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Jeff Duchin, coronavirus, social distancing, King County
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Recent rise in COVID-19 cases ‘is getting serious’ in King County

Dr. Jeff Duchin, a health officer with Seattle and King County Public Health, speaks during a press conference. (Getty Images)

With COVID-19 cases again beginning to rise in King County, local health officials are expressing concerns over keeping the outbreak under control leading into the 4th of July holiday weekend.

Bellevue modelers: King County progress ‘remains precarious’

“King County friends, this is getting serious,” Seattle-King County Public Health’s Dr. Jeff Duchin said Monday.

In early June, the county was seeing roughly 30 to 50 new COVID-19 cases a day, a rate that recently led to garnering approval to enter into Phase 2 of reopening. In recent days, though, cases have again been on the rise, topping 100 on at least two separate days.

While Bellevue’s Institute for Disease Modeling attributes part of that trend to an increase of testing volume in King County of almost 100%, health officials remain worried over what appears to be a rising rate of transmission.

That’s especially driven by the upcoming 4th of July holiday. Parts of Washington saw spikes in new cases in May, many of which were eventually traced back to Memorial Day weekend.

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“Cases rising, holiday coming and the risk higher than it’s been in months,” Dr. Duchin warned. “Critical to avoid crowds, minimize close contacts, use a face mask. COVID-19 is smart as ever (but are we?) Do the right thing and care.”

King County’s recent rise in new cases coincides with similar bumps across Washington. Since mid-June, the state has jumped from between 100 and 200 new cases every day to over 400. That had Gov. Jay Inslee pausing all applications from counties looking to move into Phase 4 of reopening. Counties in Phase 4 would effectively operate without any restrictions related to COVID-19. Such a scenario was deemed by Gov. Inslee as “impossible at this time.”

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