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COVID-19 updates: 920 new coronavirus cases in Washington state

The line at a drive through COVID-19 testing site in Seattle on Aurora Avenue on June 30, 2020. (MyNorthwest photo)

The number of positive coronavirus cases in Washington state is closing in on 47,000 cases, with 920 new cases reported on Sunday.

Confirmed coronavirus cases across Washington state

Follow live updates today below.

Sunday, July 19

7:12pm – Health officials say 46,946 have tested positive for coronavirus in Washington state, out of the 808,339 cases conducted.  That’s 920 new cases since Saturday. The state says three more people have died from the virus, bringing the total to 1,447.

2:51pm – The coronavirus pandemic has found fresh legs around the world, as confirmed deaths pass 600,000 and countries from the U.S. to South Africa to India struggle to contain a surge of new infections. Hong Kong issued tougher new rules on wearing face masks, Spain closed overcrowded beaches and Germany reported another outbreak at a slaughterhouse. Read more.

12:14pm – Will it be safe to reopen schools in person in the fall? University of Washington’s Carl Bergstrom looks at a recent study out of South Korea which sheds some light on that question. Read more

9:52am – The push for mask-wearing continues, with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s Dr. Ali Mokdad speaking to Fox News about how they could potentially “save lives and the economy.”

Saturday, July 18

6:12pm – The Washington Department of Health now reports 46,026 total COVID-19 cases statewide, along with 1,444 deaths. That marks increases of 959 and 10 respectively. Out of over 791,786 tests, 5.8% have been positive.

4:44pm – King County is hosting a mask distribution event next Tuesday, July 21 between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. at the Federal Way Aquatic Center. The event will be limited to King County residents, and will be operate as a drive-thru pickup.

11:59am – Emergency rooms across the United States are beginning to fill to capacity with new COVID-19 cases surging.

“I’ve never seen anything like this COVID surge,” said Baylor College of Medicine’s Dr. Alison Haddock, based out of Texas. Read more

7:31am – While many countries have managed to get their respective COVID-19 outbreaks under control without much in the way of conflict among the populous, the virus response in the U.S. has been slowed by a population that doesn’t appear to agree on even the most basic of mitigation measures. University of Washington professor of psychology Jane Simoni spoke to KIRO Nights about why that is. Read more

Friday, July 17

5:04pm – Health officials say there are 45,067 positive coronavirus cases in Washington state, out of 767,657 cases conducted. That’s a 5.9% rate of positive cases. There have been 1,434 people who’ve died from the virus.

3:37pm – The NFL Players Association wants players tested daily for coronavirus, one of the outstanding points in discussions with the NFL over health and safety protocols as the start of training camp draws near.

“We believe daily testing is important, especially given some of these hot spots,” NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said Friday, referring to states with increasing numbers of coronavirus cases. “We don’t right now plan on changing that position.” Read more.

12:23pm – With reports of longer wait times to get COVID-19 tests and delays in receiving results both nationally and locally, Public Health – Seattle & King County says this should not prevent people from seeking testing if they have symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19. Testing remains an importance piece in slowing the transmission of COVID-19.

Public health officials are also reminding people to isolate away from others until their test result is returned. Anyone without symptoms who has been in contact with someone with known or suspected COVID-19 should also quarantine themselves and seek testing for COVID-19. Read more.

11:02am – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday extended a ban on cruises in U.S. waters until the end of September to limit the spread of COVID-19. KING-TV reports Holland America Line sold four ships in its fleet as the coronavirus pandemic has halted operations and subsequently slowed businesses that rely on incoming traffic from the industry. Read more.

8:32am – The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department is seeing its highest number of new COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.

The latest report shows 89 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to nearly 3,500 in Pierce County.

Health officials say the number of people who saw moving into Phase 2 of reopening as a free-for-all are contributing to the spread. On Thursday, Governor Inslee announced he’s limiting social gatherings to 10 people in Phase 3 counties.

Pierce County is currently in Phase 2, where gatherings will remain capped at 5 people.

