Inslee Expresses Concern Over COVID-19 Transmission Rates, Approves Five Counties to Move to Next Phase



Close the passes to anything but commercial traffic. Stop any and all State monies to countries that do not comply with enforcing SaH. Let's see if they can survive more than a few weeks without sucking of the teat of Western Washington.


Beat the rush

make tons of
Do NOT Treat/
Darwin Award/
Presidential Medal of
Economy Recovery Martyr
prolly gonna need a LOTTA body bags too.
make a Mint.


So basically, we're fighting the virus to a standstill, and that's even with all the social distancing measures in place. Unless we change the dynamic, when we start to open the economy up, and things are only going to get worse.

I appreciate the governor's clear-eyed displeasure and his not sugarcoating things. I'm glad to know that, as far as this report states, he's working on ramping up the testing. What I haven't heard enough—and maybe I'm just not paying close enough attention—is how we're ramping up the contact tracing. Of course, that should be the federal government's responsibility—if nothing else, to finance it. Of course, we don't have a functioning federal government now. And yet, I've heard about CA and NY putting together contact tracing units.

When it comes to this work that we have to do for ourselves when the federal government won't do it for us, I keep thinking of the Gates Foundation. Pandemics are one of their core competencies. And I know they're spearheading the vaccine effort. Couldn't they be engaged in the testing and tracing effort in their own home state? Again, maybe this is something that's already going on and I'm just not up on it. But if there was ever a time for the governor to come crawling hat in hand to our state's great philanthropist NGO, this is it! If there was ever a time for the Gates Foundation to drain some of their endowment, this is it!


One other thing we could be doing to change the dynamic. When I'm out and about doing the things I need to do, I see more people than not wearing masks, but it's still by a close margin. The Czech Republic has proved the power of population-wide mask wearing in bringing this disease to heel. I wish the governor could, with sufficient lead time, start requiring masks in certain obvious places:
* Grocery stores and drug stores.
* Hospitals.
* Public transportation.

Just because the rest of the nation is setting itself up for failure doesn't mean we have to.


You need testing before you can do tracing. We are nowhere near testing enough people.


Ross @5, listen, I don't want to get in a back-and-forth where one of us is going to look stupid. I'm perfectly happy to look stupid myself here.

I'm seeing: "Inslee has been told we'll get 60,000 more swabs by next week, followed by weekly shipments of more than 100,000 swabs,..." Suppose things work out and pretty soon we're going to be able to do 100K tests a week. You can't just flick a switch and have the requisite amount of contact tracing ready to go when that time comes. You'll have to ramp up that workforce. And you'll need a workforce period.

Beyond that, we're getting a few hundred new positives every day with the limited amount of testing we're doing. We'd be criminally negligent not to be doing the contact tracing on those people, but--again, I'm not necessarily up on these things--I'm not aware that we are.

Look at it this way. Imagine two alternate scenarios: one where we've contact-traced the hundreds of positives we've found per day going back the last couple months, and another where we haven't. Which scenario would you rather have be the reality now?

Again, it's just a couple simple questions. Where's the contact tracing? Where's the plan for scaling up contact tracing?


RS, you sound like Mudede; this is high praise!


I've head it said that contract tracing is something that is most effective at the start of an epidemic, but not when the virus has saturated near a plurality of the population. We just have to assume everyone is infected as a starting point and proceed from there.


"Drivers are now free to buy a car, hire professionals to clean it, and worship their god in a parking lot."
This may come as a shocker to you because you probably live close to downtown like some privileged 20-something so you don't really need a car, but a lot of people need a personal vehicle for their work. Perfect example, landscapers you were just talking about from your story.
I live in a "poor" and largely minority district (D2), several people on my street own their own landscaping business and are minorities and they NEED a vehicle. Parents, in-large part, need a vehicle to shuttle their hellspawn about. Our community has been neglected, so walkable infrastructure is nearly non-existant. A vehicle is often a low-income person's only monetarily valuable asset.
But yes, let's demonify all people who have a vehicle because this is the Stranger, after all.


@8: "I've head it said that contract tracing is something that is most effective at the start of an epidemic, but not when the virus has saturated near a plurality of the population."

The fact is, in terms of the percentage of the population that has been infected, we ARE at the start of the epidemic. And we want to remain at the start of the epidemic.

We have two choices until there's a vaccine:
A. Herd immunity like Sweden is doing.
B. Testing and contact tracing like Germany, South Korea, Taiwan, New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Czech Republic, etc. have done successfully.

Of course, we can always fumble along, failing to make a choice, which will just leave us with A. Here in the state of Washington, we should do as California has explicitly decided to do, and choose B.


OK, I think I've found the answer to my question. And this is encouraging:


@11, not completely encouraging. Why did the state stop contact tracing in March? Even if they could have only traced a fraction of the cases, it would help to slow the spread. It'd also mean that it could have been built up over the past few months instead of starting from scratch right now. Sucking but improving is almost always better than not trying.

Right now, the state seems to have the same number of cases as when the lockdown started, except with a ruined economy and kids who missed two months of school. That seems like an incredible waste. When things open, which they have to at some point, the epidemic will pick up exactly where it left off. Perhaps we should subcontract the DOH's work out to the Taiwanese or Koreans.


MikeXW @12: "Why did the state stop contact tracing in March? Even if they could have only traced a fraction of the cases, it would help to slow the spread. It'd also mean that it could have been built up over the past few months instead of starting from scratch right now. Sucking but improving is almost always better than not trying."

