Researchers say testing, contact tracing and effective quarantines will be needed more than ever

Mostly, people in King County are staying home.

When they venture out, many are wearing masks and keeping their distance.

Using a new technique, researchers at the Institute for Disease Modeling in Bellevue say as of April 25, COVID-19 transmission was just 33 percent of what it would have been without precautions.

Moving forward, as people leave home more, researchers say we'll need new measures to offset what could be a two-fold increase in infections.

One is more testing.

Another is more contact tracing, where people exposed to a positive patient get a call to isolate themselves.

King County officials say they expect to have enough workers by the end of June to double the contact tracing happening now.

Researchers say people will need to go into quarantine and stay there for 14 days if they're exposed at work.

They say the goal should be that 70 percent of all workplace contacts are put in quarantine, with 90 percent of all household members complying when someone is waiting for a test result.

"I think it's critical the public understand the risk still remains," said Dr. Jeff Duchin, King County's health officer.

Duchin said the county is moving in the right direction, but he wants to see more of a decrease in new cases before the county moves to phase two of the state's re-opening plan.

"I'm concerned that we haven't really come to a stable point in phase one yet," Duchin said.

Duchin also said there is unused testing capacity.

He wants more doctors to offer COVID tests to patients with mild symptoms.