Washington’s COVID reproduction number drops below 1
OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washingtonians expect to hear more about when the state will drop its mask mandate soon.
One of the key factors that could play into Governor Jay Inslee’s decision is the effective reproduction number of COVID. The “R number” is the average number of people who will be infected by another person.
According to new data from Yale and Harvardas of now, Washington has an R number of 0.52.
Health experts have said since the start of the pandemic that the number must be less than one to slow transmission enough to end the pandemic.
At a press conference last week, Inslee said it’s no longer a question of “if, but when” Washington will lift its mask mandate. Throughout the pandemic, Washington has taken steps similar to other Western states.
Oregon and California recently announced they would lift their mask mandates in February, raising questions about whether or not Washington will follow suit.
Idaho, which has never had a statewide mask mandate, has an R number of 0.82.
READ: ‘No longer a question of if, but when’: Inslee says health officials discuss when to lift indoor mask mandate
RELATED: ‘It’s time to make the change’: WA superintendent of public instruction backs making masks optional in schools
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