Editor’s note: This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in Washington state from June 1-2, 2020.
- The state will continue with its four-phased approach to reopening.
- Five new deaths among 180 new cases reported Tuesday in Washington.
- TOTAL: 1,129 deaths among 22,157 overall cases in Washington state.
- 368,799 people in Washington have taken a test for coronavirus and 6.0% of those tests have been positive, according to the state Department of Health.
Tuesday, June 2:
Washington eviction moratorium extended until Aug. 1
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has extended the state’s eviction moratorium through Aug. 1.
He says the intent of his order is to prevent an increase in homelessness during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The moratorium _in place since March and extended once _ was scheduled to expire this week.
It prohibits, with limited exceptions, residential evictions and late fees on unpaid rent. It also requires landlords to offer residents a repayment plan to catch up on unpaid rent.
Report: Fauci says US should have 100 million coronavirus vaccine doses by year's end
The U.S. should have 100 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year. That's what Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, said Tuesday according to CNN. He added that he hopes the U.S. will have 200 million doses by early 2021.
Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was taking part in a question and answer session with the Journal of the American Medical Association.
CNN reports Fauci said a vaccine candidate made by Moderna should enter the final stage (Phase III) of volunteer trials by the first week of July. That will involve 30,000 people. Fauci said it would include the "entire spectrum" of adults, including the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.
Fauci said scientists should know by November or December if the vaccine works.
Fauci also said he is cautiously optimistic about other vaccine trials that are underway.
Whether Americans will jump to take that vaccine is another story. An Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll last week found 49% said they would definitely get vaccinated while 31% were not sure and 20% said they would not.
The main reason that 20% said they would not: Safety. 7-in-10 of the "no" respondents are concerned about side effects. Forty-two percent fear the vaccine will actually give them the coronavirus. Less than half said they didn't think they would get seriously ill from the virus if they caught it or said they outbreak isn't as serious as some say it is.
The vast majority of those who would get the vaccine said they would do so to protect themselves, their family, their community and to feel safe around other people. Seventy-two percent said life will not go back to normal until most people are vaccinated.
Five new deaths reported in Washington
Five new deaths among 180 new cases were reported on Tuesday in Washington, bringing the total to 1,129 deaths among 22,157 overall cases.
368,799 people in Washington have taken a test for coronavirus and 6.0% of those tests have been positive, according to the state Department of Health.
3,543 people have been hospitalized.
Pierce County applies for Phase 2 of reopening
Pierce County submitted an application Tuesday to move onto Phase 2 of Washington state’s “Safe Start” plan. The county applied after the Tacoma-Pierce County Board of Health and the Pierce County Council unanimously voted to approve the application.
“I’m proud that the people of Pierce County have worked so diligently to get to this point,” said Executive Bruce Dammeier. “And, I’m confident that we can safely and responsibly transition to the next phase of our recovery.”
Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department Director of Health Anthony L-T Chen said he believes the county is ready to begin reopening and that the application will be approved.
Pierce County will remain in Phase 1 until the application is approved by the Secretary of Health.
Modified Phase 1 application for King County
King County anticipates applying for a modified Phase 1 permit to reopening on Tuesday, according to the Seattle & King County Public Health Public Insider Blog.
Under a modified Phase 1, businesses that meet the state’s guidance would be allowed to reopen, restaurants could have limited outdoor seating, small gatherings outside would be allowed, and personal services like barbershops and hair salons could reopen.
If King County is approved, "local businesses should prepare for modified Phase 1 activities as soon as Friday, June 5,” the blog reads.
There has been concern recent protests across the Puget Sound region could delay the county’s application to get to a modified Phase 1 opening, but Executive Dow Constantine said the application to reach that stage will go-ahead
“We will continue to closely monitor disease trends in the coming weeks to determine whether we can continue to move forward safely with reopening,” said Constantine.
Snohomish County applies for Phase 2
Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers submitted a variance Monday for the county to move to Phase 2 of the state’s “Safe Start” plan. The county applied after the Board of Health and Snohomish County Council voted to move into Phase 2 on Friday.
“There has been an incredible amount of effort put into this application, and by businesses and community members to get us to this point,” said Stephanie Wright, Chair of the Board of Health and Vice Chair of the County Council. “However, this is just one step in a long journey. We’re counting on everyone continuing that effort to keep the spread of COVID-19 down.”
Snohomish County will remain in Phase 1 of reopening until the variance is reviewed and approved by the Secretary of Health.
