average of new cases per day peaked at 195 on April 1.  The average for the last 7 days is now 166 new cases per day, up from 164 a week ago.  The 7-day average has increased 1% in the last week and 28% in the last two weeks.

The key indicators that the State and County are using to make decisions about reopening include a measure of the total number of cases reported in the previous 14 days per 100K residents.  The target for this metric is less than 25.  The second and third graphs below show this metric.  The second graph goes back to March 12, the first day on which the metric could be reported.  The third graph provides a more detailed view of results in the last several weeks.  103.8 cases were reported per 100K residents during the 14-day period July 13 – 26.

The total number of cases reported in the previous 14 days per 100K residents was 102.7 on April 11.  It took 47 days for that metric to fall below 30, reaching 28.6 on May 28.  If it takes another 47 days for the metric to decline from 103.8 to 30, it will reach 30 on September 11.

As of July 21, five of the eight key indicators are not meeting the targets established by the Washington State Department of Health.  The key indicators not meeting targets are:

  • Total number of cases for the last 14 days per 100,000 residents.
  • Effective reproductive (Re) number calculated by the Institute for Disease Modeling and Microsoft AI for Health team.
  • Rate of death per 100,000 residents in past 14 days compared to the prior 14 days.
  • Number of people tested for each positive result over the last 7 days.
  • Number of days (median) between illness onset and test date over the last 7 days.

The numbers that Public Health reports each day include delayed results from previous days.

Will Daugherty welcomes your questions and comments.  His email is wdaugherty@pacsci.org

COVID-19 Handbook for Creative Industries

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