We’re ‘on the cusp’ in coronavirus outbreak

Downtown Seattle
A plaza in front of one of Amazon’s newest towers in downtown Seattle is empty, due to restrictions on mobility that have been put in place to counter the COVID-19 epidemic. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

An updated analysis of COVID-19 case data and Facebook mobility data suggests that Seattle and King County are “on the cusp” between wider spread of the epidemic and a gradual fade-out of new cases.

Researchers from the Bellevue, Wash.-based Institute for Disease Modeling said the decline in the rate of growth in new cases is a testament to the efficacy of Washington state’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” restrictions. But they also said it’s still too early to relax those restrictions.

“If distancing measures are relaxed without other mitigation strategies in place, we can expect a quick rebound in the case count and the burden on the hospitals, and the deaths,” Mike Famulare, principal research scientist at the institute, said today during a teleconference with journalists.

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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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