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Coronavirus in Washington state: Updates from April 10-12

Facts not fear: Find updates on the coronavirus outbreak in Washington state from April 10-12, 2020.

Editor’s note: This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in Washington state from April 10-12, 2020.

Click here for real-time updates for April 13-14, 2020.

Key facts:

  • 508 coronavirus deaths among 10,411 cases in Washington.
  • At least 87,856 people in Washington have been tested for coronavirus as of April 11, and 8.5% of the cases tested positive.
  • Major tourist cities in Washington state are urging people to stay home and not visit during the Easter weekend due to coronavirus concerns.

Sunday, April 12:

IRS deposits first economic support payments

The IRS says the first economic support payments stemming from the coronavirus outbreak have been deposited in taxpayers’ bank accounts.
In its tweeted announcement Saturday night, the IRS didn’t say how many taxpayers have received the payments or how much money has been disbursed so far. The tweet says: “We know many people are anxious to get their payments; we’ll continue issuing them as fast as we can.”

The payments are part of the $2.2 trillion rescue package passed by Congress and then signed into law last month by President Donald Trump.
Anyone earning up to $75,000 in adjusted gross income and who has a Social Security number will receive a $1,200 payment. Parents will also receive $500 for each qualifying child. The payment steadily declines for those who make more.

Saturday, April 11: 

Washington state surpasses 10,000 coronavirus cases

The Washington State Department of Health reported 337 new coronavirus cases and 16 new deaths from the virus as of Saturday, April 11. The total number of deaths in the state is now 491 among 10,224 total cases in Washington. 

King County Health officials: Relaxing social distancing now could result in surge of cases later 

Officials with Public Health--Seattle & King County say while recent studies suggest social distancing measures are slowing the spread of coronavirus in Washington state, relaxing those measures now could overwhelm the healthcare system. 

"Because of our current success at distancing, today our hospitals are able to safely provide the usual level of care to the people who need it," health officials said in a statement on Saturday. "But if we should get a dramatic spike in people who need to be hospitalized, it will badly stretch the system."

King County reported 145 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday and seven new deaths. The county now has a total of 284 deaths from the virus and 4,262 total cases. 

Health officials said when it appears safe, they'll be looking at the following indicators to gauge the timing and approach for relaxing social distancing measures: 

  • A steady decrease in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations for at least two weeks;
  • Healthcare system readiness, including sufficient staffing, supplies, and bed space, to be able to accommodate the increase in cases we expect to see when we loosen social distancing measures;
  • The widespread availability of rapid testing and reporting of results, beyond what is currently available, so people who are infected can take quick action to slow the spread of COVID-19;
  • Capacity to conduct widespread case and contact investigations to quickly identify people who are infected and their close contacts and help them isolate and quarantine;
  • Availability of proven COVID-19 treatments, which are currently under evaluation.

There are more than half a million confirmed coronavirus cases in U.S.

The confirmed number of coronavirus cases in the United States was more than 501,000 as of Saturday morning, according to the count by Johns Hopkins University

The U.S. now reports at least 18,860 coronavirus deaths, which surpassed Italy on Saturday morning for the most reported deaths of any nation, CNN reports. Italy as of Saturday reported 18,849 coronavirus deaths. 

There have been at least 29,000 recoveries reported in the U.S. 

Worldwide there were more than 1.7 million confirmed cases with more than 103,500 deaths and 382,000 recoveries. 

Woman files wrongful death lawsuit against Life Care Center

A woman whose mother died from coronavirus (COVID-19) at the Life Care Center of Kirkland is now suing the nursing home.

Deborah de los Angeles is suing the facility for wrongful death, accusing the facility of waiting 17 days after the outbreak started to report any cases of COVID-19 to the state or county officials.

At least 129 cases and over 37 deaths from coronavirus are linked to the facility, according to the lawsuit.

Angeles learned of her mother’s death in voicemails from the staff at Life Care Center on March 4. She couldn’t see her mother before she died due to the safety risks, the lawsuit said.

