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First US state to issue strict stay-at-home measures now seeing less cases

Virus Outbreak Washington State

Health officials in Seattle, Washington,  where the first US case of the coronavirus occurred says that they are starting to seeing a decline in new cases after issuing strict stay-at-home orders for those residing in the state.

Researchers at the Institute for Disease Modeling in Bellevue, Washington reported their findings to the New York Times on Tuesday. Researchers stated that on average one infected person was able to infect 2.7 other people, but after a month of social distancing, that average is now down to 1.4.

Seattle saw it’s first case of the coronavirus on January 21st after a man returning from Wuhan, China tested positive. By March 1st, cases in the area skyrocketed to 2,159 infected people and resulted in 141 deaths.

While the rate of new cases is beginning to decline, Governor Jay Inslee  says he is not ready to lift the shelter-in-place orders just yet:

“There is evidence that doing the aggressive measures can have a benefit,” Gov. Inslee said.  The state is not “within 1,000 miles of declaring victory.”

“It would be grossly irresponsible to stop these measures now,” he continued.

Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health Seattle and King County echoed Gov. Inslee’s sentiment stating:

“The threat of a rebound that could overwhelm the health care system remains, and will remain for the foreseeable future, if we let up too soon,” Dr. Duchin said.

It was also reported that though Seattle is seeing less cases, Washington as a whole is seeing an uptick in the more rural areas reporting cases.