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New views of Seattle’s COVID-19 crisis: a forecast for ‘peak’ outbreak and a count of confirmed cases around Capitol Hill and the Central District — UPDATE

You can review updated forecasts at covid19.healthdata.org/projections

Meanwhile, a new dashboard from Public Health includes ZIP Code-level reporting

A new model from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation is forecasting a challenging month ahead for King County, the state of Washington, and the nation as COVID-19 cases and deaths peak across the country.

“Even with social distancing measures enacted and sustained, the peak demand for hospital services due to the COVID-19 pandemic is likely going to exceed capacity substantially,” the paper (PDF) published this week concludes. “Alongside the implementation and enforcement of social distancing measures, there is an urgent need to develop and implement plans to reduce non-COVID-19 demand for and temporarily increase capacity of health facilities.”

Updated forecasts from the new research that is centered on data from reported COVID-19 deaths around the world are being updated at healthdata.org.

UPDATE: King County has also posted a new order regarding self-quarantine requirements:

To protect the public, if an individual with active COVID-19 is not voluntarily remaining isolated, or if an individual who has COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing) with a test pending is not remaining self-quarantined, they may be subject to enforcement actions, which could include legal actions for involuntary detention.

Washington is projected to reach peaks of around 3,000 hospitalized cases in mid-April with a peak of around 27 deaths per day in the same period. The statistical range of the forecast suggests a worse case near 50 daily deaths. The demand for intensive care unit beds for COVID-19 patients is projected to exceed existing resources as early as next week under the model. Washington’s total “hospital resource” measure is projected to be exceeded by April 19th. Under the model, we will have fared better than the nation. The researchers predict some 80,000 COVID-19 deaths across the country by summer.

UW’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation is an independent global health research center founded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

“Earlier in the epidemic, the model’s forecasts for Washington were much more ominous, a researcher told the Seattle Times:

But it seems as if the state’s early actions — including companies shifting to remote work, school closures and limits on gatherings — have already had an impact. Hospitals across the state also moved quickly to cancel most elective surgeries and free up beds.

Even as social distancing measures including stay at home orders and closed schools have slowed the outbreak here, the forecasts predict terrible weeks ahead with the demand for hospital resources and deaths in the state peaking in mid-April and, if the modeling is correct, dropping into early summer.

And, the researchers warn, any lifting of social distancing measures could lead to a new wave of outbreak-level conditions.

Seattle and Washington have now been under social distancing restrictions for weeks:

CHS COVID-19 TIMELINE+ Feb. 29 First ‘presumptive positive’ COVID-19 case in King County + Mar. 11 Washington put ‘over 250’ restrictions in place + Mar. 11 Schools closed + Mar. 15 Restaurants and bars closed, ‘over 50’ threshold + Mar. 21 Police begin clearing parks

With non-essential businesses and industries and schools ordered closed and people under stay at home restrictions, levers for officials to use to further slow the spread of the virus are few. Travel restrictions remain one major category yet to be applied. Meanwhile, there are growing calls for cities and regions across the nation to follow Seattle and the state’s lead in tightening restrictions. Currently, there are no national orders for social distancing restrictions in place.

There are also efforts to increase hospital capacity in the region. Following calls for a military hospital from Mayor Jenny Durkan and Governor Jay Inslee, the US Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA are deploying a military field hospital at the CenturyLink Field Event Center to assist the region’s hospitals. 300 soldiers from the 627th Army Hospital from Fort Carson, Colorado have deployed to Seattle to staff the hospital, which is expected to create at least 150 hospital beds for non-COVID-19 cases.

Increased testing will also help but most efforts currently available even in Seattle — a relatively wealthy city in a region where officials have been proactive in their response to the crisis — have not reached a high scale of deployment. The Seattle Times reports most testing currently most widely available around the city is for patients and staff of UW Medicine, Kaiser Permanente, Swedish, Pacific Medical Centers, Pacific Medical Centers, Franciscan Medical, and International Community Health Services:

There are promises of easy to use home testing solutions coming including research efforts like this but, as of yet, none are being widely deployed.

In King County, the latest numbers match the forecast trend with case totals climbing thanks in large part to increased testing while deaths also continue to rise as victims succumb after what can be a multi-week battle with the virus. The most recent daily reports are recording new high totals — 251 new positive cases and 16 deaths in King County.

You can get the latest county updates from Seattle and King County Public Health’s COVID-19 Dashboard.

Public Health’s dashboard reporting has started to more accurately show where in the county the outbreak has hit the hardest. Around Capitol Hill, the 98112 ZIP Code with 29 positive cases has recorded the highest rate of cases with a rate of about 121 per 100,000 residents testing positive. Officials remind that the location information can vary widely with just a few cases. “Rates may not be representative due to the small numbers of people test to date,” the dashboard notes. “The rates will change as more people are tested.”

