If you find it a bit frustrating to figure out from news media just how we are doing in King County in terms of combating the spread of COVID-19, you might be interested in a new dashboard for the county. Most news media provides data on statewide basis, but King County Health has a new dashboard that focuses on the local area.
The dashboard provides a snapshot of several useful indicators, or metrics, related to COVID-19 activity in our community and the impact on our health and our hospitals. While these indicators don’t show how we are doing in real time, they provide an overview of several key indicators over time. These include disease activity, testing and healthcare system capacity.
COVID-19 activity shows the trend in the number of new cases for every 100,000 King County residents, the infection rate, hospitalization risk and death rate. The target is reduce the cases per 100,000 number to less than 10 over a two-week period. We are currently hovering around 24 new cases per 100,000 over the last two weeks.
The infection rate, abbreviated as Re, is another key indicator. It indicates how many people are infected by a single infected person. The goal is reduce that number to less than 1 for two weeks. King County is right at 1 for the past two weeks, meaning that each infected person is infecting one other person. To see the rate of transmission fall, the Re needs to be below 1.
In terms of hospital trends, King County is doing very well with both risk of hospitalization and risk of death steadily declining, which leaves hospital capacity at 66 percent comfortably below the 80 percent range, with only 2 percent of hospital beds serving COVID-19 patients.
The main area King County is struggling to improve is in testing with both number of people tested and the time between illness onset and being tested lagging just over the targets for those indicators.
For more information, visit the King County COVID-19 Dashboard.