10,411 confirmed coronavirus cases statewide
Over 10K people in Washington state have tested positive for coronavirus, and more than 500 people have died. Gov. Inslee has urged residents to stay home this weekend and Seattle Mayor Durkan announced the shutdown of 15 parks and beaches until Monday.
Follow live updates today below.
Sunday, April 12
5:43pm – There are now 10,411 total confirmed coronavirus cases statewide and 508 deaths, as reported by the state Department of Health. The percent of positive tests is now at 8.5% of 87,856 total tests.
1:47pm – Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert in the U.S., says the economy in parts of the country could be allowed to reopen as early as next month. Retailers like Macy’s and Gap, which sell nonessential merchandise, are struggling to survive. According to one estimate, 15,000 U.S. stores will close for good. Read more from AP.
Saturday, April 11
10:24pm – The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus eclipsed Italy’s for the highest in the world Saturday, surpassing 20,000, as Chicago and other cities across the Midwest braced for a potential surge in victims and moved to snuff out smoldering hot spots of contagion before they erupt. Read more from AP.
4:34pm – The Washington State Department of Health reports 10,224 confirmed coronavirus cases statewide and 491 deaths. There have been a total of 87,930 tests, with 8.6% positive.
1:17pm – The University of Washington announced that it will not require SAT or ACT scores for any autumn 2021 freshman applicant. Additional information on admission questions related to COVID-19 for the UW’s 2020 freshman class and beyond can be found at this link.
Friday, April 10
7:02pm – State health officials report 475 deaths and 9,887 cases of coronavirus in Washington. That’s an increase of 279 cases and 29 deaths since Thursday. The state says it’s tested 88,006 people and of those cases, 8.6% are positive.
5:46pm – Enjoy happy hour at home this weekend with a cocktail kit from a local bar. Restaurants and bars in the state are now allowed to sell liquor for takeout as long as it’s part of a food order, and some have put together unique cocktail kits with all the ingredients you need to make a drink at home.
If you work at or own a Washington bar or restaurant that’s still open for business, submit your information to us here.
5:30pm – All Washington state ferries will continue to operate on winter sailing schedules through at least June 20, 2020, due to lower demand during the stay-at-home order. The spring service, which includes increased sailing on some routes, was originally scheduled to begin March 29.
4:19pm – KIRO Radio’s Gee and Ursula Show started the Letters of Hope project, asking listeners to send cards to the residents and staff of these facilities. The Columbia Nursing Home is one of the local facilities that has been receiving letters from you and help from the community.
“There has not been a single day that has gone by that I don’t have a big stack of letters waiting for me to open,” said Beth Hartman, Director of Support Services – Life Enrichment at Columbia Nursing Home. Read more.
4:03pm – President Donald Trump insisted he would not move to reopen the country until it is safe. He said he would be announcing the launch of what he dubbed the “Opening our Country” task force next Tuesday to work toward that goal.
“I want to get it open as soon as possible,” he said at a Good Friday briefing, while adding: “The facts are going to determine what I do.” Read more from AP.
3:51pm – King County has reserved a block of rooms at Hotel 116 in Bellevue for health care workers who need a place to stay if they are concerned about exposure to coronavirus.
“Healthcare workers on the front lines of our crisis response shouldn’t have to put their families and loved ones at risk for doing their jobs,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “I am gratified to have the opportunity to work with healthcare unions to offer housing for caregivers during this public health emergency, so they can remain safe and care for our community.”
3:11pm – Gov. Inslee warned Washingtonians on Friday to stay home and enjoy the weather there.
“We still believe that going on a walk around the block at your house makes sense,” Inslee said after urging people to refrain from congregating at trail heads or parking lots to enjoy the weather this weekend.
He acknowledged that it’s not easy with the Easter holiday, but it’s important to keep a safe distance from one another.
“Is all it takes is one person at one get-together,” Inslee said.
The mayors of Yakima and Ocean Shores joined Gov. Inslee to speak about what their communities are experiencing during the stay-at-home order. Read more.
2:31pm – Pierce County has 37 new confirmed cases Friday, bringing the county total to 875 cases and 19 deaths, with two new deaths reported today.
Skagit County is reporting 185 laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 39 recoveries, 27 hospitalizations and 6 deaths.
1:48pm – Boeing is delivering its first set of reusable 3D-printed face shields to health care workers. The Department of Health and Human Services accepted the initial shipment of 2,300 face shields Friday morning. FEMA will deliver the shields to the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. Boeing plans to produce thousands more face shields per week.
“Boeing is proud to stand alongside many other great American companies in the fight against COVID-19, and we are dedicated to supporting our local communities, especially our frontline healthcare professionals, during this unprecedented time,” said Boeing President and CEO David Calhoun.
