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What you need to know about coronavirus Friday, Aug. 14

Find developments on the coronavirus pandemic and the plan for recovery in the U.S. and Washington state.

Where cases stand in Washington:

  • 19 new coronavirus deaths reported Friday in Washington among 800 new cases, according to the Washington State Department of Health (DOH).
  • Total: 1,755 deaths among 66,139 overall cases in Washington state. 
  • The state had previously reported the total number of COVID-19 tests submitted in Washington state, and the percentage of tests that came back positive. However, the state has not supplied that data since August 5. 
  • The state Department of Health reported that it is resolving issues with the reporting of negative tests, which had previously been overcounted resulting in total test count that was too high.

More coronavirus coverage on KING 5

Washington state says new reports show plateau in COVID-19 spread

The spread of coronavirus has started to flatten, according to state health officials, who are attributing the plateau to mask use.

Case counts are plateauing or declining across age groups in King and Yakima counties, according to a new report. Pierce County cases also might be on the decline, according to the state.

However, that doesn't mean that people can let their guards down, according to state Secretary of Health John Wiesman.

“Plateauing is not enough to keep this pandemic under control; we must transition to a state of sustained decline in new cases," he said.

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New report outlines plan for some Washington students to return to class if COVID-19 infection rates decrease

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) on Friday released a report that analyzes the risks of sending students back to school for in-person instruction in the fall versus remote learning. 

The report by the Institute for Disease Modeling (IDM) measures the tradeoffs between minimizing COVID-19 related health risks and maximizing educational benefits for students. 

Health officials do outline a plan that could put some of the youngest students back in the classroom for a limited amount of time during the week, on a rotating schedule with other students to help limit the spread of the virus.

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Gov. Inslee allocates millions to help undocumented, agricultural workers during COVID-19 pandemic

Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday announced $43 million will be distributed to help undocumented and agricultural workers in central and eastern Washington handle the coronavirus pandemic.

A total of $40 million will be allocated towards helping undocumented workers impacted by COVID-19 who are not eligible for unemployment due to their immigration status. An extra $3 million will go towards certain food production workers impacted by the virus.

"We know COVID-19 has taken a disproportionate toll on undocumented people and agricultural workers," said Gov. Inslee.

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City of Everett faces $18 million budget deficit heading into 2021

The City of Everett is facing an $18 million deficit heading into 2021 and more big cuts could be made to some of the city’s most beloved services.

“We were facing a $15 million deficit, because of the impacts of COVID, and our businesses being closed, it is up to about $18 million,” said Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin in an online Q & A session.

In May, the city indefinitely shut down the Carl Gipson Senior Center, Forest Park Swim Center, city-sponsored events like the Fourth of July, and laid-off employees in an effort to help with COVID-19 budget issues.

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Why does COVID-19 impair your sense of smell? 

There are still many unknowns regarding COVID-19, but one common occurrence among those infected is smell loss.

There are many different events that can trigger smell loss, and University of Alabama at Birmingham Assistant Professor Jessica Grayson, M.D., provides insight as to why this might be happening.

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