King County says social distancing slows outbreak

South Lake Union
Amazon’s banana stand in Seattle’s South Lake Union district was an early victim of social distancing policies enacted to counter the coronavirus outbreak. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

Citing fresh statistics, public health officials today confirmed that social distancing measures “appear to be making a difference in slowing the spread of COVID-19” in Seattle and King County.

But in a blog post, they said it’s way too early to put up the “Mission Accomplished” sign. Social distancing measures will likely be required for weeks longer.

The good news and the continuing caveat are based on two new reports from the Bellevue, Wash.-based Institute for Disease Modeling. In one study, the institute worked with state and county public health officials as well as Facebook to analyze anonymized mobility data. Facebook’s data came from its Disease Prevention Maps.

That analysis showed reductions in mobility beginning in early March — an observation that parallels other findings gleaned from navigation and mapping data.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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