The following counties are now in Phase 2: Adams, Asotin, Clallam, Columbia, Cowlitz, Ferry, Garfield, Grant, Grays Harbor, Island, Jefferson, Kitsap, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lewis, Lincoln, Mason, Pacific, Pend Orielle, San Juan, Skamania, Spokane, Stevens, Thurston, Wahkiakum, Walla Walla, and Whitman. The application from Clark County remains on pause due to an outbreak investigation.
Free potatoes available in Olympia Tuesday
The Washington State Potato Commission is expecting to reach its goal of giving away 1 million pounds of potatoes on Tuesday as farmers have a massive stockpile due to low demand from restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The giveaway will take place in Olympia at Freightliner Northwest, located at 13232 Case Road SW, starting at 11 a.m. The Potato Commission said there will be 100,000 pounds of processing potatoes for anyone in need.
The potatoes will be bagged and can be load directly into your vehicle. All potatoes will be given away on a first-come, first-served basis.
To avoid traffic backups on off-ramps, organizers are asking visitors to use the following exits: from NB I-5 take Exit 95, from SB I-5 take Exit 99 (93rd Street).
Food banks can also make arrangements with the Potato Commission to pick up a pallet for their local locations by calling 509-765-8845 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here for more information.
Free COVID-19 testing at the Tacoma Dome
Free drive-through COVID-19 testing will continue at the Tacoma Dome during the month of June.
Testing will be available from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday by appointment only. Fred Meyer and QFC partnered with the city of Tacoma to make the tests available.
To be tested, Tacoma-area residents must register in advance online or by calling 1-888-852-2567 (select option 1, then option 3). A virtual screening tool based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines will be used to see if those seeking a test are eligible.
The drive-through testing site at the Tacoma Dome is capable of testing around 250 vehicles a day, according to a press release.
Officials to screen all detainees for COVID-19 at Tacoma detention center
Federal officials said they will test all people detained at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma for COVID-19.
In a filing in federal court in Seattle authorities said the testing at the immigration jail would be done Tuesday. The action comes after immigration advocates sued to try to fee medically vulnerable detainees during the coronavirus outbreak.
The Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and the American Civil Liberties Union had argued there is no way to adequately protect people in custody from the coronavirus.
The Tacoma facility can house about 1,500 detainees.
Monday, June 1:
6 people associated with Moses Lake Alzheimer's care center test positive for COVID-19
Six people who live or work at Summer Wood Alzheimer's Special Care Center in Moses Lake have tested positive for COVID-19.
One person is hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported in connection with the outbreak as of Monday afternoon.
"We anticipate the remainder of the test results within the next few days," the care center said.
GCHD began investigating on Friday and throughout the weekend after one resident and one staff member working at Summer Woodtested positive after becoming symptomatic.
All residents and most of the staff were tested over the weekend. The positive residents and staff members are isolated at the facility or at home.
Residents and staff members who were possibly exposed and those with symptoms are quarantined at the facility or home awaiting their test results.
GCHD is also investigating and testing at an additional senior care facility who had one symptomatic staff member test positive and following up with a childcare facility that had two children test positive.
FEMA awards nearly $31.9M to UW
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded nearly $31.9 million to the University of Washington for expenses incurred during the first 163 days of the COVID-19 response.
The funding was made available under a major disaster declaration approved on March 22.
FEMA has obligated $31,890,041.63 in expedited funding for the State of Washington to disburse to the University of Washington. This award reimburses the 75 percent federal cost share associated with buying Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), medical supplies, and equipment for the University of Washington’s Emergency Operation Center and Medical Operations Center between January 20 and through June 30.
These costs include the labor and contracts to purchase and distribute PPE and supplies, as well as the movement of these supplies and personnel across multiple University of Washington medical facilities.
These reimbursements can play a critical role as state, local, and tribal officials work tirelessly to assist their communities during this response
Coronavirus cases as of Monday June 1
Six new deaths and 275 new cases of coronavirus were reported in Washington state for Monday June 1.
On Monday, there were a reported 1,124 deaths among 21,977 overall cases in Washington state.
365,272 people in Washington have taken a test for coronavirus and 6.0% of those tests have been positive, according to the state Department of Health.
3,517 people have been hospitalized for the virus.
85 crew members on trawler test positive for COVID-19
A total of 85 crew members of a fishing trawler out of Seattle tested positive for COVID-19.
American Seafoods Company previously reported a crew member from American Dynasty tested positive while in port at Bellingham. The company then tested the entire crew.
