COVID-19 updates: Nearly 80K cases and 1,991 deaths
The DOH says there have been nearly 80,000 coronavirus in Washington state, and 1,991 people have died from the virus. The rate of positive cases is 4.85%. Check below for more updates.
Sunday, Sept. 13
9:56pm – A study from the Centers for Disease Control showed that “adults with positive SARS-CoV-2 test results were approximately twice as likely to have reported dining at a restaurant than were those with negative SARS-CoV-2 test results.”
The study suggested that eating and drinking on-site might be risk factors associated with coronavirus infection. Efforts should be made to reduce exposure where mask usage and social distancing are hard to maintain, such as while eating and drinking.
3:44pm – Health officials say there have been 79,826 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Washington state, and 1,991 deaths. The number of deaths has not changed since Friday as DOH does not update those statistics over the weekend. With 1,644,585 tests conducted, that puts the rate of positive tests at 4.85%.
12:18pm – The DOH calculates with the rate of 10-15 COVID-19 deaths per day across the state, Washington will see another 1,250 to 1,875 additional deaths by the end of 2020. At the time of the report, DOH was reporting 1,870 deaths due to the virus, which means at that pace, we could see a total of 3,120 to 3,745 deaths before the end of the year. The state says that would make COVID-19 a top five cause of death this year. Also in the top 5, heart disease, cancer, accidents, and Alzheimer’s Disease.
7:52am – Over 131,000 people have died from coronavirus in the United States, and over 6,489,000 people have fallen ill from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center. Worldwide, there have been over 920,000 deaths, and over 28 million cases.
Saturday, Sept. 12
8:02pm – A study published in Science Magazine concluded that coronavirus was circulating undetected for several weeks in Washington state from late January to early February 2020.
4:01pm – Health officials say there have been 79,476 cases of coronavirus in Washington state, and there have been 1,991 deaths. The latter number hasn’t changed since Friday as the state doesn’t update the death toll on the weekends. There have been 1,631,162 tests done so far, putting the rate of positive tests at 4.87%.
1:49pm – Smoke and COVID-19 have you feeling crummy? The state put together a list of resources for mental and emotional well-being. If you are experiencing excess stress due to COVID-19 call 833-681-0211 for support and resources.
7:59am – Antarctica is the only continent without COVID-19. Now, as nearly 1,000 scientists and others who wintered over on the ice are seeing the sun for the first time in weeks or months, a global effort wants to make sure incoming colleagues don’t bring the virus with them.
Friday, Sept. 11
5:11pm – Gov. Inslee updated the guidance for indoor fitness and training facilities, allowing them to operate in Modified Phase 1 counties under Phase 2 guidance. This means facilities like gyms, yoga studios, and indoor sports facilities can open for personal fitness and training, group fitness classes, and practice for certain sports with limited occupancy. Masks are required.
Find a full list of reopening guidance here.
3:16pm – The state Department of Health is reporting a total of 79,011 confirmed cases with 1,991 deaths, which is an increase of 544 new cases and six deaths since Thursday. Statewide, there have been 1,614,748 total tests.
2:29pm – Seattle is opening a new “healthy air center” in the SoDo neighborhood for anyone experiencing homelessness. Public Health – Seattle & King County is advising the city to make sure its temporary shelter set up for smoky conditions meets both air filtration guidance and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention to prevent the spread of COVID-19. That guidance also includes social distancing and hygiene measures. Face coverings will be provided, as well as no-touch hand washing stations.
The city also announced Friday that all beaches, parks, and boat launches will be closed through Sunday over concerns brought on by poor air quality. Read more.
1:14pm – Children who caught the coronavirus at day cares and a day camp spread it to their relatives, according to a new report that underscores that kids can bring the germ home and infect others.
Scientists already know children can spread the virus. But the study published Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “definitively indicates — in a way that previous studies have struggled to do — the potential for transmission to family members,” said William Hanage, a Harvard University infectious diseases researcher. Read more from AP.
10:56am – A new study from Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network found that during COVID-19 lockdowns, common colds continue to be on the rise.
That being so, mitigation efforts from COVID have also led to a downtick in other illnesses, driving a “deeper and much longer suppression of respiratory diseases.”
7:17am – King County is closing a trio of outdoor COVID-19 testing sites, due to concerns over poor air quality from wildfire smoke. Closures will include the following sites:
- Valley Regional Fire Authority, Auburn
- HealthPoint, Renton
- Downtown Seattle Public Health Center
5:49am – Americans are commemorating 9/11 with tributes that have been altered by coronavirus precautions and woven into the presidential campaign, drawing both President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden to pay respects at the same memorial without crossing paths. Read more from the Associated Press.
