DOH: Wearing masks linked to rate of COVID-19 transmission slowing in eastern Washington

The new report released by the State Department of Health shows the overall transmission of COVID-19 slowing in eastern Washington, and suggests social distancing and wearing masks as reasons for improvement. 

The situation report marks the first time eastern Washington’s reproductive number (R naught) has estimated below one; meaning the number of people getting COVID-19 in the region is declining. 

A previous report showed eastern Washington’s R naught sitting around 1.08. That number is now estimated at 0.78. 

While the number of new cases may be slowing, the report does note an increase in cases in people older than 40 on both sides of the state.

“Any flattening in new cases appears to be due to changes in behavior like vigilant use of face coverings and keeping physical distance,” it reads in a summary of the report. 

A recent survey showed 93% of people have followed the mask mandate in Spokane County. 

In Western Washington, the rate of transmission is still higher than where health officials want it to be, sitting at roughly 1.12.

You can read the full report HERE.

RELATED: COVID-19 tests are being returned faster, but it’s still taking several days in Spokane County