Results are pending for nine outstanding tests.
All crew members were tested before departure and all who sailed tested negative, according to the company.
The Dynasty returned to its home port of Seattle. All of its crew is now in quarantine.
Testing supplies shipped
The first wave of supplies shipped Monday to test all residents and staff at long-term care facilities.
Shipments of test kits, personal protective equipment and return shipment materials will be sent every three days, according to the Washington State Department of Health.
The department hopes to test residents and staff at nursing homes by June 12 and residents and staff at assisted living facilities with a memory care unit by June 26.
27 counties in Phase 2 of recovery plan
A total of 27 counties have been approved to move on to Phase 2 of Washington state's recovery plan, following the approval of Klickitat County's application.
The following counties are now in Phase 2: Adams, Asotin, Clallam, Columbia, Cowlitz, Ferry, Garfield, Grant, Grays Harbor, Island, Jefferson, Kitsap, Kittitas, Klickitat Lewis, Lincoln, Mason, Pacific, Pend Orielle, San Juan, Skamania, Spokane, Stevens, Thurston, Wahkiakum, Walla Walla, and Whitman.
The application from Clark County remains on pause due to an outbreak investigation.
Businesses approved to move into Phase 2 must comply with all health and safety requirements outlined in the guidance to reopen.
Seattle council will consider paid sick leave gig workers
The Seattle City Council will consider legislation that would establish labor standards for paid sick and paid safe time for gig workers.
The legislation is in response to the coronavirus pandemic and would require covered hiring entities, food delivery companies, and transportation network companies to provide gig workers with paid time off to care for personal health or family members with health conditions.
The legislation applies to gig workers working for deliver companies offering food delivery, grocery stores, or "any facility intended to fulfill customer orders from a business whose business model relies on the delivery of groceries or prepared food and beverages." Or, for workers providing prearranged transportation services, such as Uber and Lyft.
The legislation would be in effect until 180 days after the termination of the civil emergency proclaimed by Mayor Jenny Durkan on March 3, or the termination of any concurrent emergency proclaimed by a public official in response to the pandemic.
New face covering requirements starting June 8
All workers from grocery stores to small businesses will be required to wear face coverings beginning June 8, unless they are working in a job where they have no contact with other people.
Employers will be required to provide all the necessary materials for employees.
Washingtonians are also strongly encouraged to wear facial coverings when out in public to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Customers must follow retailers posted signage requiring facial coverings.
Pierce County health officials recommend applying to Phase 2
Citing the "sacrifices" that Pierce County residents made, the Tacoma-Pierce County Board of Health is recommending that the county apply to move to Phase 2 of the state's recovery plan.
“Our objectives are to begin to restore our society and local economy while we protect the health of all county residents,” said Director of Health Anthony L-T Chen. “Even as we prepare to move into Phase 2, we need to continue to be cautious and follow state and local public health guidance to prevent a rapid surge of cases in Pierce County."
The recommendations goes to the county council for consideration.
In order to be eligible for Phase 2, counties must have fewer than 25 new cases per 100,000 people for the past 14 days, test for infections, investigate all cases, and ask people who are sick to isolate.
As of May 30, the county was averaging 11 new cases a day per 100,000 people.
Sound Transit resuming services, fares
Fares on Sound Transit's Link light rail and Sounder commuter rail will resume June 1.
In response to the pandemic and people getting back on their feet, Sound Transit will be offering temporarily reduced Recovery Fares. The fare of $1 on Link and $2 on Sounder will be available from ticket vending machines through June 30.
Recovery Fare tickets will be available through the Transit GO Ticket app.
Services and stops will also increase, with trains running every 20 minutes during the day until after the p.m. peak.
Washington's stay-home order expires
Washington's Stay Home, Stay Healthy order has been lifted as more counties have been approved to reopen.
State's counties will have more flexibility to apply to advance through the current four-phase reopening plan using updated benchmarks that some larger counties had been seeking.
The lift doesn't mean things will go back to the way they were before the pandemic-- people will still have to practice social distancing and abide by new rules put in place with each individual phase.
Coronavirus cases in Washington state
No new deaths from coronavirus have been reported in Washington state for Sunday, May 31.
There were 353 new cases reported Sunday in Washington. On Sunday, there were a reported 1,118 deaths among 21,702 overall cases in Washington state.
360,899 people in Washington have taken a test for coronavirus and 6.0% of those tests have been positive, according to the state Department of Health.
3,500 people have been hospitalized for the virus.
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