Here are charts for Washington State counties. These charts rely on the New York Times’ published data on COVID-19 in the United States. I am primarily use their county-level data set together with population estimates (Wikipedia reports on US Census data from 2019).
I have produced charts of new cases of COVID-19 as
- 7-day trailing averages
- scaled to cases per 100k.
Google sheets link
All of my charts and tables are shared in a public Google sheets document:
Nationally, there has been a rise in positive cases. Washington state maintains a consistent below-average relationship to this trend. In fact, in the past 2 weeks, the gap between WA and USA has grown from a difference of about 7 to 10.
Without more context, we might say that either WA is doing better and better or the entire USA is doing poorly.
King County’s performance is up for debate. Zooming into the last two weeks, although the County is below average against the state-wide and national average, the slope of the King County curve is in an uptrend. Visually, it appears to mimic the same slope as the national count.
So, even though King County is below the state-wide average, the current pattern implies that it will meet or exceed that average in the next week.
All counties ranked by trailing average case per 100k as of 10/23/2020
Here is a ranked list of all counties as of 10/23/2020. I have added Washington State as a whole to help contextualize the numbers.
Walla Walla County shows a sharp increase over the state average
Walla walla is ranking 2nd worst in the state. This is accompanied by an aggressive uptrend in positive cases. This is not as dramatic as Whitman County’s outbreaks. Instead, by my quick visual review, its slope (against the state average) is reminiscent of Yakima County’s outbreak in March.
Finally, despite improvements in the past month, Whitman County continues to lead the table at a rate three times higher than the state average.
I chose trailing averages and scaled to population (“per 100k”) to help readers identify how COVID-19 is trending in each chart and to allow readers to make fairly direct comparisons county-to-county.
These charts compare each county against the entire state. This allows us to say whether or not a county has generally been doing better or worse than the rest of the state. I am using the trailing averages and trend line comparison to mitigate the way that testing patterns have changed since the early months.
I have refrained from speculation about the reasons for each county’s performance in this post and concentrated on simple language: above vs below average and a month to month comparison.