DAVE ROSS

UW Expert: We’ve passed the peak locally, but opening isn’t on/off switch

Apr 15, 2020, 3:26 PM | Updated: 6:55 pm
UW Medicine, covid treatment...
Workers at UW Medicine's drive-through testing facility. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Assessing where Washington state is in the long-term fight against coronavirus is difficult. We checked in with the head of University of Washington’s Virology lab Dr. Keith Jerome. How would he assess Washington state’s progress on the virus?

“Well, I think Washington state’s done incredibly well and really should stand as a model for the rest of the country. We’re clearly past the peak, at least of this part of our local outbreak. We’re seeing the frequency of infection scaling down and we’re also seeing the positivity rate in our own testing in our lab going down,” he said.

As Dave noted, it feels like a hollow victory because the way we succeeded was by hiding. But that doesn’t give us any immunity. And now we have people talking about trying to get back to some semblance of normal within a month, and some predictions indicating that the moment we do that the infection rate will go back up.

“Well, I think what people need to understand is that opening up isn’t an on/off switch. It’s not like turning the lights on in your bedroom. This is going to be have to be a very careful or slow process and we really need to think about what are the most critical things that we need to get going now,” he said.

CWU professor teaches a global audience during pandemic

“Then we need to be really thoughtful about how we can do that as safely as possible so that we really minimize the transmission of this virus. I think there will probably be unfortunately some false starts as we figure this out,” he said.

“But you’re still going to hear about physical distancing and there’s gonna be masks and there’s going to be limitations about how many people can gather, and a lot of those things aren’t going to seem like they changed very much.”

The coronavirus testing bottleneck

Regarding testing, we’ve heard the vice president saying that the machines are out there and it’s up to the states to find them, take them out of the closets and use them. What’s behind the testing bottleneck?

“Right now we’re still dealing with the shortage of the swabs and the testing kits … Once those come to the lab, we have plenty of capacity to run them. It’s just been difficult in getting enough swabs and the media that they’re put in once they’re taken and get transported to us,” he said.

Vaccines versus drug treatments in the fight against coronavirus

“The universities made a big effort, made direct contact with China to try to get some of those. We’re working with a big group here in the United States that’s developing ways to 3D print those swabs so that we can make them right here very quickly without needing a bunch of new equipment to do that. So I think we’re going to see that shortage of swabs really be solved over the next hopefully week or two, and we’ll see more testing being available.”

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross

balloon...
Dave Ross

Ross: Chinese balloon shot down was ripe for counter-surveillance

What I can say is that if I were in charge of monitoring China, I’d be tracking every Chinese balloon from the moment it broke 1000 feet
1 day ago
ChatGPT...
Michael Simeona

Watch Dave Ross try to outsmart his new AI friend ChatGPT

If you've listened to Dave Ross these past few months, you know his fascination with the new AI tool called ChatGPT.
2 days ago
balloon...
Dave Ross

Ross: Was it a Chinese spy balloon, or luxury space travel prototype?

The defense department says it has been tracking a huge Chinese balloon over Montana
4 days ago
police...
Dave Ross

Ross: ‘Police used as substitute for properly funding social services’

The reason we keep seeing abuses like the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols in Memphis. It’s rooted in American culture.
5 days ago
millenials...
Dave Ross

Ross: More millennials need their parents help, but for how much longer

Dave was shocked to hear about the latest statistics from Money.com on the number of millennials being subsidized by their parents.
6 days ago
morning...
Dave Ross

Ross: Morning people have the ideal lifestyle, it’s just science!

When I took this morning job, there wasn’t much competition. It was basically, "we need someone who can be here at 4:45 a.m.”
7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
UW Expert: We’ve passed the peak locally, but opening isn’t on/off switch