Thursday, Sept. 10
5:17pm – While Major League Baseball and the NBA have played without fans, the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs were allowed to open the season Thursday night against the Houston Texans at 22% capacity. The remainder of the NFL teams start their seasons Sunday, including the Seahawks, with restrictions that vary by stadium, with some games devoid of fans and others with scaled-back crowd sizes like Kansas City. Read more from the AP.
The Seahawks play the Falcons in Atlanta. Kickoff is 10 a.m. A reduced size crowd is expected at Mercedes Benz Stadium. Fans will be required to wear a mask.
3:15pm – The state Department of Health reports 78,467 total confirmed cases statewide, with 1,985 deaths. That’s an increase of 458 cases and seven deaths since Wednesday. In Washington, there have been a total of 1,597,987 tests.
2:32pm – Public Health — Seattle & King County is highlighting six high-capacity testing locations, which are drive-through and walk-up sites aimed at increasing the access to testing. Officials say early testing is important to help COVID-19 from spreading to friends, family, and the community. Find a list of the six sites here and make an appointment online if you have any symptoms or have been in contact with someone who has the virus.
10:40am – Washington saw just over 20,000 regular unemployment claims last week, a 10.1% increase over the previous week. In total, there were 531,425 claims for all unemployment benefit categories, down 6.5% from the prior week.
9:24am – Washington Senator Patty Murray vowed Thursday to vote against a COVID-19 relief bill currently being pushed by Republicans in Congress.
According to Murray, the bill “fails to meet deep needs nationwide,” and “actually has policies that could undermine response efforts and make people’s lives harder.”
The package includes federal aid for unemployed workers, small businesses, schools, and vaccine development.
But it does not include another round of stimulus checks or aid to state and local governments, and the amount of aid to unemployed workers is half of what was included in the previous relief package.
Democrats say this is unacceptable, and party leadership says they won’t accept any proposal less than $2.2 trillion.
7:38am – Try as he might to change the subject, President Donald Trump can’t escape the coronavirus.
In April, the president tried to shift the public’s focus to the economy. In July, to defending the country’s “heritage.” In September, to enforcing “law and order.” But all along the way, the death toll from the coronavirus continued to mount.
And now, Trump’s own words are redirecting attention to his handling of the pandemic when he can least afford it — less than two months before Election Day. Read more from the Associated Press here.
5:32am – The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation now has COVID-19 projections out to January 2021. On its current path, it predicts Washington state could see 5,400 deaths from the virus by the start of the new year, and as many as 6,600 if social distancing mandates are fully eased.
The death toll drops to 2,744 by Jan. 1, 2021, though, with “universal mask acceptance,” a decrease of just over 2,600. Nationwide, the IHME believes that universal masks could save as many as 122,000 lives over that same time frame. That would entail 95% of people wearing masks at all times in public.
Wednesday, Sept. 9
5:36pm – There will be two free mask distribution events Thursday, Sept. 10, in southeast King County. From 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., masks will be handed out in the Neely Mansion parking lot in Auburn, and from 1:30-4 p.m at the Enumclaw Expo Center Field House parking lot.
Only county residents are eligible to receive masks at these events. Each resident can obtain two reusable cloth masks per household member, up to six household members.
3:12pm – Statewide, there are now 78,009 confirmed cases with 1,978 deaths, as reported by the Washington State Department of Health. There have been 1,583,903 total tests.
2:04pm – Health officials in the state of Washington are giving a weekly update on the state’s response to COVID-19. While new cases have started to trend down, officials remind everyone to keep social distancing, wearing face coverings, and limiting interactions with people outside of your household to limit the spread. As cases continue to decrease, the hope is that it will be safe for students to return to in-person learning and for businesses to reopen.
9:49am – AstraZeneca’s suspension of final testing of its potential COVID-19 vaccine while it investigates a volunteer’s illness shows there will be “no compromises” on safety in developing the shots, the chief of the National Institutes of Health told Congress on Wednesday.
“This ought to be reassuring,” NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins said before a Senate committee. “When we say we are going to focus first on safety and make no compromises, here is Exhibit A of how that is happening in practice.” Read more from the Associated Press here.
8:09am – The National Guard has now packed, processed, and distributed over 50 million pounds of food across Washington state as part of efforts to provide aid during the ongoing pandemic.
5:41am – With less than eight weeks until Election Day, Trump and Biden are taking diametrically opposite approaches to campaigning during a pandemic — and the differences amount to more than political theater. Read more from the Associated Press here.
Tuesday, Sept. 8
5:40pm – The state Department of Health’s website and phone lines were down most of the day because of windstorm damage. Due to this, there has not yet been an update of COVID-19 data for Tuesday.
