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5 things you need to know this weekend

$135 million in federal aid for businesses, workers in Washington; 'Shop Your Block'; Contact tracing; Holiday travel at Sea-Tac Airport; Washington chess champs.

$135 million allocated to help businesses, workers hit hard by new COVID restrictions

Gov. Jay Inslee has allocated $135 million in federal CARES Act funds to help businesses, workers and families hit hard by the new COVID restrictions.

The relief package includes $70 million in business support grants, $30 million in business loans, $20 million for renter and landlord assistance, and $15 million for energy assistance for low-income families.

The business grants will be available through the Department of Commerce and there will not be any restrictions on what businesses can use the money towards. Read more

'Shop Your Block' holiday campaign launches to support businesses

Black Friday is one week away, but this shopping season is already looking very different as the rising number of coronavirus cases prompted new statewide restrictions

Under Gov. Jay Inslee’s order, stores can operate at 25% capacity for in-person shopping while following health protocols.

To help give small businesses a boost, the city of Seattle launched the new "Shop Your Block" retail map. It is part of the larger public campaign, Shop Your Block, that aims to support small businesses throughout the holiday season. Read more

Explosion in COVID cases complicates contact tracing efforts

The recent explosion in COVID-19 cases has made it nearly impossible for contact tracers to keep up in Washington.

“These outbreaks grow so quickly, they overwhelm many of our public health response capacities, both with contact tracing and to do investigations in a timely way,” said Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin, with Public Heath Seattle - King County.

New contract tracers are being hired and trained as quickly as possible to add to the workforce at state and local levels. Read more

Sea-Tac Airport expects less travelers this holiday amid rising COVID cases

Expectations are starting to fade of a busy holiday travel season at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. 

Just last week, travel forecasts by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) estimated a 45% increase in the number of passengers departing on flights at Sea-Tac Airport.

But that was before travel advisories went into effect. Now, that coupled with rising COVID cases, has brought those numbers to as low as 20%. Read more

Washington state team crowned national chess champions

Did you know Washington state is home to the newest national champions? The chess champions, that is -- checkmate! 

The Washington State Chess Team has officially won the first State Chess Cup after competing against 30 teams over the past few months. They earned the championship cup after knocking out Team Michigan in the finals.

"This is a big deal because Washington is just not on the national map for chess," said Team Captain Jacob Mayer. Read more

Also see: Seattle local forecast

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