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What you need to know about coronavirus Wednesday, Aug. 5

Find developments on the COVID-19 pandemic and the plan for recovery in the U.S. and Washington state.

Where cases stand in Washington

  • 5 new coronavirus deaths reported in Washington Wednesday among 705 new cases overall, according to the Washington State Department of Health
  • Total: 1,624 deaths among 60,084 overall cases in Washington state.
  • 1,009,486 people in Washington have taken a coronavirus test, and 5.9% of those tests were positive.

More coronavirus coverage on KING 5

Most students in Washington likely to resume distance learning in the fall

The "vast majority" of students in Washington will be returning to distance learning or online learning in the fall, as the state released recommendations for reopening schools.

Most districts are in communities at high- or moderate-risk of coronavirus transmission, Gov. Jay Inslee said.

Though the state announced guidelines, they are recommendations and not requirements, and local school and health officials will make the decision.

The governor was joined by Chris Reykdal, Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Dr. Kathy Lofy, state health officer.

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The press conference was streamed here on KING5.com and on KING 5's YouTube channel.

Cruise line industry suspends US sailings through 'at least' end of October

The cruise line industry has agreed to voluntarily extend its suspension of sailings in the U.S. until "at least" Oct. 31, one month past when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's "no-sail order" is set to expire.  

However, the group also noted it would consider an earlier restart if "conditions in the U.S. change and it becomes possible to consider short, modified sailings."

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COVID-19 testing in the US is dropping, even as deaths mount

Coronavirus testing is dropping as infections remain high, and the death toll rises by more than 1,000 a day. The trend is attributed to long waits to get a test.

An Associated Press analysis found that the number of tests per day slid 3.6% over the past two weeks to 750,000, with the count falling in 22 states. That includes places like Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri and Iowa where the percentage of positive tests is high and continuing to climb, an indicator that the virus is still spreading uncontrolled.  

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GOP gubernatorial candidate Loren Culp held election rally despite coronavirus restrictions

Republican gubernatorial candidate Loren Culp held a large election night rally Tuesday despite statewide mandates against large group gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic.

Culp's team called the rally the “biggest party of the year so far.”

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Chasm grows between President Trump and government coronavirus experts

In the early days of the coronavirus crisis, President Donald Trump was flanked in the White House briefing room by a team of public health experts in a seeming portrait of unity to confront the disease that was ravaging the globe.

But as the crisis has spread to all reaches of the country, with escalating deaths and little sense of endgame, a chasm has widened between the Republican president and the experts. The result: daily delivery of a mixed message to the public at a moment when coherence is most needed.

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