12:40pm – Gov. Jay Inslee will be delivering a press conference Friday at 3:00 p.m., alongside a handful of local leaders from smaller communities across Washington. That includes Crystal Dingler, mayor of Ocean Shores, Victoria Compton, executive director of the San Juan Economic Development Council, and Patricia Byers, mayor of Yakima.
Also joining Gov. Inslee will be Jeff Lambert, executive director of Dishman Hills Conservancy in Spokane.
12:11pm – Boeing CEO David Calhoun hinted that the version of the company that returns from the coronavirus and the 737 MAX disasters will not be the same one we see today. That message was quite clear in his letter to employees last week. Read more.
11:26am – King County will be distributing over 20,000 coronavirus test kits to what it deems as “high priority areas.”
The kits were donated by UW Medicine and the Seattle Flu Study, ensuring that the region can continue to keep up with the need for increase testing to track and contain its outbreak.
10:43am – In a bid to facilitate a more robust testing infrastructure across the U.S., Amazon has formed a team of its own employees, who “have moved from their normal day jobs” and onto a project to work on an initiative to expand coronavirus testing.
The team will work to build the company’s own in-house testing lab, and then “start testing small numbers of our front line employees soon.”
Eventually, the company hopes to have the ability to test all of its employees regularly.
“If every person, including people with no symptoms, could be tested regularly, it would make a huge difference in how we are all fighting this virus,” Amazon said on its company blog.
9:50am – Seattle, King County, and United Way of King County announced a joint effort Friday, to provide rental assistance to families most affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
That comes in the form of a $5 million investment into United Way’s Home Base program, which will use that money to assist an estimated 2,000 families.
The goal is to help King County residents experiencing problems paying rent, at or below 50% of the area median income.
If you believe you qualify for this aid, call 211 or get more details on United Way’s website here.
9:23am – The University of Washington’s model has quickly become the national standard for predicting the future of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. Now, UW is working to develop a new model to figure out when the country’s economy can begin to reopen. Read more.
8:42am – The Marysville Police Department has run out of disinfecting wipes, and is now putting out an open call to anyone who might be able to help.
“Our attempts to purchase through our normal vendors and locally are unsuccessful,” Marysville PD said on Twitter. “Does anyone have an idea on where we can purchase these much needed supplies?”
7:30am – Microsoft is opting to expand its paid family leave program, giving its workers 12 additional weeks to allow them to cope with school closures.
According to a report from Business Insider, parents can choose how they want to use the added days of leave, be it a few days at a time, or consecutive weeks off to care for children.
6:46am – Travel through U.S. airports continues to hit record lows. On Thursday, April 9, the TSA reported just over 104,000 moving through airport checkpoints nationwide. On that date in 2019, nearly 2.5 million travelers were screened at security checkpoints.
6:01am – The City of Seattle announced expanded hygiene services for its homeless population during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
That includes eight new hygiene stations and two hygiene trailers, stationed “in areas where individuals experiencing homelessness can best be served.”
5:28am – Seattle has garnered national praise for its coronavirus response, with medical professionals and news outlets alike pointing to its quick action to the contain the outbreak, it’s effective social distancing measures, and more.
That was detailed in a recent report from The Washington Post.
“One thing that stands out in terms of blunting the velocity of the virus is how quickly in the Seattle area … they were able to institute social distancing,” said University of California at Berkeley professor Lee Riley told the Post.
Similar praise has been seen all the way up the food chain to Dr. Anthony Fauci himself, the nation’s leading expert on infectious disease.
“The Seattle area and the state of Washington … never let it get to the point where containment wasn’t working,” he told KTTH’s Jason Rantz Show earlier this week. “They were able to do that early containment really quite well.”
5:14am – The Seattle skyline went blue overnight, honoring the city’s health care workers currently fighting the coronavirus outbreak on the front lines.
This came as part of a national effort across social media to #LightItBlue, where numerous U.S. cities also changed the color of their respective skylines.
Thursday, April 9:
5:45pm – Washington state is reporting 445 deaths due to coronavirus, which is an increase of 24 deaths since Wednesday. There are 9,608 positive cases in the state, an increase of 511 cases since yesterday. On a positive note, the rate of positive tests remains at 8.7%. That number hasn’t changed in over a week. Health officials have tested 88,044 people across Washington state.
5:30pm – “Any backsliding, any reduction in commitment to social distancing, and inability to respect this stay at home, stay healthy initiative means more people are going to lose their lives in the state of Washington,” Gov. Inslee said in a news conference on Thursday. “That’s important to say because given our early success, given that the sun is out, it would be human to take our foot off the pedal here, but that is just too dangerous.”
4:35pm – Seattle Mayor Durkan is shutting down 15 parks and beaches.
