COVID-19 report for Aug. 17, 2020: World, national and local numbers

The worldwide spread of COVID-19 passed a sobering milestone this week, surpassing 20 million confirmed cases, while adding more than 40,000 deaths since this time last week. The United States continues to lead the world in sheer number of cases, with just short of 5.5 million.

Closer to home, the Aug. 15 totals puts Washington state and Snohomish County at 67,461 and 5,730 respectively, up from 63,072 and 5,465 a week ago.

The world and national situation:

The global overview map and chart from Johns Hopkins continues to show the U.S. as the world hotspot in overall numbers of cases, ahead of Brazil and India.

While the U.S. leads the world in overall case numbers, it ranks eighth in per capita cases (cases per one million population), up from ninth last week. Note all countries with a higher-per-capita count have much lower total populations, with none exceeding 20 million compared to more than 330 million in the U.S. (see the complete interactive table here).

Taken by region, the Americas continue to account for the majority of cases worldwide, picking up more than a million new cases last week, with Europe running a distant second, having added only 200,000 according to this chart from the World Health Organization.

In worldwide COVID deaths per 100,000 population, the U.S. ranks fourth, trailing Peru, Italy and Chile.

The Washington state situation:

The most recent (Aug. 15) state overview from the Washington Department of Health (DOH) shows confirmed cases at 67,461 with 1,781 deaths, up from 63,072 and 1,688 respectively at this time last week.

The following chart from Johns Hopkins University has some good news: Washington state is now in the fourth consecutive week of declining numbers of new cases. Note that these are associated with a return to higher-level restrictions (tan vertical lines), suggesting that increased attention to masking and social distancing is having a positive effect.

This drop in new cases is also reflected in a decreased case rate (cases per 100K population, two-week rolling average), with the Aug. 13 number showing a drop of almost 14 from the previous week’s report of 134.4. While this is encouraging news, it remains far above the Department of Health’s goal of 25.

COVID-related hospitalizations and deaths in Washington state are showing signs of trending in different directions, with hospitalizations showing a slight decrease, while deaths are slightly up (note that the grey bars in the hospitalization chart are incomplete data).


Testing activity in Washington state remains at a relatively high level, but has fallen off slightly over the past two weeks due to a combination of short supplies and lab backups. The rate of positive test results continues to exceed the DOH goal of 2%.

Varying degrees of success in achieving the targets for the various categories of reopening under the Governor’s Safe Start program are resulting in a mish-mash of standards in various counties across the state, with Chelan, Douglas, Yakima, Benton and Franklin counties still in modified Phase 1. In our area of the state, Island County alone has qualified for Phase 3 reopening.

The latest numbers show demographic patterns continuing unchanged, with most infections reported among younger people, and most hospitalizations and deaths in older age groups.

The Snohomish County situation:

The county numbers overview shows total confirmed cases approaching at 5,730 and deaths breaking the 200 mark (last week’s figures were 5,465 and 193 respectively)

As with Washington state (see above) the county daily new case count shows an encouraging decline over the past four weeks.

Viewed over time, the critical county measures (total cases, recovered cases, and active cases) show a steady increase with the exception of deaths, which have remained relatively stable.  Recoveries showed an uptick since last report (note that these numbers are through Aug. 8).

Cumulative case counts for the county through Aug. 8 come from the weekly report from the Snohomish Health District and do not include more recent and as yet unverified data.

Reflecting this trend, the case rate (cases per 100K population, two-week rolling average) is also showing a slight decline, although still significantly exceeding the DOH goal of 25.


Hospitalizations and deaths at the county level continue show little change from last week, with death rates heavily skewed to older demographics (see tables below).

Testing activity has ramped up in Snohomish County, with percent positives exceeding the state numbers, reaching 9% in the last week of July.

The local situation in our home cities as of Aug. 8:

Note: These data are taken from the COVID-19 Weekly Update report from the Snohomish Health District, which summarizes verified data as of the end of the previous week, in this case Aug. 8.

Critical metrics (total cases, recovered cases, deaths, and active cases) for our home cities are shown in the chart below. Note that death and active case figures are not available for Mountlake Terrace for 6/6, 6/13 and 6/20.

The local numbers summary:

Some more recent, but as yet unverified, current data are available on the Health District’s COVID Case Count page here.

The data, tables and charts in this report are taken from the following:


— By Larry Vogel

  1. Larry, thanks again for the data, especially like seeing actual numbers instead of just percentages when possible.

    How much is the general down trend in positives for the state a function of the less testing we have been doing the last week or so?

    Since it is such a hot button topic at the moment is anyone putting out data for the state/county on the number of teachers that have tested positive, been hospitalized, died?

    Two interesting numbers I’ve seen concerning country wide numbers…

    average age of death for Americans in 2019 was 78, average age of Covid death is 78.

    Total population died in 2019 2.8 million, estimated total died (using numbers from August 12th) in 2020 will be 2,716,754.

    …we have been trending up on this number for decades. With all the deaths of Covid and extra deaths do to the effects of the shutdown the country is somehow on schedule to see a decline in total deaths. Have seen very little (none from mainstream sources) media coverage of this, probably have to wait until after November for them to choose to let the public know.

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