CORONAVIRUS: Saturday 11/21 roundup, including our weekly West Seattle trend check

Here’s our nightly update on the pandemic:

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: First, here are the cumulative totals from Public Health‘s daily-summary dashboard:

*38,012 people have tested positive, 577 more than yesterday’s total

*835 people have died, unchanged from yesterday’s total

*2,931 people have been hospitalized, 17 more than yesterday’s total

*615,038 people have been tested, 2,848 more than yesterday’s total

One week ago, those totals were 33,995/828/2,798/592,199.

WEST SEATTLE TREND: Here’s our weekly check of this stat, with numbers shown in two-week increments via the “geography over time” tab on the daily-summary dashboard, combining the totals from the West Seattle and Delridge “health reporting areas.” As with the county in general, we’re continuing on a big upswing – in the past 2 weeks, 359 positive test results were reported; 216 in the 2 weeks before that; 49 in the two weeks before that.

STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.

WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 58.1 million people have tested positive, and more than 1,380,000 people have died; U.S. deaths have passed 255,000. Most cases: U.S., India, Brazil, France, Russia (same top three as last week, while #4 and #5 traded places). See the breakdown, nation by nation, here.

STATE TEST RESULTS BACKLOG: You’ve heard – maybe even seen – that testing sites are jammed. So, it turns out, is the state results-processing system, according to this news release:

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) is asking the state’s laboratories that conduct the largest volume of tests to temporarily stop sending individual negative COVID-19 test results, and instead send us the aggregate number of negative test results per day. During this time, our dashboards will report positive cases each day, but not the total number of daily tests or percent positive.

Our disease reporting system can receive and process approximately 33,000 total results per day. We are currently receiving 30-50 thousand records per day, leading to a backlog. As of Saturday, there are 53,000 backlogged results which accumulated over the past two to three days. They are a mix of negative and positive COVID-19 tests, and test results for other notifiable conditions such as tuberculosis. Testing volumes are expected to increase further in the coming weeks because both disease and demand for testing are increasing, and more testing sites and types of testing are coming online across our state. We have been working to expand the system’s capacity to receive additional results in anticipation of a surge, but recent disease growth and the associated testing volumes have outpaced our efforts. Without this pause, we will fall further behind.

We need to take this temporary step to ensure state and local public health officials receive positive results for all reportable conditions in a timely enough manner to carry out effective case investigations and contact tracing and to have real time visibility of the incidence and trajectory of COVID-19 cases (positive results) as well as other reportable disease cases.

The backlog of results means that the number of new COVID-19 cases reported the last two days is an undercount and likely does not reflect disease trends. Our temporary action will ensure we receive positive COVID-19 results and the DOH dashboard of the epidemiologic curve and the Governor’s Risk Assessment dashboard of the rate per 100,000 newly diagnosed cases reflect disease trends.

This is likely to affect the King County numbers we publish nightly, as the top of the county’s “daily summary” page explains the state is the source of the stats.

DONATION DRIVE TOMORROW: The weekly reminder – the Kiwanis Club of West Seattle is at California/Alaska every Sunday, by the Farmers’ Market entrance, 10 am-1:30 pm, collecting new, unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots.

GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? westseattleblog@gmail.com or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!

1 Reply to "CORONAVIRUS: Saturday 11/21 roundup, including our weekly West Seattle trend check"

  • Math teacher November 22, 2020 (12:58 pm)

    Thank you for including that press release info. 

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