‘It’s time to flatten the curve again’: Washington health experts concerned about recent climb in virus cases

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Experts with the Washington State Department of Health are concerned about a recent climb in COVID-19 cases, saying the feared “fall surge” is starting and Washingtonians must act now to reverse the trend.

Data show that case numbers in western Washington counties are increasing at an alarming rate, near or beyond previous peaks in some areas. Similar trends are also happening in eastern Washington.

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This trend is not unique to Washington; it is happening nationwide. There were 70,000 cases in one day last week, matching the largest number set back when disease activity was high in July.

“These cases are climbing, not because of localized outbreaks, but because of widespread disease transmission,” the health department said in a release. “A surge in cases right now could have very serious consequences for our healthcare system, local plans to open schools, the state’s economic recovery, and beyond.”

The DOH is now asking the public to to do what they can to turn the trend around: wear a mask, keep gatherings small, avoid indoor social gatherings, wash or sanitize hands often and stay home if you are sick or have been exposed to the virus.

“It’s time to flatten the curve again,” said State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy. “I’m optimistic we can get our kids in school, keep our businesses open, and control the spread of COVID-19 if everyone does their part.”

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