Green Lake, Lincoln, Golden Gardens, Seward Park, Magnuson Park, Gas Works, Alki Beach, and Discovery, as well as Cal Anderson, Carkeek, Woodland Park, Volunteer Park, Kubota Garden, West Seattle Stadium, and the Washington Park Arboretum will close on Friday, April 10th at 11pm and will reopen Monday, April 12 at 4:30 am. Rattlesnake Lake Recreation Area and Rattlesnake Ledge Trail will remain closed.
Stan Sayres, Magnuson, Don Armeni, and Atlantic St boat launches are also closed for the weekend.
“The Police Department supports the Mayor’s decision to close the parks, and we will work with the Parks Department to carry out this order,” said Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best.
3:49pm – “We’ve implemented a number of strategies within the system and that includes active screening for all individuals that come into the system,” said Steve Sinclair, secretary of the Department of Corrections. Watch the full news conference here.
That was after over a hundred inmates at the Monroe Correctional Facility caused a disturbance and threatened to set fires Wednesday night, according to the Washington State Patrol.
Sinclair said individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 at Monroe broke quarantine Wednesday night and mixed with the general population in living quarters. They began vandalizing the two housing units.
Correctional facilities have increased sanitization at facilities, incarcerated individuals are getting more free soap, and they’re encouraging more hand sanitizing.
Additionally, Sinclair said they’ve crafted and edited protocols about 13 different times in the past five weeks, depending on a rapidly changing situation.
“Those protocols go into place when we have a case come into the system,” Sinclair said. “As an example, those protocols would be that an individual is showing flu-like symptoms, would be placed in isolation,we would test them while they’re in isolation, make a determination whether they need to remain if they’re COVID positive.”
The DOC updates its website daily about coronavirus cases, according to Sinclair.
Last Sunday, Monroe reported its first positive case. Through mapping, DOC identified six other people to test. They were placed in isolation until the tests eventually came back positive. Some were moved to other housing units, which was met with resistance. At the same time, another housing unit was placed in quarantine, which was also met with resistance. They eventually broke quarantine by going out into the yard, which puts others at risk.
“Today we continue our efforts to move people around within the system to give them a level of isolation so that we can better protect them,” Sinclair said. “It takes everyone’s cooperation. I was extremely disappointed by what we saw at Monroe, which hasn’t been consistent with what we’ve seen at other populations around the state.”
In an effort to reduce incarcerated populations, Sinclair said they’ve been looking at individuals who are within 60 days of release who are non-violent drug offenders who may be allowed to leave earlier.
Inslee said they’ve also been encouraging older incarcerated populations to go into better isolated facilities, but they have refused to go.
“That’s been disappointing,” Inslee said.
3:32pm – King County health officials are reporting 258 deaths on Thursday, and 3,886 cases of coronavirus. That’s an increase of 14 deaths since Wednesday and 198 cases.
3:05pm – “Saturday Night Live” will be back on the air this weekend with a show that abides by social distancing rules. The material will be produced remotely, the network said, in compliance with efforts to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Part of the pandemic’s fallout was a shutdown of movie and TV production that included “Saturday Night Live.” Its last original episode aired March 7. Read more from AP.
2:57pm – Health officials in Snohomish County report 64 deaths and 1,745 cases on Thursday, that’s an increase of one death and 50 cases. Everett alone is reporting 511 cases.
2:36pm – The Seattle Mariners are hosting a blood drive at T-Mobile Park from Monday, April 13 to Saturday, May 2 with Bloodworks Northwest. Mariners Hall of Famer Dan Wilson and his wife Annie will be among the first to donate blood during the pop-up donor event. Read more from 710 ESPN Seattle’s Shannon Drayer.
By appointment-only – sign up here.
“This is an unprecedented time, but when there is a crisis, our community always comes together,” Wilson said. “Giving blood is something we all can do to help to meet a critical need during this national emergency.”
Mondays 8am – 4pm (except 4/13, which will be 10am-4pm)
Wednesdays 10am – 6pm
Saturdays 8am – 4pm
2:07pm – Gov. Inslee will hold a press conference at 3:30pm. He’ll be joined by Steve Sinclair, secretary of the Department of Corrections. On Wednesday night, over a hundred inmates at the Monroe Correctional Facility caused a disturbance and threatened to set fires, according to the Washington State Patrol.
Earlier yesterday, the correctional facility reported that six incarcerated men had tested positive for COVID-19. They are currently in isolation and being treated.
2:01pm – Pierce County is reporting 45 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total to 838 in that county. Health officials are also reporting one new death — a man in his 70s from Edgewood. Over 8,800 residents have been tested, with about 9.45% resulting in confirmed positive cases. Tacoma itself is reporting 300 positive cases.
