COVID-19 updates: ‘Broadening the criteria’ — Inslee briefed on testing, isolation, and tracing

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.

From the IDM analysis (PDF)

  • Testing, isolation, and tracing: Gov. Jay Inslee addressed the state Wednesday but held off on any announcement regarding Washington’s “stay home” order set to expire June 1st. The governor is slated for another session Thursday or Friday and said he was considering possibly “broadening the criteria” for moving to the next phase of reopening after a briefing this week with researchers from the Institute for Disease Modeling. King County would need to achieve an infection rate of 10 new cases per 100,000 residents over a 14-day period to meet the state’s planned thresholds for Phase 2 reopening. Earlier this week, CHS reported that King County’s number of new cases remains around 3x higher than the target. Continue reading

COVID-19 updates: the ’10 new cases per 100,000 residents’ threshold, Seattle anti-Asian hate assaults, signs of Capitol Hill normalcy Vita edition

Caffe Vita is back (Image: Caffe Vita via Instagram)

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.

  • June 1 and Phase 2: Eager for a June move to Phase 2? To meet the “10 new cases per 100,000 residents over a 14-day period” threshold set by the state of Washington for counties applying for early reopening, King County would have to keep its count ar around 224 new coronavirus cases in the 14 days leading up to June 1. Halfway through the two-week period, King County has already tallied 350 coronavirus cases. We’ll record about three times the threshold come June. The Seattle Times reports on the “stubbornly high rates of infection” and “uneven and local nature of the statewide epidemic” in a Memorial Day Weekend report on more counties considering the next phase of reopening. That case count threshold developed from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines might not hold, however. “The criterion recently used to allow additional counties to apply for a variance … will not necessarily be the criterion used to lift the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order,” Washington State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy said in a statement reported by the Times. “We are actively discussing what the criterion might be.” Gov. Jay Inslee’s latest “stay home” order expires June 1st. Continue reading

Quarantine is a (virtual) drag: Seattle drag queens, kings, and nonbinary performers take to digital platforms

One Likethenumber

One Likethenumber

Since venues that host long-standing drag shows like R Place, Queer/Bar, and Kremwerk + Timbre Room Complex have temporarily shuttered their doors due to COVID-19, Seattle’s drag performers are quickly mastering a new tool of the trade: online performance.

Drag queen Betty Wetter hosts bingo via Zoom, for example, and Queer/Bar maintains its Sunday Drag Brunch at noon on Twitch. Drag Queens, Kings, and nonbinary peformers are now learning video editing, camera skills, or increased competence with platforms like Vimeo or Twitch.

“That’s the thing about all this, drag is great because it’s a consolidation of a bunch of mediums put together. You have to be good at a bunch of things, but none of those things [before] were video making. So all these queens are now having to learn a bunch of skills they didn’t have,” said One, a Colombian-born, Seattle-based drag performer.

With a background in fine art and performance, One is known for their artsy, conceptual drag looks: their avant-garde makeup and garments designed and constructed themselves. One is couture-inspired, but eschews the typical polish that comes with it for the freedom of clown and camp. Case in point, they are the current Miss Bacon Strip, a drag show known for “it’s mostly campy, gross, Divine-type drag.” Continue reading

Adana joins Capitol Hill’s still thankfully short list of permanent COVID-19 closures

A dish at Adana

(Image: Adana)

Be prepared. The joy of “Phase 2” reopenings around Capitol Hill will be joined by the reality that many neighborhood favorites won’t be part of any recovery.

Thursday, Capitol Hill restaurateur Shota Nakajima announced that his upscale Adana at 15th and Pine will remain shuttered.

In the restaurant business, especially, “permanent” can be a loaded term but in the case of Adana and a thankfully short list so far of Capitol Hill and Central District businesses, the decision looks like a done deal.

“I signed my lease at age 25. I’ve had thousands of people come through my place called home for the last 5 years who have created what kind of restaurant it is from each employee to each guest,” Nakajima wrote in a Facebook post announcing the closure.

Last month, CHS spoke with Nakajima about his focus on a smaller, more nimble space at Taku on E Pike through the continuing COVID-19 restrictions and into whatever recovery comes next. Continue reading

Seattle deploying ‘hygiene trailers’ with reservable showers

With the COVID-19 outbreak continuing to smolder in the Seattle region, officials are ready to deploy a new resource to help people living unsheltered and hopefully further slow the spread of COVID-19:

The City of Seattle is set to deploy two shower trailers in locations across the City to support the hygiene needs for homeless residents within their communities. Beginning Thursday, King Street Station will host a shower trailer five days per week, and a mobile shower trailer will be hosted in Lake City and Seattle Center, with more locations under consideration. King Street Station will also receive a hygiene station. In addition, a hygiene map, located on HSD website, that represents all open and available facilities was launched with this effort.

