SAN FRANCISCO, June 13 (Xinhua) -- U.S. state of Washington Governor Jay Inslee issued a statement on Saturday to alarm the increase of COVID-19 transmission.
The Washington State Department of Health on Saturday released the latest statewide situation report, which showed COVID-19 transmission continued to increase in eastern Washington as of the end of May, with a possible uptick in western Washington as well.
"The report estimates cases and deaths will soon increase substantially if COVID-19 continues to spread at current levels," Inslee said in the statement.
"Washingtonians have done the hard work to flatten the curve on COVID-19... But today's report shows us there is still reason for strong concern in parts of our state," he added.
"This is not the time to give up on efforts to protect ourselves, our families and our communities. We are still in the middle of a pandemic that is continuing to infect and kill Washingtonians," Inslee warned.
Inslee said that the cases in Benton, Franklin and Yakima counties are of particular concern. He joined the Institute for Disease Modeling Saturday morning as it shared data with leaders in these three counties. "This data will force us to look for some creative solutions and strengthen our strong local - state partnerships to address the disease activity," he said.
According to Inslee, residents must increase testing and mask-wearing, and maintain physical distancing to continue tackling the coronavirus.
He also stressed the importance of strengthening hospital capacity, as well as target interventions for high-risk populations such as long-term care facilities and indoors, including close proximity workplace operations, such as food processing and agricultural housing.