CORONAVIRUS: Friday 11/20 roundup

38 weeks now since the Friday night announcement that King County had its first case of COVID-19 – now, we’re dealing with a surge, and here’s the latest:

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Public Health daily summary:

*37,435 people have tested positive, 638 more than yesterday’s total

*835 people have died, 1 more than yesterday’s total

*2,914 people have been hospitalized, 13 more than yesterday’s total

*612,290 people have been tested, 4.135 more than yesterday’s total

One week ago, those totals were 33.368/828/2,791/587,735.

STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.

WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 57.5 million cases, 1,372,000+ deaths – see the nation-by-nation numbers here.

IF YOU’RE STILL PLANNING A HOLIDAY GATHERING: Please don’t, local and state authorities said again today. King County’s public-health officer Dr. Jeff Duchin held a media briefing and outlined various troubling trends, including a current positivity rate of tests around 7 percent (South/Southeast King County are the major hot spots). Current COVID-19 hospitalizations are more than twice what they were earlier this fall. Overall, Dr. Duchin said, “There’s way too much contact going on in every area of our lives.” Watch his briefing here.

FINANCIAL HELP Gov. Inslee had a briefing today too. He announced more financial relief in the works:

$70 million in business support grants.
$30 million for the recovery loan program.
$20 million for rental assistance.
$15 million for energy bills for low-income households.

In the Q&A, he was grilled again about the newest business restrictions. He insisted that the state is “on fire” with the virus and as a result “it’s beyond risky to be in a restaurant right now,” among other places. You can watch his briefing here.

REOPENINGS: After weeklong COVID-related closures, Supreme and Ma’ono in The Junction (which share owners) reopened tonight.

SPEND LOCAL: Another tool to help you do that was launched today by the city – Shop Your Block.

FREE CHILD CARE: The city is making it available to income-eligible families through year’s end.

NEED FOOD? Three one-time pre-holiday distributions are happening in West Seattle tomorrow.

GOT INFO OR PHOTOS? westseattleblog@gmail.com or text/voice 206-293-6302 – thank you!

12 Replies to "CORONAVIRUS: Friday 11/20 roundup"

  • ACG November 20, 2020 (11:13 pm)

    This may have already been reported here or in the White Center blog, but Bok-a-Bok in White Center (and also the Burien location) are closed due to Covid exposure until further notice. I was craving their kimchee macaroni and cheese and was saddened to see the sign posted on the door. 

  • John November 21, 2020 (12:21 am)

    37,435 cases as of today and 33,368 a week ago means that about 1 in 8 of the people in our county who have tested positive during the entire pandemic did so in the past week. (It’s closer to 1 in 8.2, if you’re curious)

    • Bandana November 21, 2020 (8:23 am)

      With the governor’s new restrictions, hopefully the county will see the positivity rate fall soon.

  • Smittytheclown November 21, 2020 (6:29 am)

    Not minimizing this  just providing perspective.  Last year – on average – over 500 people died every week in King County.  COVID has averaged 22 per week(and getting lower).  I’m curious when this is over what the real “excess death” rate is?  Will it be 4% or something far less because some people are dying “with” COVID who may have passed away anyway, or possibly would have died of something else later in the year.  One death is too many, so please no hate.  Just looking at “facts and data”.https://www.doh.wa.gov/DataandStatisticalReports/HealthDataVisualization/MortalityDashboards/AllDeathsDashboard

    • Math teacher November 21, 2020 (8:57 am)

      @Smitty – the CDC collects data on “excess deaths.” You’re correct that that can be a useful alternate way of looking at the impact of COVID. 

      By looking at “excess deaths,” statisticians move the focus away from those who “may have died anyway”as you indelicately put it,  and look at overall impacts. Experts suggest that the “excess deaths” may remain high for years as many people who survive COVID may have sustained heart or lung damage that will leave them more vulnerable down the road to non-COVID causes of death. Also, current deferred medical diagnosis or treatment for major causes of death such as cancer or heart disease may ultimately shorten many lives unnecessarily. 

      When you look at the CDC graph,  remember that deaths from COVID lag infections by several weeks, and then collection of national death data creates another significant lag. So this graph is useful for looking at what happened over the spring and summer, but positive test results and hospitalizations paint a clearer picture of what i happening right now.
      .
      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid19/excess_deaths.htm

      • Frog November 21, 2020 (10:58 am)

        https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid19/index.htm In the latest report, CDC estimates that 47,791 people died in Washington state of all causes in the period from February 1 to November 14, which was about 5% above normal.  That is approximately 2,276 excess deaths, which is very close to the 2,242 which the CDC records as caused by COVID.  The numbers would include a lot of statistical noise regardless, but conceptually, excess deaths = people killed by COVID who weren’t already at death’s door, plus incremental deaths due to medical care foregone, suicide, drug overdose etc. due to the pandemic and associated trauma and lock-downs.

    • AMD November 21, 2020 (9:30 am)

      In the spring there were some “excess death” calculations done in different parts of the country, asking this same question.  They found that COVID deaths were likely underreported or attributed to other causes (heart attack, etc.).  In Texas, the number of excess deaths was a few thousand, where their official COVID death tally was in the hundreds, for example.  Now, that was at a time when testing was less available so a lot of COVID diagnosis was still being done post-mortem, but it stands to reason the same thing is happening to some extent now (heart attacks and strokes being listed as a cause of death because COVID was undiagnosed).  And, in fairness, if someone dies in a fire when they were dying of cancer anyway, the death certificate lists the fire as the cause of death (I know this one from firsthand experience) because it was the fire that killed them, not the cancer.  You can’t tell if someone would have died in the future, even if they look rough (see: Keith Richards).  You CAN tell when someone has a sudden onset of new illness and dies rather than recovers.

    • LO November 21, 2020 (9:35 am)

      CDC is already gathering this data:https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid19/excess_deaths.htmIt ain’t pretty. 

      • JJ November 21, 2020 (12:43 pm)

        … especially considering we had such a light flu season last winter… and likely will again with Covid restrictions in place now.

  • Brian November 21, 2020 (7:25 pm)

    The dashboard you linked shows KC deaths at 847, not 835. Why the discrepancy?

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