1:50pm – Trupanion, which provides medical insurance for pets, reported on Thursday that feline respiratory claims in North America have remained static. Recent reports of a tiger testing positive for COVID-19 at the Bronx Zoo created some concern about whether pets can carry and spread the virus.
“While we do see normal seasonal fluctuations, our data suggests that frequency of respiratory related claims remains consistent, both countrywide and in high impact areas such as Washington, California and New York,” said Mary Rothlisberger, Vice President of Analytics at Trupanion.
In fact, “can tigers get coronavirus” led search terms on Google for at least 24 hours.
12:43pm – With the sun shining, Washington Emergency Management urged people to “stick to your neighborhoods” if you plan on going outdoors.
“Remember, most local, state and federal parks and recreation remain closed,” it noted on Twitter.
12:12pm – Republic Police Chief Loren Culp spoke out against Washington’s stay-at-home order Thursday, claiming that it’s “restrictions are not evenly applied but selective and allow him to pick winners and losers.” Culp is currently running for governor as a Republican against Jay Inslee.
11:20am -With Washington state under a stay-at-home order, why did the City of Seattle tow the cars of a dozen residents? Read more from KIRO Radio’s Chris Sullivan.
10:13am – Over 170,000 unemployment claims were filed in Washington state last week between March 29 and April 4. That was a 6.5% decrease over the previous week, but a 2,627% year-over-year jump, and seven times more than the peak week during the 2008 recession.
9:51am – Pressure is mounting on Gov. Inslee to relax his stay-at-home requirements for the construction industry. He is getting letters from developers, lawmakers, and others saying private construction is just as essential as public construction. Read more.
9:10am – Clarifying his decision to redeploy the field hospital set up at CenturyLink Field, Gov. Jay Inslee noted that while the state has been also able to return ventilators, it still has a “desperate need for (personal protective equipment)” for frontline health workers.
“We’re collaborating with other states to make sure we’re getting the resources we need, and passing on the ones we don’t,” said Inslee.
The governor announced Wednesday the CenturyLink Field hospital would be redeployed to a state with greater needs than Washington at this time.
8:57am – Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant will be leading a Coronavirus Healthcare Crisis Online Town Hall tonight at 6 p.m.
“If you’re an essential or frontline worker, we want to your your story during public testimony,” says the description for the event.
You can see more details on the town hall here.
8:18am – Seattle Fred Hutchinson researcher Dr. Steve Pergam continued his call for more health experts to lead the federal coronavirus response Wednesday.
“It is criminal that we still aren’t hearing from so many clinical, science and public health experts on a daily basis,” Dr. Pergam said on Twitter. “This crisis isn’t political — it is an infection and a Public Health issue. We want facts, not platitudes.”
“Let’s bring back the real experts,” he added.
7:34am – Citing an “unsatisfactory” level of help from the federal government, Gov. Jay Inslee is looking elsewhere for help bringing in crucial coronavirus test kits. Read more.
7:12am – Alaska Airlines has announced more cuts to its local flights, this time scaling back flights out of Everett’s Paine Field.
As of Friday, Alaska will halt flights to six destinations out of Paine Field.
6:26am – With a startling 6.6 million people seeking jobless benefits last week, the United States has reached a grim landmark: More than one in 10 workers have lost their jobs in just the past three weeks to the coronavirus outbreak. Read more from AP here.
5:43am – A new report from ABC News claims that U.S. intelligence officials were sending warnings regarding the spread of coronavirus in Wuhan, China as early as last November.
“Analysts concluded it could be a cataclysmic event,” a source told ABC, stating that “it was briefed multiple times” to Pentagon. The Pentagon issued a statement Wednesday night denying those reports.
5:20am – Over a hundred inmates at the Monroe Correctional Facility caused a disturbance Wednesday night, threatening to set fires, according to the Washington State Patrol.
This came after six inmates and five staff members all tested positive for coronavirus.
According to the Department of Corrections, the incident was brought under control by pepper spray, sting balls, and rubber pellets.
Several wives of inmates claimed that their husbands were not safe from the virus inside the prison.
“(My husband) doesn’t even eat in the chow hall, because the last time he was in there they were sitting two men at a table less than three feet apart,” one told KIRO 7. “There’s no social distancing in there.”
The DOC claims complaints of the facility not enacting social distancing measures are untrue. All six inmates who tested positive for the virus had been moved into isolation prior to Wednesday night’s incident.
Wednesday, April 8:
9:20pm – The Monroe Correctional Complex reported it had six incarcerated men who have tested positive for COVID-19. The men have been isolated from the general population and are getting treated from a health care team. Hundreds of inmates caused a disturbance Wednesday evening. Read more.
5:31pm – As debates continue on a second round of relief for individuals or a fund for small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the $1,200 direct payments to Americans are set to begin next week. Read more from the AP.