5:39am – With schools getting ready to resume, there’s still a good deal of uncertainty over whether it’s safe to send children back into classrooms together. Columbia virologist Dr. Angela Rasmussen weighed in on KIRO Radio’s Gee and Ursula Show on what exactly we might be in store for come fall. Read more

Thursday, July 16

4:00pm – The state Department of Health is reporting a total of 44,313 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 1,427 deaths statewide. That marks an increase of 1,267 new cases since Wednesday’s report, and 6 new deaths. There have been 753,174 total tests, with 5.9% positive results.

2:59pm – As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise across the state of Washington, Gov. Inslee announced a change Thursday for the limits of social gatherings. Counties in Phase 3 must be limited to 10 people or less at all social gatherings, which is a change from what was previously allowed in Phase 3. For those counties in Phase 2 or a modified Phase 1, which is most of the state, social gatherings must be limited to five people or less. Read more.

2:10pm – Washington health officials and local leaders joined together Wednesday to discuss the findings of a new report published by the Institute for Disease Modeling in regards to reopening schools in the fall, and what it implies for the community as a whole. The report is titled, “Schools are not islands.”

Dr. Jeff Duchin, health officer with Public Health – Seattle & King County, called the report “sobering.” Read more.

10:46am – Washington saw 42,466 regular unemployment claims last week, a 42.5% increase over the previous week. The state saw 706,309 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories, a 4.1% decrease.

8:07amThe latest forecast from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation projects that the national death toll from COVID-19 could rise above 224,000 by November 1. This marks a 16,000-death increase from the IHME’s previous projections.

5:57am – 1.3 million people sought unemployment benefits in the U.S. last week, the 17th straight week that figure has risen above 1 million. Applications for jobless aid decreased by roughly 10,000 over the previous week.

5:39am – Will kids be able to withstand wearing masks in school when classes resume in the fall? The father of a child with cystic fibrosis believes it’s possible. Here’s why

Wednesday, July 15

5:59pm – The Museum of Flight is partnering with Bloodworks Northwest for a pop-up donor center at the museum on July 29, 31, and Aug. 1. Donors during this blood drive will receive a 50% discount on a future admission to the museum, and a 10% discount on in-store purchases at the Museum Store.

The store will be open during the pop-up, but the galleries are temporarily closed to the public.

5:03pm – There are 43,046 confirmed cases and 1,421 deaths statewide, as reported by the Washington State Department of Health. A total of 733,886 people have been tested, 5.9% of which have been positive.

4:05pm – The Institute for Disease Modeling published a report that models six alternative strategies for school reopening in the fall, taking into account varying levels of COVID-19 transmission in and outside of schools.

Lacy Fehrenbach, Deputy Secretary for COVID-19 response with the state Department of Health, said in a briefing Tuesday that schools may be able to reopen without sustained growth of the virus, but only if there are health and safety measures in place, and if community transmission is low. Without those conditions, the number of new cases could double over the three month period of the fall, Fehrenbach said.

She added that if we want teachers, staff, and students to return to school, everyone needs to continue to limit their interactions, both professionally and socially, to reduce the spread. View the full report.

12:45pm – King County is teaming up with the King County Library System to distribute cloth and disposable face coverings and hand sanitizer to residents. About 650 community and faith-based organizations began handing out the supplies on Monday out of eight library branches across the county.

On June 23, Gov. Inslee issued a mask mandate, requiring all Washingtonians to wear a mask in public. On July 7, he asked all businesses to refuse service to customers who aren’t wearing a mask.

“While it’s easy to feel helpless in the face of this pandemic, everyone in King County can help pave the road to recovery by wearing face coverings and following public health guidelines,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine.

11:24am – One of the first major cancellations of 2021 was made Wednesday, with next year’s Rose Parade in Pasadena getting the ax for the first time since World War II. You can read more details on the move here.

9:16am – Walmart will require customers to wear face coverings at all of its namesake and Sam’s Club stores, making it the largest retailer to introduce such a policy that has otherwise proven difficult to enforce without state and federal requirements. Read more.

In Washington state, Gov. Inslee has already mandated that all businesses refuse service to anyone not wearing a mask.

7:51am – The Trump administration has ordered hospitals to send all COVID-19 patient information to a central database in Washington, D.C., bypassing the CDC in the process.

5:19am – Gov. Inslee had some good news out of Yakima on Tuesday, reporting that the number of residents wearing masks has risen from 35% at the end of May to 95%.