RELATED: Woman files lawsuit against Life Care Center over mother’s death from coronavirus

Friday, April 10:

New University of Washington data on expected peak of coronavirus 

A new data model from the University of Washington predicts the United States will peak in the number of "active" coronavirus cases on or around April 20. 

“This indicates an important turning point that each country will reach in the COVID-19 pandemic, and we predict that the United States is on course to reach this point in the coming weeks,” said Ka-Kit Tung, a professor of applied mathematics at the UW. “It is a point of maximum strain on a country’s health and medical infrastructure.”

For the U.S., the UW model predicts:

  • The rate of daily new COVID-19 cases peaked on April 5-7, a projection that appears to be accurate, according to Tung
  • The number of “active” COVID-19 cases, which are individuals who have been diagnosed but haven’t recovered or died, will peak on April 20, plus or minus four days, and will then slowly decline as the number of cases entering the medical system becomes less than the number of cases leaving the medical system
  • The U.S. outbreak will taper off in the first week of June with projections of 710,000 total cases but could be up to 990,000, and 28,000 deaths, but could be up to 39,000 if the current U.S. fatality rate of 4% holds

The new model provided by UW is intended to help health officials and policymakers see at least two weeks in advance how COVID-19 will likely strain medical infrastructure in the U.S. and around the world. 

RELATED: New University of Washington data predicts U.S. coronavirus cases could peak in late April

New coronavirus numbers for Washington state

The Washington State Department of Health is reporting 475 deaths from coronavirus as of Friday among 9,887 total cases. That's 29 new deaths since April 9. 

A total of 88,006 people have been tested for the virus and of that 8.6 % were positive.

Boeing says it will resume limited operations on Monday, April 13

Boeing says it will call 2,500 workers back on Monday, April 13, to resume work on the KC46 tanker made in Everett, and the P-8 anti-submarine aircraft for the U.S. and other Navies in Renton. 

Workers will also go back to work maintaining the grounded 737 MAX jets in Moses Lake and staff laboratories and other "critical customer needs," according to a statement from Boeing Friday evening. 

The employees will be armed with masks and have to follow social distancing guidelines while on the job to help protect from the coronavirus. 

Boeing's production was closed down on March 25 after a growing number of coronavirus cases statewide, along with one death attributed to the disease at the company's massive Everett factory. 

RELATED: Boeing will resume limited operations next week following closure due to coronavirus

Inmates at a Washington prison had asked the justices to order the release of some offenders after almost a dozen people there tested positive for the coronavirus, but state officials had said the process of letting inmates out will take time.  

At least six inmates at the Monroe Correctional Complex have the disease. 

In its order Friday, the high court told Inslee and Sinclair “to take all necessary steps to protect the health and safety” of inmates and to report back by noon Monday. 

RELATED: Supreme Court: Inslee, Washington must protect inmates from coronavirus

Olympic National Park closure 

In an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus, the Olympic National Park is closing all of its coastal areas to the public until further notice. The coastal area closures include all parking areas, trails, beaches, and facilities at Kalaloch, Mora, and Ozette.

Stimulus checks expected to start going out next week

The IRS and the Treasury Department say Americans will start receiving their economic impact checks starting next week.

The payments are part of the $2.2 trillion rescue package signed into law last week by President Donald Trump aimed at combating the economic ravages of the coronavirus outbreak.

RELATED: How you'll be able to find out when your stimulus check is coming

Washington state and local officials urge people to stay home and stay away from tourism spots

Gov. Jay Inslee and several local officials urged people to stay home and stay away from Washington's popular tourist locations and to avoid family get together events this holiday weekend to continue to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

"It’s a time that we would like to have comfort physically being with them in the middle of Passover, on Good Friday, with our kids and grandkids wanting to have an Easter egg hunt. We understand those things. But this is really a moment for all of us to redouble our efforts and our commitments to our families and our communities to stay safe, stay home and stay healthy," he said.

The governor was joined by Crystal Dingler, mayor of Ocean Shores, Victoria Compton, executive director of the San Juan Economic Development Council, Patricia Byers, mayor of Yakima and Jeff Lambert, executive director of Dishman Hills Conservancy in Spokane.