4:43pm – The Port of Seattle is suspending current construction projects from Thursday to Monday in order to review and update safety plans to help protect workers and slow the spread of coronavirus.
4:09pm – The Daily of the University of Washington reports that as of April 5, 813 students at the UW withdrew from spring quarter classes. A petition requesting at least a partial refund for the now remote quarter as all classes have moved online has been circulating, gathering nearly 14,000 signatures.
3:41pm – Health officials say 421 people have died from coronavirus — that’s 27 more since yesterday. The state is also reporting 9,097 positive cases, an increase of 415 since Tuesday. Over 88,000 people have been tested and of those 8.7% have been confirmed positive. The rate of positive tests hasn’t changed in about a week. In King County alone, there are 3,668 positive cases and 242 deaths.
3:28pm – Metro bus and streetcar drivers will be getting masks later this week if the county can secure them, according to KIRO 7. A spokesperson for the King County transit service says they’re constantly assessing driver and passenger safety and making changes based on recommendations from county health experts.
Metro employees continue to push for more measures to keep themselves safe.
2:46pm – Snohomish County is reporting 63 deaths and 1,695 confirmed positive cases. The county says 854 people have recovered from the virus. Everett alone makes up 502 of those cases.
1:58pm – Pierce County is reporting 36 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total to 795. The county says two more people have died of the virus — a male in his 80s from Buckley and a female in her 100s from Tacoma, both with underlying health conditions. There have been 16 people who’ve died from coronavirus.
1:16pm – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded $36,581,775 to 27 health centers in Washington to help respond to coronavirus. The health centers can use the funds to prevent, diagnose, and treat patients with coronavirus, and to maintain or increase staffing.
12:35pm – The coronavirus field hospital currently housed at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field will be redeployed to another state in need, Gov. Inslee announced Wednesday.
“Don’t let this decision give you the impression that we are out of the woods,” Inslee cautioned in a written statement. “We have to keep our guard up and continue to say home unless conducting essential activities.”
According to the latest predictive data from UW, Washington moved past its peak demand for hospital resources on April 2.
11:57am – Seattle-King County Public Health Director Patty Hayes pointed out Wednesday that the region is “bending the curve” in its ongoing fight against the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Well done, King County,” she said on Twitter, complimenting the leadership of Dr. Jeff Duchin, Executive Dow Constantine, and Mayor Jenny Durkan.
11:15am – Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is participating in a teleconference with the Washington State AARP to discuss how the coronavirus is affecting our senior communities. You can listen live now here.
10:44am – Costco is enacting a temporary measure to allow first responders and health care workers with membership cards to move to the front of the line to enter any of their locations. That includes police officers, EMTs, doctors, nurses, and firefighters among others.
The warehouse chain has been limiting the amount of people allowed inside at any given time to encourage social distancing, a measure many other grocery stores have enacted themselves.
10:31am – While one might expect ambulances to be out en masse during a pandemic, Seattle-area 911 calls have actually been down in recent weeks. Read more.
9:48am – Washington’s largest psychiatric facility in Western State Hospital continues to battle a coronavirus outbreak within its walls, with 22 confirmed cases among employees. Six patients have also tested positive, while one has died.
9:13am – With a push beginning for a national vote-by-mail system to mitigate risks presented by COVID-19, Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman is helping lead the charge.
Wyman also noted that it’s “not an option” to delay the November general election, as she looks to provide insight to other states into how Washington’s own vote-by-mail system has worked over the years. Read more.
8:45am – The Seattle Symphony has now furloughed three-fourths of its staff, according to a report from The Seattle Times. That includes 88 musicians, leaving just 58 people on staff out of its 250 total employees.
7:42am – A new app being tested by UW Medicine hopes to be able to predict the next major outbreak, as well as preventing people from returning to work while still sick. Read more.
6:51am – King County Metro employees are leading a call for more protections for drivers, cleaners, and more, in the face of ongoing coronavirus concerns.
“This is a matter of life and death for us … and our ridership,” Metro Streetcar Supervisor Linda Averill said in a virtual press conference Tuesday.
Workers have a petition circulating on Change.org, calling on the King County government to provide “full transparency and disclosure of coronavirus cases in the workplace,” daily cleaning and sanitizing of the filters of every bus in service, PPE for all workers involved in cleaning buses, and hazard pay “in the form of 40 hours pay for 30 hours work for all transit workers serving in harm’s way.”
6:18am – Looking for work? There’s now an online portal for Snohomish County residents in need of a job, with companies like Safeway, Walgreens, Costco, and more actively hiring to meet demand.
5:53am – Gov. Jay Inslee again emphasized the need for more coronavirus sample test kits, praising donations from the Bezos, Ballmer, and Allen families.
