Hot Weather Tips & Today’s COVID-19 Report | Fri Jul 24

Yesterday, Public Health put together COVID-specific tips for hot weather, offering guidelines for how to navigate the extreme heat without as much access to public air conditioned indoor spaces.  Also, Dr Duchin from Public Health held an online talk about our current numbers and strategies for fighting the disease locally.  

With safety measures in place for COVID, we won’t be able to head to the air-conditioned comfort of movie theaters, malls, or even libraries. Pools, splash parks, and many beaches are closed.

Many of the same people who are higher risk for COVID-19 are also at higher risk for serious health impacts related to heat, such as heart problems, stroke, and kidney failure, as well as heat stroke.  Public Health advises to be wary of the temperature, stopping if overheated to remove your face and breathe.  They also advise drinking lots of water, limiting physical activity to the cooler morning and evening hours, and of course maintaining six feet of social distancing during any outdoor recreation.

These and other hot weather guidelines are available in the full article on Public Health Insider.  Also there, you can find a video update from Public Health’s Dr Duchin:

“We need to fundamentally rethink the way we go about our lives, the way our environments are structured, to reset our expectations about when we might get back to our pre-COVID lifestyles. It’s not going to happen in the near future and we need to come to terms with that. We need to think through how we as individuals, as families, businesses and as community members can interact as safely as possible and respect one another by taking the prevention measures very seriously. The alternative will ultimately be increasing numbers of serious illnesses for some of our most vulnerable community members and bad outcomes that will inevitably occur even among healthy younger people.”

DR. JEFF DUCHIN

 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 14,255 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in King County as of 11:59 on July 24, 208 more than the previous day.  There have been 640 confirmed deaths in King County due to COVID-19, 4.5% of all confirmed cases.

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

The first graph below shows new cases (blue bars) and the 7-day average (red line).  Of the 208 new cases reported today, 121 were confirmed yesterday and the remaining 87 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 162 new cases per day, up from 159 a week ago.  The 7-day average has increased 2% in the last week and 29% 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.  100.8 cases were reported per 100K residents during the 14-day period July 11 – 24.

How long will it take this metric to fall back close to the target level? The total number of cases reported in the previous 14 days per 100K residents was 102.7 on April 11.  From that point it took 47 days to fall below 30, reaching 28.6 on May 28.  If it takes another 47 days for this metric to decline from just above 100 to just below 30, we can expect the metric to be lower than 30 on roughly September 9.

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

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