Washington state confirmed the nation’s first case of the novel coronavirus on Jan. 20, 2020, and became the first U.S. epicenter of the outbreak after infections erupted at a Kirkland nursing home.

The coronavirus pandemic has continued in waves since then, infecting hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians and killing over 12,000. Public health agencies agree that the number of confirmed cases greatly underrepresents the true number of people with COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

Here’s what we know so far about the statewide spread of the virus and its impacts.

Washington numbers are based on updates from the state Department of Health (DOH), which compiles local health-department data. Both deaths and recoveries are included in the number of total confirmed cases, but recoveries are not being tracked separately. Cases are assigned to a county by the labs that conduct the tests, but may not match the jurisdiction designation by the county or DOH until the discrepancy is resolved. These cases are labeled “unassigned” until officials have further information.

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