On Jan. 21, well over two months ago, Seattle became the first city in the U.S. to have a confirmed case of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, after a man who had recently returned from Wuhan, China, tested positive. By March 1, the city had become the center of the U.S. outbreak after the virus tore through a long-term nursing facility and dozens of residents died.
To combat the spread, Seattle was one of the first U.S. cities to close down offices and restaurants and tell residents to stay home, and new, early data shows that the rate of spread is declining, a sign that the restrictive measures are working.
According to researchers at the Institute for Disease Modeling in Bellevue, Washington, new cases and deaths are going up at a far slower rate than other cities. At the start of March, one infected person was passing COVID-19 on to an average of 2.7 other people. Now, at the end of the month after social distancing measures were put into place, that average is down to 1.4.