Zip Code: 98112
194 residents have a COVID-19 test result, at a rate of 807.5 per 100,000 residents
29 (14.9%) of those have positive results, at a rate of 120.7 per 100,000 residents

Among those with a positive result:
2 (6.9%) have died due to illness, at a rate of 8.3 per 100,000 residents

Zip Code: 98102
162 residents have a COVID-19 test result, at a rate of 607.0 per 100,000 residents
28 (17.3%) of those have positive results, at a rate of 104.9 per 100,000 residents

Among those with a positive result:
1 (3.6%) have died due to illness, at a rate of 3.7 per 100,000 residents
Zip Code: 98122
319 residents have a COVID-19 test result, at a rate of 720.0 per 100,000 residents
42 (13.2%) of those have positive results, at a rate of 94.8 per 100,000 residents

Among those with a positive result:
1 (2.4%) have died due to illness, at a rate of 2.3 per 100,000 residents
Seattle:
5,791 residents have a COVID-19 test result, at a rate of 774.9 per 100,000 residents
615 (10.6%) of those have positive results, at a rate of 82.3 per 100,000 residents

Among those with a positive result:
24 (3.9%) have died due to illness, at a rate of 3.2 per 100,000 residents

The dashboard also includes demographic reporting on the outbreak:

In all, 99 residents in the ZIP Codes covering Capitol Hill, the Central District, First Hill, nearby neighborhoods are included in the city’s tally of 615 positive cases in the most recent updates to the dataset, just over 16%. There are four reported deaths across the three areas so far.

UPDATE 3/29/20 5:15 PM: The latest totals from King County show 141 reported deaths through Saturday.

UPDATE 3/30/20 1:35 PM: The ZIP Code information from the county has really shifted with the increase in testing and new cases evening out across the region. 98112 continues to lead the Capitol Hill area with a rate of around 142 cases per 100,000 residents. Remember, that translates to an actual reported number of 34 positive cases. Seattle now shows a rate of around 97 positive cases per 100,000 residents.

Zip Code: 98112
219 residents have a COVID-19 test result, at a rate of 911.5 per 100,000 residents
34 (15.5%) of those have positive results, at a rate of 141.5 per 100,000 residents

Among those with a positive result:
2 (5.9%) have died due to illness, at a rate of 8.3 per 100,000 residents

Zip Code: 98102
189 residents have a COVID-19 test result, at a rate of 708.1 per 100,000 residents
30 (15.9%) of those have positive results, at a rate of 112.4 per 100,000 residents

Among those with a positive result:
1 (3.3%) have died due to illness, at a rate of 3.7 per 100,000 residents

Zip Code: 98122
363 residents have a COVID-19 test result, at a rate of 819.3 per 100,000 residents
49 (13.5%) of those have positive results, at a rate of 110.6 per 100,000 residents

Among those with a positive result:
1 (2.0%) have died due to illness, at a rate of 2.3 per 100,000 residents

Seattle:
6,588 residents have a COVID-19 test result, at a rate of 881.6 per 100,000 residents
721 (10.9%) of those have positive results, at a rate of 96.5 per 100,000 residents

Among those with a positive result:
27 (3.7%) have died due to illness, at a rate of 3.6 per 100,000 residents

CHS COVID-19

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9 thoughts on “New views of Seattle’s COVID-19 crisis: a forecast for ‘peak’ outbreak and a count of confirmed cases around Capitol Hill and the Central District — UPDATE

  1. UWMC seems to have large air ducts hanging out of the windows all along the front of the building, which were recently added with every other window removed and boarded up

    I’m hoping they haven’t started blasting unfiltered virus ridden air out in Montlake. If so I would expect to see a rapid increase in 98102 shortly.

    • If it were contagious floating through open air, with wind, etc. vs. disbursing, we would have whole arenas, hotels, busses, grocery stores, etc. as known hot spots where hundreds became ill. It is not contagious to that degree.

      • Still, a nice precaution to minimize lung irritation and immune system overload among the vulnerable population (any Homo sapiens walking outside or reliant on unfiltered oxygen) would be to stop blasting dust around with noisy nozzles powered by ear splitting two stroke infernal combustion engines.

      • The latest data seems to show it remains viable from a sneeze over a quite considerable distance. If you take the air from an entire hospital ward and exit it not far from ground level on the front of a hospital ? Take a look, it appears to have been done with extreme haste.

    • I’ve heard this before about UWMC – I’d like to know what is behind the behavior/action. Anyone know the real reason behind it? It certainly shouldn’t be about releasing human caused contagions from rooms (hospitals have internal decontamination options; or should)…jseattle can you find official reports on what’s behind this?

  2. Simply put “social distancing” (more aptly referred to today by Pramila Jayapal as “physical distancing and social closening”)
    IS a necessity and MUST be practiced – PERIOD.
    Additionally, everyone MUST strive to take the best possible care of themselves (and others too) so that any and all other preventable illnesses (including preventable exacerbation of chronic medical conditions) do not further burden our soon to be overwhelmed health care system.

    • I’d like to think so, but they appear to have installed something from Home Depot out of most of the windows on the front of the main building opp husky stadium.

      It looks horribly home made and what I would do to vent a dryer, not a hospital.

      It’s repeated in each set of windows like they have a problem with venting. Would be interesting to know what is on the other end of the vents….

  3. We are not being tested, I have all the symptoms but since I don’t know anyone with the virus and haven’t traveled. They won’t test me . I have to be sick and have a extreme temperature or can’t breathe to go to the ER before you can get a test. I am being responsible and not leaving my home. But that is the truth. People are walking around and don’t even know if they have it. Test everyone is the only way to get this under control.

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