3:29pm – In a press conference held Tuesday in response to the wildfires burning statewide, Gov. Inslee also briefly mentioned the state’s progress in responding to COVID-19. He emphasized the importance of college students taking safety precautions seriously as they return to campus, citing the outbreak near Washington State University. Pullman was recently identified as the No. 2 hotspot for new cases in the nation with more than 600 cases just in the past two weeks.
“You’re really important to our state right now,” Inslee said, addressing college students.
While most are returning to a remote learning model, college students often tend to live close together and like to socialize but that’s “deadly right now,” Inslee said.
“We need some leadership from the college students here,” Inslee continued. “This is just not a moment where typical partying is safe. It’s just dangerous.”
Inslee also wanted to recognize the great work Washingtonians have done to limit the spread of COVID-19. Relative to other states, Washington has the the 11th lowest case count per 100,000 residents over a seven-day average.
“The reason I point this out is — we care about those other states, we know they have challenges — but … what we are doing is to some degree working,” Inslee said.
“All of this effort is actually saving lives in the state of Washington,” he added, referring to the large number of people masking up and following safety precautions.
The governor said Washingtonians should be proud of what they’re doing, even though it’s difficult. He encouraged everyone to keep the positive behaviors up with fall around the corner.
1:56pm – The Snohomish Health District has closed its drive-up testing operations at the Lynnwood Food Bank and 3900 Broadway site in Everett on Tuesday due to poor air quality. All individuals with an appointment should register for a time later this week, or contact their health care provider if symptoms worsen. Monitor the website here for any further changes to the testing schedule.
9:02am – The prospect of a vaccine to shield Americans from coronavirus infection emerged as a point of contention in the White House race as President Donald Trump accused Democrats of “disparaging” for political gain a vaccine he repeatedly has said could be available before the election. Read more from the Associated Press here.
7:39am – Even though it’s obviously convenient, working from home is apparently fraught with a few health issues. The New York Times reports that for some reason, chiropractors are reporting a whole spate of cases from at home workers. Why is this happening? Mercer Island MD Dr. Gordon Cohen joined Seattle’s Morning News to discuss. Read more.
5:41am – After the City of Seattle closed Gas Works Park ahead of a “Let Us Worship” religious rally Monday, the group instead staged a protest, with only a few in the crowd reportedly wearing masks.
The rally, led by Christian worship leader Sean Feucht, was last seen in Seattle in Cal Anderson Park in early August. For that rally, hundreds of people packed into the park, which at the time was also supposed to be closed.
Monday, Sept. 7
3:33pm – Health officials say there have been 77,545 cases of coronavirus in Washington state, and 1,953 deaths. The DOH says 1,573,044 tests have been conducted. That’s a positivity rate of 4.9%.
12:22pm – Health experts continue to express concern over the logistics of distributing a vaccine once it’s ready.
“There is an elaborate plan that will go into this,” Dr. Jonathan Reiner tells CNN. “It will take awhile to get the vaccine into people and vaccination will take probably two years to vaccinate the country.”
Reiner points to the fact that the United States has never administered 160 million flu vaccinations in any single year. Combined with the fact that three COVID vaccines in development either require multiple doses or sub-zero storage, “the logistics will be incredibly challenging.”
10:31am – A new study says Washington is the best state in the nation for workers during the pandemic.
The report released last week by Oxfam — a coalition of charities that fight poverty — looked at a range of factors to determine this. Washington ranked 10th in health care, second in worker protections and first overall in unemployment support.
The report says our state is not perfect, however. It notes that Washington does not offer a rent grace period or child care for essential workers, among other things.
It also didn’t note that the state Employment Security Department was hit with massive fraud out of Nigeria, delaying thousands of unemployment payments.
8:53am – According to the findings of a survey conducted by 4Culture and 13 partner organizations based in Washington state, the operating budgets for the arts and culture sector will run out earlier than expected. Out of 483 arts and culture organizations surveyed, 75% report that their operating budget will be depleted by the end of November 2020. Read more.
7:01am – The City of Seattle is closing Gas Works Park for Labor Day, after a religious rally was originally scheduled to take place.
The rally, known as “Let Us Worship” and led by Christian worship leader Sean Feucht was last seen in Seattle in Cal Anderson Park in early August. For that rally, hundreds of people packed into the park, which at the time was also supposed to be closed.
There was singing, people were baptized in a communal tub, and there appeared to have been no or very little effort to follow social distancing measures. KIRO 7’s Micheal Spears was on the scene at the time, and reported that many of the attendees said they’d been to Feucht’s rallies in other cities as well.