Here are the latest updates on the COVID-19 outbreak and response around the Seattle region, Capitol Hill, and the Central District. See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959.
- Latest totals: With everyone watching the dials and hopeful we can move safely to Phase 2, every uptick and downtick in COVID-19 positive cases takes on the added weight of hope and dread — and every reported death’s tragedy is a reminder things can’t get better fast enough. King County has shifted to a level of between three and seven deaths a day for about a week now — seven were reported Tuesday. Its daily case total has ranged between 71 and a high of 117 — also Tuesday. Confirmed cases across the state are nearing 16,000 while 870 have died in Washington. State health officials continue to record more than 200 cases per day in recent tallies.
- UPDATE: Inslee announces weekly Wednesday ‘dial updates‘ — As part of the extension of COVID-19 restrictions into June, Washington also introduced a set of measures that will be used to monitor the impact of reopening segments of the state’s economy and loosening of the lockdown: The dashboard features five “dials” measuring different data points in the state. The public can view the data guiding the state’s ongoing discussions on recovery planning by visiting coronavirus.wa.gov. Gov. Jay Inslee said this week that the “dials” will be updated on a weekly basis on Wednesdays. The trends, the governor’s office says, are positive:
Part of the positive trends are due to the Department of Health actively training people for case and contact investigations, and an uptake in testing capacity is due, in part, to increased numbers of federal supplies that have arrived in the state. More testing supplies are expected soon.
- Forum on impact to Black community: Saturday will bring an online forum to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on Seattle’s African American community:
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, in partnership with Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas, Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, Northwest African American Museum, and New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, invites you to join us for a virtual community conversation focused on the impacts of COVID-19 on Seattle’s African American community.
IMPACT 2020: Part II is on Saturday, May 9 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Community members can join the discussion from any computer or mobile device browser by going here.
CHS reported on the disproportionate infection and death rates in communities of color in King County.
- To-go cocktails: The Stranger beat the liquor board to the punch — restaurants and bars can finally offer for-real mixed drinks and not just mini-enhance cocktail kits starting immediately. They’ll be allowed until the stay home order in the state is lifted. As your friend will tell you, that could be June — or could be next year.
- Drive-in services: Another part of reopening the state is officially allowing “drive-in” religious services. “Faith is so important at all times, but especially during times of crisis and difficulty. This unique drive-in service option will allow people to come together,” Gov. Jay Inslee said Wednesday about new guidance for the services. “Our goal has always been to keep Washingtonians safe and healthy, and this option allows them to do that while participating in religious, spiritual and faith-based activities.” State guidelines have been posted here (PDF). Capitol Hill houses of worship like St. Joseph Parish have moved to hold events like masses online. Under the phased plan, Washington isn’t on track to allow gatherings of more than 50 people until the last stage and “a full return to public interaction.”
- No coronavirus parties: CHS tends toward the “sunshine disinfects” end of things. But this “Washington State Department of Health statement on ‘coronavirus parties'” makes us wonder if, in this case, we’re providing some bad ideas to good people. Anyhow, here’s the statement. Don’t do this:
Washington State Department of Health officials are alarmed by reports of “coronavirus parties” in which uninfected people are mingling with COVID-19 positive individuals to try to contract the virus. “Gathering in groups in the midst of this pandemic can be incredibly dangerous and puts people at increased risk for hospitalization and even death,” John Wiesman, Washington State Secretary of Health said. “Furthermore, it is unknown if people who recover from COVID-19 have long-term protection. There is still a lot we don’t know about this virus, including any long-term health issues which may occur after infection. This kind of unnecessary behavior may create a preventable uptick in cases which further slows our state’s ability to gradually re-open.” DOH encourages every Washingtonian to continue to follow Governor Inslee’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order.
- 5/4/20: COVID-19 updates: Phase 1 begins, what’s in Phase 2 (and 3 and 4), King County removes antibody testing case counts, COVID-19 yard art
- 5/1/20: Washington extends COVID-19 restrictions through May, readies ‘four phase’ plan for reopening with limits on groups, restaurant capacity, and travel
- 4/30/20: Washington investigating state totals after COVID-19 ‘excess deaths’ report
- 4/30/20: Facing opposition from mayor and chamber advocates, Seattle tax on big businesses for COVID-19 relief and housing moves toward May vote
- Plus: Capitol Hill Restaurants, Bars, and Cafes offering takeout during COVID-19 ‘stay home’ restrictions
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