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Data Snapshot

UW Medicine Hospitals:


King County: The county reported 186 new positive cases and 3 new deaths on July 27.

Washington: The state reported 53,321 cases and 1,518 deaths as of July 26. A total of 933,304 people have been tested and 5.7% of those tests have been positive.

United States: The CDC reports 4,280,135 cases and 147,672 deaths as of July 28.

Global: WHO reports 16,341,920 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 650,805 deaths as of July 28.

*Numbers update frequently, please follow links for most up-to-date numbers.

Research News

Journal of Clinical Microbiology: The First Quarter of SARS-CoV-2 Testing: the University of Washington Medicine Experience

Featuring: Alex Greninger and Keith Jerome, Laboratory Medicine

“In early March 2020, the University of Washington Medical Center clinical virology laboratory became one of the first clinical laboratories to offer testing for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). When we first began test development in mid-January, neither of us believed there would be more than 2 million confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections nationwide or that we would have performed more than 150,000 real-time PCR (RT-PCR) tests, with many more to come. This article will be a chronological summary of how we rapidly validated tests for SARS-CoV-2, increased our testing capacity, and addressed the many problems that came up along the way.”


Spinal Cord: Case-fatality with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in United States Veterans with spinal cord injuries and disorders

Featuring: Stephen Burns, Rehabilitation Medicine

“Individuals with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D) have an elevated risk of death with community-acquired pneumonia [1], and there may be elevated risk with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).”

UW Medicine in the News

Reuters: INSIGHT-The U.S. has more COVID-19 testing than most. So why is it falling so short?

Featuring: Geoffrey Baird and Alex Greninger, Laboratory Medicine

‘“The vendors are in an impossible situation right now where they can’t say yes to everyone,’ said Geoffrey Baird, who runs the medical laboratory at the University of Washington. U.S. labs now run about 800,000 diagnostic tests daily, according to the COVID Tracking Project. But the United States needs 6-10 million tests per day, by various estimates. Congress has earmarked $11 billion to support this drive, and in May, states filed plans with the government describing the equipment and supplies they would buy. But taken together, the plans show that public health officials are not addressing the core supply-chain problem, according to the Reuters analysis.”


The Washington Post: Home test swabs for COVID-19 almost as accurate as clinician tests: Study

Featuring: Helen Chu, Allergy & Infectious Disease

“At-home test kits for COVID-19 diagnosis could be nearly as accurate as getting tested by health care workers, according to a research letter released this week. The sensitivity and specificity of home collection swabs was 80% and 97.9% when compared with clinician swabs, the authors, who hail from the University of Washington (UW) and Seattle Children’s Research Institute, found. That means the at-home swab tests picked up about 80% of the positive cases that were found in clinics, Dr. Helen Chu, the study’s lead author and infectious disease expert at UW, told NBC News. For patients who had more virus in their nasal cavities, the at-home tests detected up to 95% of the positive cases that were found in the clinic, Dr. Chu said.”


MyNorthwest: UW virologist: Vaccine trials appear safe and effective, more testing needed

Featuring: Keith Jerome, Laboratory Medicine

“Seattle COVID vaccine trials look promising, moves on to next phase. ‘This is all good news that we’ve got several different kinds of vaccines all sort of pulling toward the same target in different ways, and they all seem to be working right now,’ he added. ‘We need to test them in these bigger trials, make sure they’re really safe in larger groups of people and that they protect.’”


Seattle Met: How a Group of Seattle Scientists Revealed Covid-19′s Stateside Spread

Featuring: Jay Shendure, Trevor Bedford and Lea Starita, Genome Sciences; Helen Chu, Allergy & Infectious Diseases

“By late February, lab operations head Dr. Lea Starita had developed a test for the virus that the team could apply to samples it had collected for its flu study. When a local teen’s specimen from February 24 returned a positive result, it marked the first reported case of community transmission in the U.S. A paper lead-authored by Dr. Helen Y. Chu observed that the finding ‘initiated assessment of the spread of the virus in the Seattle region, which in turn accelerated public health efforts to mitigate the emerging pandemic.’ In medical journal terms, that’s a mic drop.”

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