The city says its new shower trailers include three shower stalls each plus a toilet and sink. Hours of operation are 10 AM to 4 PM, excluding holidays, as the trailers are deployed on a schedule around the city: Continue reading

COVID-19 updates: Will June 1 bring Phase 2? Inslee ‘hopeful’ — Also: Washington wants businesses to encourage masks, Seattle launches face covering marketplace, and no extra days added for Seattle school kids

(Image: sea turtle via Flickr)

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.

  • How we looking for Phase 2? In a morning session focused on 10 of the state’s smallest counties being cleared to apply for early “Phase 2” reopening, Gov. Jay Inslee provided an update for the rest of us — Washington is on track for moving to the next phase in June. Inslee said Tuesday he is “hopeful we can move forward” on June 1. “I would love to be able to say, ‘here’s the date,'” the governor said but reminded that measurements of new cases and availability of testing and medical resources will be the deciding factors. You can find our overview of Washington’s reopening phases here. Phase 2 will bring loosened restrictions including the reopening of restaurants for sit-down service at 50% capacity, the return of hair and beauty services, and “limited” non-essential travel. Continue reading

Seattle Council looks to rein in homeless sweeps during COVID-19 crisis

The Seattle City Council will pursue emergency legislation to limit homeless encampment sweeps during the COVID-19 crisis. South Seattle rep Tammy Morales is joining Central Seattle’s Kshama Sawant and citywide member Teresa Mosqueda in pushing for a compromise solution to the city’s ongoing clearance of people camping and living outside.

Seattle City Council Insight reports the proposed legislation would “align the city’s practices with guidance from the CDC, which has warned that removing encampments can disperse homeless people into the larger community and potentially increase transmission of COVID-19.” Continue reading

Happy Face Mask Day, Seattle

More good news: “Vivace will open its Brix location at 532 Broadway Ave. E. Monday morning at 7 AM for coffee to go. In addition, Alley24 will be open at 10 AM both of which close at 5 PM. 321 Broadway,our sidewalk bar, will open on Saturday.”

Reminder: Monday brings the start of required face masks around Seattle and King County.

The May 18th start of the directive requires King County residents to wear “a cloth face covering in indoor public spaces or confined spaces where it could be difficult to maintain six feet of physical distancing.”

Examples of where the coverings are required include “stores, restaurants, farmers markets, banks, and public transportation.”

“Deaf hard-of-hearing and other individuals who rely on face and mouth movements to communicate are not required to comply with this directive,” the county says. Continue reading

Fries a casualty of social distancing at Broadway Dick’s Drive-In

Customers line up at the Broadway Dick's

Nothing unusual about a line at Dick’s (Image: CHS)

A burger and fries

(Image: Dick’s Drive-In)

“All locations are OPEN today, Thursday, May 14th… Fresh hand cut fries🍟 are available at all locations with the exception of Broadway”

It might be one of the cruelest blows of COVID-19-locked down Seattle mass culture — the small semblance of normality that Dick’s Drive-In is open and serving in the middle of these strange days with burgers, shakes, and fries… with the exception of Broadway.

“Our primary product is a burger and fries are a side,” Jasmine Donovan, president of Dick’s Drive-In Restaurants tells CHS. “It was the way that the kitchen is set up and the way the food flows from production to the window where the customer’s ordering — it was fries that cause the biggest bottleneck and the one thing that we could offer potentially an alternative product for.”

The Broadway exception is not some kind of Trump-era retaliation and is probably not a punishment by god. It’s about architecture. Continue reading

Zero: King County reports a day with no new COVID-19 deaths

The county's report for new cases and deaths for Wednesday, May 13th

The county’s report for new cases and deaths for Wednesday, May 13th

King County and Seattle Public Health reported an unusual number in its latest daily update on new COVID-19 cases and deaths: zero.

For the first time since the onset of the outbreak, the county did not record an official COVID-19 related death in its tally Wednesday leaving the death total at 514.

While a day without another death from the virus is undoubtedly good news, the trend of new cases remains on a stubbornly slow downward course. Wednesday’s tally brought 86 new cases in King County — just short of the daily average reported so far in May but also the highest tally recorded in a week. Continue reading