“Cases, infection rates and hospitalizations all seem to be declining in that county. It’s early, but it’s a good sign masks are helping beat this virus,” Inslee said.

Tuesday, July 14

5:16pm – Duke’s Chowder House on Alki Beach reopened Tuesday after being closed due to an outbreak of COVID-19. Duke’s said it submitted a COVID-19 safety plan on July 10 and worked with public health officials to finalize and confirm the plan’s implementation. It addresses all the previous public health concerns, including employee health screening, physical distancing for employees and customers, and 50% seating capacity.

All employees have been tested for COVID-19 per public health recommendations.

4:21pm – There are now 42,304 confirmed coronavirus cases statewide, with 1,404 deaths, as reported by the state Department of Health. A total of 718,234 people have been tested, 5.9% of which have been positive results.

3:45pm – Gov. Inslee announced that the pause on reopening will remain in place until at least July 28. This means no counties will advance forward in the Safe Start phases until the end of the month, at the earliest. Read more.

2:22pm – In the Washington State Department of Health’s data update on Monday, there were 39 fewer deaths than reported on Sunday. The DOH said Tuesday that this decrease is due to a changed reporting system. The department released a new report July 14, 2020, to explain how the department plans to enhance COVID-19 death reporting statewide. Read more.

12:23pm – Gov. Jay Inslee will be providing an update on Washington’s ongoing respond to the COVID-19 crisis. The virtual press conference will begin at 2:30 p.m., and will be streamed live on TVW here.

8:59am – Snohomish Health District says there have been 150 new COVID-19 cases from Friday to Monday. The target for moving on to Phase 3 is 25 or fewer cases per 100,000 residents every 14 days. The last shapshot, posted on July 2, showed 53 cases, which was an increase from 38 cases during the previous snapshot. Gov. Inslee froze counties from moving ahead for at least two weeks.

7:03am – King County is looking to help out people in need of masks, hosting a face covering distribution program. The county has already provided 25 million masks to members of the community as part of a coalition of local organizations. You can read more about its efforts here.

5:16am – While children are largely considered to be more resilient when infected with COVID-19, there are still concerns that sending them back to school will still carry serious consequences for some.

“The death rate among the young is not zero, and it is particularly not zero for people who have at least one co-morbid condition,” Seattle Fred Hutchinson’s Dr. Joshua Schiffer said recently. “This is not a completely benign disease of the young.”

Monday, July 13:

10:42pm – Health officials say there are 41,757 positive cases of coronavirus in Washington state. There are 1,399 deaths due to the virus. That’s actually 39 deaths fewer than reported on Sunday. Over 708,000 tests have been conducted in the state.

3:47pm – State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Chris Reykdal, tells the Dori Monson Show on KIRO Radio that even a few weeks ago, the consensus was that parents wanted to send their kids back to school in-person, without question. But the feeling is shifting a bit as cases increase. Read more.

1:46pm – It turns out that the July coronavirus might not be the April version, and coronavirus mutations play a major role in infection rates and potential vaccines. How will that impact us? Read more.

12:21pm – Public Health – Seattle & King County are conducting spot checks for compliance with the state’s health guidance at restaurants in an expanded effort to educate and enforce reopening requirements. If the guidance is not met after the restaurant has been informed and educated on proper precautions, health officials will close establishments until modifications are made. Read more.

10:15am – Washington Sen. Patty Murray laid out a proposal Monday to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines “are widely available at no cost.”

“Rapidly and equitably developing, producing, distributing, and administering hundreds of millions of doses of vaccines will be a massive challenge, demanding effective management, discipline and transparency—none of which the Trump Administration has demonstrated so far,” Murray said.

7:40am – The seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases in Washington now exceeds the peak number set in early March, according to the latest report from Bellevue’s Institute for Disease Modeling. You can read the IDM’s full report here.

5:13am – As many workers begin to head back into the office, experts say their pets may be suffering. Is your fur-baby destroying things around the house or maybe overly grooming themselves? It could be signs of separation anxiety as you head back to work.

Veterinarians suggest making small adjustments now, to get them used to being home alone again. Start by getting back to those former routines you might have dropped, like getting dressed and leaving the house. And make your departure time is similar to your usual workday routine.

Read last week’s COVID-19 updates here

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