Totally agreed. Every bit of contact tracing you do--however inadequate it may be--is exponentially/logarithmically better than no contact tracing. Clearly, Inslee hasn't done as well as Gavin Newsom in CA, but, glaring missteps aside, our public officials have at least kept this virus largely at bay. Just compare where we are to where NY is.

The pressure is on the state now is get the ramped up testing and tracing in place, federal government help or not. And not only that, the state needs to effectively get the word out that it is ramping up so that it can inspire confidence in the people.


Three Children Have Died in N.Y. of Illness Linked to Virus: Live Updates

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said New York was working with the C.D.C. to investigate mysterious illness linked to the coronavirus that causes life-threatening inflammation in children.

As of Saturday, more than 73 children in New York have been sickened by the rare illness, which has some similarities to Kawasaki disease. Governor Cuomo said many of these children did not show respiratory symptoms commonly associated with the coronavirus when they were brought to area hospitals, but all of them tested positive either for Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, or for its antibodies.


The Feds are not going to do jack for us. We need to crank up our state efforts and realize we are on our own. And "herd immunity" like Sweden is doing is really only an option if you are holding some kind of grudge against your parents from your childhood and want to get even.

Also, @9 - I think the "worship their God in a parking lot" was meant to refer to drive-in church services, not to worshiping the automobile. Having said that, way too many Americans do see their cars as sacred and it makes them do idiotic things like vote for Eyman's $30 car tabs.
Asian countries like Taiwan showed that masks are helpful long before the Czechs knew there was a virus. A large fraction of people there wear masks in winter as a matter of course and this seems to have really helped. Despite being very close to China and having lots of links, they had essentially ZERO community transmission and shut this thing down very quickly. The experience with SARS also left an impression; they knew how serious these things can be. Quite different from the idiotic ("No, wearing a mask won't help you, don't bother, it's just a flu") response from our Federal "government." Seeing things through mango-tinted glasses is not a good strategy.


@9 tell all of your landscaping neighbors to stop using gas powered leaf blowers


People are going to get the virus. Accept it. Only a very small percentage require hospitalization and an even smaller percentage die. Every one gets sick. Don't get in to a panic. It's part of the human experience. If you're over age 60 or have an underlying health condition that includes obesity and the dangers that poses, you should take steps to protect yourself.


First thing: It's R0, not R1
Next, in order to evaluate it, we need some idea of the proportion of population that is infected and how that is growing. Ideally, we could test everyone in the state. And then test them again in a weeks time. But we don't have the resources to do that. Alternately, we could do randomized sampling across the state. But the state has resisted testing outside of at-risk groups, first responders or those displaying symptoms serious enough to seek medical care. So we may very well be undercounting the total number of infections (many being asymptomatic) and overestimating R0. And running around screaming as if our hair was on fire as a result.

Is this by design, or just a stupid mistake by people who failed Statistics 101?


@17: "People are going to get the virus. Accept it."

I think this needs to be one of the core arguments of Trump's reelection campaign. In fact, I think in their virtual convention this summer the GOP should adopt herd immunity as one of the planks of their platform. Expect to hear thousands of times the phrase "Sweden success story."

Concerning your point: "It's part of the human experience." So true. The same can be said for smallpox and the bubonic plague. Anyway, I'm looking forward to your fatalistic embrace of the other plagues that are going to ravage humanity in the 21st century. If you live to see them.


Every CV-19 denier, every CV-19 truther should be made to read this nightmarish story.

The COVID-19 pandemic is heading to rural America—and rural America needs to get ready

Trump Wants People to Die (and Not Just Any People) - It's Time We Were Upfront and Honest About It

As Trump rushes to reopen, his team is privately issuing dire warnings

Trump opens up the next phase of his coronavirus butchery. It will be worse than the last


All of you Branch Covidians need to stay indoors for at least two years. Also, do not breed, you will only make it worse for yourselves. .


@23, yeah, seriously. The covid crazies are almost as bad as the climate change crazies! Am I right, or what?

It's like they all belong to a cult. Probably The Cult of Science.

And now they want us to all wait for a vaccine when we all know of the terrible harm vaccines do?! Sheesh. I mean, who would you trust not to have grand nefarious motives for world domination, Jenny McCarthy or Bill Gates?


@24 FTW!


Wow, the narrative changed from 'flatten the curve' to prevent overloading the hospitals to now we can't have any transmissions. Of course people are going to get the virus. Preventing it was never a goal, and if it was it was unrealistic. We should be helping the people who have higher risk of dying not trying to prevent everyone from getting it.


Here are some facts: The only way to stop the spread is to establish heard immunity of 60% to 70% of the population infected or vaccinated. Quarantine slows the spread of the virus but extends the time it takes to achieve heard immunity - likely for up to two years in the absence of a vaccine. It also allows our hospitals to function and not be overwhelmed causing even more deaths for non-covid issues - not to mention having bodies pile up in the streets and struggles to keep basic services going if a spike is large enough to get that many sick at the same time. Here's some opinion: We need to somehow strike a balance between dying with the virus and living with the virus. Politicians need to talk straight about this because as the comments here show people are taking extreme sides between quarantine and back to work. We can't keep up the quarantine for two years and we can't have bodies in the streets.


Agreed. We need to do inspection health checkpoints at the passes and the borders.

Trust Cascadia. But verify.

We can test in 15 minutes, ignore the whining.


Oh, and you should wear a mask in a business or when near people, but the top two things to do are STILL:

1 - PHYSICAL DISTANCING - at least two meters (6 feet)

2 - WASH YOUR HANDS WITH SOAP AND WATER - no, don't care what your excuse is

Everything else has a lower impact.

The masks prevent YOU from spreading YOUR infection to others, actually.