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As of Sept. 1, we will hit the 6-month mark since the onset of the COVID-19 epidemic here in Western Washington. To many of us, it feels a lot longer in “COVID-time.” Our communities and our work have been transformed in ways that we never anticipated. These days, our “new normal” is defined by practices like mask wearing, physical distancing and staying home with any respiratory infection symptoms. I feel confident when I say that everything we are doing as individuals and as a community is working to slow the epidemic.

Having the flexibility to accept this new daily routine as the norm will also help with the upcoming flu season and in continuing to keep our community healthy overall. It’s a balance – as everything is in COVID time – but it’s working and it’s the new normal, for now.

Updates for today:

  • UW Medicine COVID-19 Activity Summary
  • Local/National/Global Epidemiology
  • New Work-Related Travel Policy
  • COVID Concern? Submit a PSN or Visit Employee Health

UW Medicine COVID-19 Activity Summary

UW Medicine COVID-19 Daily Census Trend

Local/National/Global Epidemiology

King County: Public Health – Seattle & King County is reporting 19,177 total cases and 717 deaths as of Aug. 27. Approximately 4.2% of all tests performed are positive, and the number of new positive tests is currently at 80/14 days/100,000 people. As of Aug. 20, the effective reproductive (Re) number was estimated to be 1.1, which indicates that the epidemic is not getting better or worse.

Washington: The Department of Health reports 72,703 cases and 1,890 deaths as of Aug. 27. Of the 1,408,164 people who have been tested, 5.1% have been positive as of Aug. 26.

United States: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 5,799,046 COVID-19 cases and 178,998 deaths as of Aug. 27.

Global: The WHO COVID-19 Dashboard as of August 28 reports 24,299,923 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 827,730 deaths.

COVID Concern? Submit a PSN or Visit Employee Health

If you have a patient, employee or environmental safety concern, please remember to submit a Patient Safety Network (PSN) report. If you don’t usually access a computer, you can go to your supervisor or local employee health clinic to help submit one. When in doubt, the right answer is to submit a PSN.

A PSN report should be submitted for any concern or observation that is or could be a safety issue, and reports can be submitted anonymously. Thanks to the PSN team, now you also can indicate that the concern is COVID-related (see below) to make sure that the report gets to the COVID response teams right away.
Patient Safety Network Screen Shot with COVID-19 Button

New Work-Related Travel Policy

Beginning Sept. 1, UW Medicine will no longer have a travel policy separate from the University of Washington. Under the University’s current policy, work-related international travel is restricted and domestic travel is discouraged. For more information, please see the UW Office of Global Affairs Travel restriction policy and the UW FAQ on Travel and study abroad.

Our UW Medicine colleagues, patients and visitors are counting on us to create a safe environment for everyone we work with and serve. To respect the health and safety of our community as a whole, we all have a responsibility to stay home with any symptoms that could be due to COVID-19, to report any safety concerns through the PSN system and to continue to follow masking guidelines.

I hope that everyone is getting some time to enjoy this fantastic weather. Thank you for your continued solidarity toward all of these efforts to keep everyone as safe as possible.


John Lynch, MD, MPH
Medical Director, Infection Prevention & Control
Associate Medical Director, Harborview Medical Center
Division of Allergy & Infectious Diseases, UW School of Medicine