June 17, 2020

Coordinated COVID-19 response helped ‘flatten the curve’ in Washington State

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor's Note

A regional, coalition-guided, multifaceted approach that engaged healthcare systems, long-term care facilities, state and local governments, and organizations to rapidly respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, kept Washington State’s death rate the lowest of all states with major outbreaks, this study finds.

Six key factors helped “flatten the curve:”


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  • early communication and coordination among stakeholders
  • regional coordination and situational awareness of the healthcare systems
  • rapid development and access to testing
  • proactive management of long-term care facilities and vulnerable populations
  • effective physical distancing in the communities.

As of June 5, Washington State had 22,729 cases of COVID-19 and 1,138 deaths; whereas, New York State had more than 380,000 confirmed cases and 30,000 deaths.

Washington State had the first confirmed case of COVID-19 and the first major outbreak in the US.

The authors say the lessons learned in the COVID-19 pandemic can be used as a roadmap for preparation for future outbreaks and for establishing an infrastructure that will strengthen healthcare systems’ response to future mass casualty events and save lives.

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