How Public Health officials decide when to order closures 

Crossposted from Public Health Insider 

Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health — Seattle & King County recently interviewed with ProPublica and The Seattle Times to discuss his and the department’s thinking related to the timing of Public Health recommendations to avoid and subsequently prohibit large public gatherings, and in particular in not prohibiting the Sounders match on March 7th. The following is an overview of information Dr. Duchin shared in his conversation and through e-mail. 

Early response and initial outbreak 

Starting in late January, when the first United States COVID-19 case was recognized in Snohomish County, and with relatively few recognized COVID-19 cases, our public health response was based on a resource intensive “containment” strategy. It involved extensive investigations of suspected and confirmed cases, isolating ill people and identifying and following up with their close contacts to arrange isolation or quarantine as needed in an effort to interrupt transmission from person to person. 

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