Dingler said Grays Harbor County doesn't have the medical resources of larger areas to handle a surge of COVID-19 cases.

"In March we had two. Now we have 10. That’s a frightening number for us in rural America. I urge people to stay home and stay healthy," she said.

Dingler urged residents and visitors to continue social distancing and stay home, despite the city's dependency on tourism. The city closed hotels, beach approaches and has imposed a curfew from midnight to 5 a.m. to discourage visitors.

"Don’t come to Grays Harbor county where we are struggling. We have limited resources. We love you, come back and see us in the summer when things are better. But this is not the time," she said.

Inslee said so far most people appear to be willing to comply with the stay at home order, but also added that businesses can face penalties for not complying.

"This is actually a misdemeanor if you finally don’t cooperate with this rule, but we don’t want to have to get to that point," he said.

The video of the briefing is posted on this page and can be viewed on YouTube.

Boeing 3D-printing face shields for COVID-19 response

The Boeing Company delivered a shipment of 2,300 reusable 3D-printed face shields to the Department of Health and Human Services Friday morning. The first shipment of face shields will be delivered to the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas, an alternative care site setup to treat COVID-19 patients. 

The company said it will produce thousands of face shields a week at sites across the country to meet the growing need for personal protection equipment (PPE).

A spokesperson said Friday that Boeing sites in Auburn, Everett, Renton, and Tukwila “have been added to the cause and are now 3D-printing masks for future donations to hospitals and frontline medical professionals, in coordination with FEMA.”

"Boeing is proud to stand alongside many other great American companies in the fight against COVID-19, and we are dedicated to supporting our local communities, especially our frontline healthcare professionals, during this unprecedented time," said Boeing President and CEO David Calhoun. "History has proven that Boeing is a company that rises to the toughest challenges with people who are second to none. Today, we continue that tradition, and we stand ready to assist the federal government's response to this global pandemic."

Seattle closing 15 of its largest parks this weekend, April 10-13

Seattle is closing 15 of its major parks for the Easter weekend to help slow the spread of coronavirus and encourage social distancing. 

The park closures will be in effect Friday, April 10 at 11 p.m. through Monday, April 13 at 4:30 a.m. 

The following parks will be impacted: Alki, the Arboretum, Cal Anderson, Carkeek, Discovery, Gasworks, Green Lake, Golden Gardens, Kubota Garden, Lincoln, Magnuson, Seward, Volunteer, West Seattle Stadium and Woodland. 

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said while this is temporary, the city could look into making some of the closures longer-term if people do not adhere to the stay home, stay healthy order and use social distancing guidelines.

RELATED: Seattle closing 15 major parks for Easter weekend to help slow spread of coronavirus

Washington State Ferries schedule changes due to coronavirus

All Washington State Ferries will continue to operate on their winter sailing schedules through at least June 20. 

WSF officials said system-wide ridership has been down about 75%, compared to the last week of February. Walk-on passengers have decreased more than 90% in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, while the number of vehicles carried has dropped by nearly 65%.

Rent assistance for King County residents

United Way of King County, the City of Seattle, and King County announced a partnership to expand the United Way’s Home Base program to help provide rental assistance to King County households.

An initial investment of $5 million in public and private funds will go to qualifying residents who lost all or part of their income due to the pandemic. The funds are estimated to help around 2,000 families stay in their homes.

The money is intended to help provide April rent that has not yet been paid. King County residents can apply if they are behind on rent, are economically impacted by COVID-19, and have a monthly household income below 50% of the area median income.

RELATED: United Way program providing $5 million in rental assistance to King County residents

Bainbridge police officer with coronavirus-like symptoms dies

Bainbridge Island Police Officer Kurt Enget died Friday morning after being treated at Harrison Medical Center for symptoms that presented similarly to COVID-19.

The city of Bainbridge said it did not have information about the official cause of death, which will be determined by the Kitsap County Coroner's Office.

Enget was a five-year veteran of the Bainbridge Island Police Department. Before joining the Bainbridge force, he served with Suquamish Police.

RELATED: Bainbridge Island police officer dies after COVID-like symptoms

See previous updates from April 8-10 here. 

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