“Simply put — we need more tests,” Inslee said Tuesday. “This is an incredibly important contribution to the state. It will help every part of our COVID-19 response.”
5:19am – Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Tuesday that the City of Seattle would be pausing all public works projects for two days, to “allow contractors and staff to implement rigorous social distancing requirements and update health and safety plans.”
“Our foremost priority is the safety of our essential workers,” said Mayor Durkan in a news release.
This pause will include repairs on the West Seattle Bridge, which was closed entirely in late March after crews discovered significant deterioration.
Tuesday, April 7:
5:42pm – Dr. Anthony Fauci joined KTTH’s Jason Rantz Show for an interview on what the future of the coronavirus outbreak looks like in the United States, insight into Washington state’s own response, and more.
“The Seattle area and the state of Washington … never let it get to the point where containment wasn’t working,” he noted. “They were able to do that early containment really quite well.” Listen to the full interview here.
4:39pm – President Donald Trump said the coronavirus is hitting African Americans harder, according to data on the pandemic.
Speaking at the White House daily briefing, Dr. Anthony Fauci said the medical community has known for a long time that diseases like diabetes, hypertension, obesity and asthma hit minority populations, especially African Americans.
He said the coronavirus hits these people suffering from these underlying conditions hard and often require intubation, intensive care, and sometimes lead to death. Read more from AP.
3:44pm – State health officials say 394 people in Washington have died. There are 87,818 people who have been tested. Of those, 8,682 people have tested positive, which is a rate of 8.6% Health officials in Snohomish County are reporting 61 deaths and 1,659 cases. In King County, 230 people have died due to coronavirus. There are 3,486 confirmed positive cases in that county. In Pierce County, 14 people have died. There are 760 positive cases.
3:03pm – Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced the “See It, Snap It, Send It” campaign, encouraging Washingtonians to report price gouging during the coronavirus outbreak. Price gouging during an emergency violates the Consumer Protection Act, though there is not a statute to address price gouging in Washington state right now.
1:25pm – In addition to requesting people his age stay out of the stores and urging neighbors and friends to do their grocery shopping, Gov. Inslee announced on Tuesday assistance for small businesses.
“We know we have thousands of people who’ve put their lives into small business and we want to help them,” Inslee said.
The governor said small businesses with 10 employees or fewer can apply for $10K grants. Visit coronavirus.wa.gov. The state is also partnering with organizations to provide services like translations. Inslee also recommended businesses request forgivable loans from the federal government. Although he knows there are frustrations with the process and demand is high.
“There are frustrations, but we have to keep those applications coming in,” Inslee said.
“We know we have a long economic recovery ahead of us,” Inslee said. “We have to be intense in our efforts.”
The governor said the state is launching a fund to help food banks. Check out philanthropynw.org/wa-food-fund for more information.
“We expect 1.6 million Washingtonians approach food banks this week alone,” Inslee said, adding that’s about double the volume for a typical week.
12:54pm – Washington Rep. Kilmer is urging Congress to make feeding low income families struggling to make ends meet the priority in the next coronavirus relief package.
To that end, Kilmer hopes to boost the maximum SNAP benefit by 15%, almost double the monthly SNAP benefit from $16 to $30, and place a hold on rules that would weaken SNAP benefits.
12:17pm – Washington state has extended its insurance enrollment period through May 8 as a means to providing more assistance to residents during its COVID-19 crisis.
10:59am – As unemployment numbers continue to skyrocket and businesses struggle, economists remain concerned over just how long the ongoing shutdown will continue.
“If this does carry on, [and] if we are sheltered in place through the summer, then essentially all bets are off,” Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner told KIRO Radio’s Dave Ross. Read more here.
10:26am – Gov. Jay Inslee will be addressing the public in a live press conference at 1 p.m. Tuesday.
The governor will be joined by Director of Commerce Lisa Brown, and Clallam County Economic Development Council Executive Director Colleen McAleer.
The conference will be streamed live on KIRO Radio.
9:54am – Jason Biermann, Director of Snohomish County Office of Emergency Management, said Tuesday morning that they’ve set up donation sites for personal protection equipment.
So far, they’ve received:
- Over 1,500 pairs of eye protection
- Several thousand sets of gloves
- 6,500 sets of goggles
- 2,500 N95 masks
- Over 2,000 surgical masks
“This is going to be a marathon, not a sprint,” Biermann said. “Marathons have both up hills and down hills.”
Snohomish County is taking PPE donations at Willis Tucker Park on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.
9:29am – Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal is leading a bipartisan coalition of the state’s Congressional delegation, asking the Trump Administration to provide 4,000 additional coronavirus sample test kits.
