OLYMPIA – Today the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) released the latest statewide situation report, which shows increasing COVID-19 transmission across the state as of mid-June.

The report also estimates the percentage of the population actively infected with COVID-19 in King, Pierce, Snohomish and Yakima counties. The estimate for Yakima County suggests recent efforts to control the virus are showing some initial signs of success, although the situation remains concerning. In King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, the percentage of the population with COVID-19 is increasing. The trend is more difficult to interpret for King County due to increases in testing, but the spread of COVID-19 appears to be increasing across the Puget Sound.

The state also tracks data on emergency department visits for COVID-like illness—another way of looking at possible COVID-19 cases that isn’t affected by testing volume. These data include patients who are diagnosed with COVID-19 as well as patients who have COVID-19 symptoms (fever and cough or shortness of breath) and test negative for influenza. This measure has plateaued in the Puget Sound in recent weeks, which may be cause for concern when considered with other data on possible increases in transmission.

The report findings underline the need for the new statewide order requiring face coverings, as well as other efforts to control the spread of COVID-19, including keeping physical distance, staying home when possible and limiting the size of your social circle.