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King County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer
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Dear Friends:

Today’s update includes information about new symptoms of the coronavirus, identified by the CDC, an update on construction and recreation in the state from Governor Inslee, as well as a new study from the Institute of Disease Modeling.

Governor Announces Future Plans for Recreation

This afternoon, Governor Inslee announced plans to begin relaxing restrictions on recreation including hunting, fishing, golfing, and use of state parks beginning on May 5th. These measures are contingent upon people continuing to practice social distancing and good hygiene when engaging in these activities. Public gatherings, events, team sports and camping, among other things, are not resuming at this time. You can read more here.

CDC Adds 6 Symptoms to List of COVID-19 Symptoms

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added 6 new symptoms to the list of symptoms that could be signs of the coronavirus. The new symptoms are chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and a loss of taste or smell. They also tweaked shortness of breath to “shortness of breath or difficulty breathing”. You can learn more about these changes and updates in this USA Today story.

Governor Announces Plan for Construction Projects

Governor Inslee announced in consultation with the state’s construction industry a plan to allow current construction projects to be completed. “Low risk” construction projects can resume if they follow new safety guidelines created in partnership with labor and construction industry representatives. The announcement applies to projects that were underway when the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order was renewed last month. Not all work will be permitted. Tasks on construction sites must allow for social distancing, and employers must provide protective equipment, set up plans to mitigate possible outbreaks and meet other safety requirements. You can read the full plan here.

Institute for Disease Modeling (IDM) Update

Modeling from the IDM shows the effective reproductive number (transmission rate) from each COVID-19 infection has declined from around 3 in early March to near 1 through April 4th. This is consistent with previous estimates since the statewide Stay Home, Stay Healthy order went into effect on March 23rd.

The new report details how social distancing measures have reduced the transmission of COVID-19 in King County to the point where new cases are expected to slowly decline or plateau at current levels. Additional interventions to further cut transmissions should be in place before social distancing measures could be relaxed to avoid risk to public health. Projecting forward, if distancing measures were lifted starting May 1st, IDM’s new model predicts a rapid rise in the rate of cases that would likely exceed recent peak levels by the end of May. However, if new strategies are added on top of current distancing measures, such as a significant increase in testing for COVID-19 and contact tracing of those who have contracted COVID-19, the model suggests the effective reproductive number would drop further and the number of cases would go down more quickly.

However, until then, the report suggests that disease transmission will remain extremely sensitive to policy choices and community behavior. You can learn more by checking out this public health insider blog post.

UW Medicine Data Institute Projections

UW Medicine’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation continues to update their COVID-19 forecast. UW Medicine’s models have been used by policy makers across the country to evaluate the ongoing COVID-19 response. You can view the projections here.

(Taken before social distancing) With Jeanne Burbidge, former Mayor of Federal Way and Dr. Paul Ramsey, CEO of UW Medicine. I have appreciated the opportunity to work with Dr. Ramsey over the years as well as the friendship we have built both professionally and personally. We are fortunate to have an institute like UW Medicine in our backyard, especially in times like these.

King County Case Update

As of today, Seattle – King County Public Health was reporting 78 new cases, bringing the total in King County to 5,990. In addition, they reported 9 new deaths, bringing the total in the County to 416.

Stay In. Stay Healthy. Stay Strong.

Pete von Reichbauer
King County Councilmember

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Contact me: pete.vonreichbauer@kingcounty.gov
206-477-1007, 800-325-6165, TTY/TDD 206-296-1024
Website: www.kingcounty.gov/vonReichbauer
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pete.vonreichbauer

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