That call came in the form of a letter from the coalition addressed to the Trump Administration’s coronavirus task force leaders.
“Currently the state’s testing capacity exceeds the availability of supplies necessary to collect samples, limiting Washington’s ability to respond to the COVID-19 crisis,” the letter reads. “Adequate access to testing supplies is critical to the prompt identification of cases necessary to allow public health responders to take protective measures and provide necessary treatment, all of which are essential to save lives and curb the COVID-19 public health emergency in Washington State.”
The group of Washington lawmakers leading this charge also includes Rep. Adam Smith, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, Rep. Rick Larsen, Rep. Suzan DelBene, Rep. Denny Heck, Rep. Derek Kilmer, Re. Dan NewHouse, and Rep. Kim Schrier.
9:00am – HighSpeedInternet.com is looking to reimburse five Seattle-area houses for two-months of internet service.
The website is offering the service as part of a giveaway in four metro areas, giving five households two months of free internet in each city. Winners will be drawn on April 30, and checks will be sent out by June 30.
You can find out how to enter here.
8:31am – Amid Washington’s ongoing stay-at-home order, REI will keep its 162 retail stores closed, furloughing 14,000 employees without pay for the next 90 days.
REI CEO Eric Artz also announced that he and the company’s board will forgo their compensation for the next six months.
Furloughed workers will still receive health care benefits during that 90-day period.
7:10am – A new fund is looking to distribute aid to King County restaurants struggling to stay afloat amid the state’s coronavirus outbreak.
Known as The Plate Fund, its goal is to send “immediate financial assistance” to restaurants and workers, while providing one-time payments of $500 to “the most impacted workers.”
You can donate to The Plate Fund here.
6:29am – In a bid to continue providing aid to fight the coronavirus pandemic, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has vowed to invest billions of dollars in factories developing a vaccine.
A handful of vaccine trials are underway across the U.S. Gates told The Daily Show‘s Trevor Noah his foundation will fund factories for seven of the most promising ones.
“Our early money can accelerate things,” he noted.
6:01am – Starting Tuesday, Fred Meyer locations will be limiting the number of customers allowed inside to 50% of each building’s capacity, “to allow for proper physical distancing in every store.”
This comes after QFC enacted a similar policy of its own, something many grocery stores have opted to do in recent weeks to keep shoppers safe.
5:25am – Addressing promising numbers released yesterday by the University of Washington’s predictive model was Seattle-King County Public Health’s Dr. Jeff Duchin.
Duchin pointed out in a virtual press conference Monday that despite the numbers indicating that Washington may be successfully flattening its curve, “the potential for rebound is enormous” is social distancing measures are relaxed too early.
Beyond that, he noted that we still need a more robust testing infrastructure to really be sure that we’ve mitigated all the risks.
“Until [we have] widespread testing and [a] massive scale-up of [the] public health system to ensure case/contact tracing, big time risk remains,” he noted.
That being so, Dr. Christopher Murray at UW’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation also labeled the latest predictive numbers as “tremendously good news at some level.”
Monday, April 6:
7:28pm – The Washington State Department of Health is now reporting 8,384 confirmed coronavirus cases statewide, with 372 deaths. There have been 87,902 total tests with 8.6% positive.
5:47pm – The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) has reached out to the Office of the Governor and OSPI for further clarification on how Monday’s announcement regarding school closures will impact regular-season and postseason athletic competitions and activities. The WIAA is working to determine the impact if the stay-at-home order were to be lifted on May 4.
5:32pm – Amazon is donating 8,200 laptops to Seattle Public School elementary families as part of the new Alliance for Education “Education Equity Fund” to help close the gap in distance learning while schools remain closed due to coronavirus. The district will prioritize laptops for students who do not have access to a device at home.
According to a release from SPS: “This new fund will support students furthest from educational justice in accessing the technology, technical support and additional learning resources required to continue to learn during the COVID-19 crisis.”
4:46pm – 3M says the company has a plan to produce 166.5 million N95 protective masks over the next three months to support healthcare workers in the United States. President Trump had used his authority under the 1950 Defense Production Act to stop exporting such masks, also known as respirators. Read more from AP.
3:47pm – Kitsap County has confirmed its first death due to coronavirus. The patient was an older adult with underlying health conditions.
“We were saddened to learn of the death of this community member and our hearts go out to their family and loved ones during this difficult time,” Kitsap Public Health District Health Officer Dr. Susan Turner said. “As a community, we must do everything we can to slow the spread of this illness and protect our neighbors who are most at risk. Please continue to stay home, wash your hands, and clean your living spaces. These simple steps can save lives.”
3:19pm – In King County, public health officials are reporting 222 deaths due to coronavirus, an increase of 14 since Sunday. The county is reporting 164 new cases, bringing the total to 3,331. Snohomish County health officials say 1,603 positive cases, with 58 deaths. Of those, 830 people have already recovered and 527 cases are still under investigation. In Pierce County, there are 31 new confirmed cases, bringing the total to 717 cases. Twelve people have died of the virus. Over 8,800 Pierce County residents have been tested.
2:39pm – Gov. Inslee announced Monday that private and public K-12 schools statewide will be closed for the remainder of the school year.
“All schools will continue distance learning through the end of this school year,” Inslee said. Read more here.
2:14pm – The Woodland Park Zoo said on Monday is it canceling ZooTunes concerts, summer day camps, and after hours events like Tasting Flight and WildBites.
“To those who have already purchased tickets for Blondie – thank you for supporting the zoo!,” the zoo posted on Facebook. “We’re sorry we won’t be holding this concert in August and we will be in touch by e-mail soon with next steps.”
1:43pm – Sound Transit said it is temporarily eliminating one roundtrip on Sounder South starting Wednesday, April 8. The transit agency said it is a reflection of a 92 percent reduction in ridership.
Sounder South weekday service will be reduced to seven round trips. Train 1505 (7:55 a.m. southbound Seattle departure) and train 1518 (10:16 a.m. northbound Lakewood departure) will be removed from the schedule. The northbound trips previously canceled are the 1502, 1506 and 1508 departures from Lakewood, and the 1516 and 1522 departures from Tacoma. The canceled southbound trips are the 1503, 1509, 1517, 1519, and 1523 departures from Seattle.
12:55pm – QFC grocery stores in Washington will be enacting new safety measures, limiting the number of customers inside to 50% of building code capacity, and instituting a test pilot program for one-way aisles.
12:27pm – BBC News is now reporting that United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been moved into intensive care, after an escalation of his coronavirus symptoms.
Johnson was admitted to the hospital on Sunday.
11:36am – Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan will be joining AARP Washington on Wednesday at 11 a.m., for a tele-townhall to discuss the impacts of coronavirus on the senior community, “and how to remain vigilant.”
You can watch the town hall online here.
10:48am – A new study concludes that self-testing with a nasal swab “provides a precise, mechanistic readout of respiratory virus shedding and local immune responses,” touting it as a reliable means for getting results.
This comes as researchers look to determine the accuracy of at-home, self-testing, versus tests administered by medical professionals.
10:06am – Seattle City Councilmembers Kshama Sawant and Tammy Morales will be presenting their “Tax Amazon” legislation at Monday’s council session at 2 p.m., in hopes of using it to provide coronavirus relief to low income families and small businesses in Seattle.
The proposed tax would give $200,000 in “immediate cash assistance” to as many as 100,000 households.
9:41am – Gov. Inslee will be delivering a live press conference Monday at 2:30 p.m., and will be joined by Washington State Superintendent of Schools Chris Reykdal.
9:27am – The University of Washington is leading a clinical trial in Seattle and New York City to determine whether hydroxychloroquine actually provides protection against coronavirus.
The trial will include 2,000 participants and will over eight weeks.
“If all goes well, [we] will have answers by summer,” said UW Medicine.
8:13am – The 2020 Masters tournament has been officially been moved to Nov. 9-15, after it was initially delayed over concerns related to the coronavirus.
8:04am – Experts from both the University of Washington and Washington State University will convene for a panel Thursday, April 9 at 4 p.m., to talk about how the spread of inaccurate information has complicated efforts to quell the coronavirus pandemic.
Participants will include Jevin West, the director of UW’s Center for an Informed Public, UW Associate Professor Kate Starbird, WSU Associate Professor Porismita Borah, and more.
7:21am – UW Medicine and Bloodworks Northwest are calling for volunteers who have successfully recovered from COVID-19 to donate plasma, in hopes of developing a new therapy to treat the virus.
If you qualify, head over to this link for more information about how you can participate.
6:30am – Travelers continue to be sparse at airports across the U.S., with the TSA screening just 118,302 people at checkpoints nationwide on Saturday, a new low.
Numbers were similarly low on Sunday, when 122,029 travelers were screened at TSA checkpoints.
5:48am – The weeks-long statewide closure of K-12 schools Gov. Jay Inslee ordered last month is set to expire April 24. But with the rest of the state ordered to stay home beyond that date, could school already be out for the summer? Read more.
5:05am – Jay Inslee decried the lack of a federal response to the COVID-19 crisis over the weekend, in the wake of numerous statements from President Trump describing the White House as a “backup” to states battling the virus on the front lines.
“This is ludicrous that we do not have a national effort,” Inslee told MSNBC’s Meet the Press. “To say we’re a ‘backup,’ can you imagine if Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, ‘I’ll be right behind you Connecticut — good luck building those battleships’?”