Editor’s note: This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in Washington state from April 3-5, 2020.
- 338 coronavirus deaths among 7,984 cases in Washington.
- A total of 87,911 people have taken a coronavirus test in Washington. 91.4% of those tests have been negative, says state Department of Health.
- Gov. Jay Inslee extended his "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order for another month through May 4 to help slow the spread of the virus.
Sunday, April 5:
Starting Monday, April 6, King County Metro and Sound Transit will be reducing bus, light rail and water taxi services.
The revised reduced schedule identifies routes that will operate with fewer trips and hours.
Overall, Metro will operate with approximately 37% fewer buses, 30% fewer transit operators, and 19% fewer service trips than typical weekday service. Water taxi and Link light rail service reductions also will be made.
The Washington State Department of Health confirmed that there have been 338 deaths from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) statewide among 7,984 total cases.
The city of Tacoma confirmed its first coronavirus death today.
Boeing is extending the temporary suspension of production operations at all Puget Sound area and Moses Lake sites until further notice.
The volunteers who have been supporting essential site and services work should continue to report to their assigned shifts. Puget Sound area and Moses Lake employees who can work from home should continue to do so.
"As the suspension of operations continues, Boeing will monitor government guidance and actions on COVID-19 and associated impact on all company operations. Boeing sites that remain open are being monitored and assessed on a daily basis," Boeing said in a statement.
Gov. Jay Inslee announced that the state of Washington will return more than 400 ventilators received from the Strategic National Stockpile to the SNS inventory to help states facing higher numbers of coronavirus cases.
Those ventilators will go to New York and other states hit the hardest.
Washington state continues to prepare for increased hospitalizations and the necessary treatment of serious cases of COVID-19. The state recently purchased more than 750 ventilators, which are expected to arrive over the next several weeks when Washington may need them most.
Sunday morning, Washington Governor Jay Inslee said, ".. this is ludicrous that we do not have a national effort" against the coronavirus. Inslee made the statement on NBC's Meet the Press with Chuck Todd. Inslee added that the country needs to nationally mobilize using the Defense Production Act, to get companies to start making test kits and other products to fight the pandemic.
Saturday, April 4:
Officials with Public Health Seattle & King County said Saturday they are continuing to take steps to prevent outbreaks among vulnerable populations living in congregate settings.
Because of this, officials announced that King County's Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention has reduced the number of people in custody by over 600 in recent weeks.
The changes allow for greater social distancing within the facilities to help reduce the spread of coronavirus. It also allows staff to isolate people who are at a higher risk of contracting the virus.
Currently, no one in DAJD custody has tested positive for COVID-19.
The Washington State Department of Health confirmed Saturday there have been 310 deaths from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) statewide among 7,591 total cases.
A total of 87,918 people have been tested for the virus and 8.6% of the tests came back positive. 80,327 people have received negative test results.
King County continues to be the area with the highest number of cases. As of Saturday, there are 200 deaths in King County associated with the virus and 2,865 confirmed cases.
The Spokane Police Department says it has received two complaints about police impersonators stopping people to check their essential worker status amid a “stay home” order in Washington state.
King County Executive Dow Constantine addressed the news in a Facebook post Saturday. He said, "It’s not against the law to be out of your house. We know that people need to go to the grocery store, to the pharmacy, and to other essential businesses. That’s why those businesses are still open."
Health officials in Thurston County confirmed the first death from coronavirus in their county. The resident was a man in his 80s who was admitted to a hospital in Olympia on March 28 and died on April 3.
Officials do not believe the man acquired coronavirus in Thurston County.
As of Saturday, Thurston County has 64 confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to Thurston County Public Health and Social Services.
President Trump commended the residents of Washington state Saturday afternoon during the daily White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing. He said Washingtonians have done a “really good job” of following federal social distancing measures to help slow the spread of coronavirus.
He also mentioned that the federal government would be taking back 300 beds from Washington state that are no longer needed.
The state recently requested 1,000 beds from the Department of Health and Human Services in anticipation of surge capacity, explained Karina Shagren with Washington National Guard Public Affairs. But, that surge didn't happen.
Shagren explained even with the 300 beds going back to the federal government, the state still has 700 for our use and the state of Washington also purchased another 1,000 beds for ourselves.
So far, 250 of those beds are in use in Yakima.
Shagren assured the 300 beds being sent back will have no effect on the field hospitals here in the state, including the one at the CenturyLink Field Event Center.
During the briefing, President Trump also thanked the state of Oregon and Governor Kate Brown, who announced she authorized sending 140 ventilators to New York to help patients battling the coronavirus.
In compliance with Gov. Inslee's extension of his "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order, the Department of Natural Resources, Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife have extended the closure of state lands through May 4.
The closure applies to all camping on state lands, boat launches and water access sites, wildlife areas, and day-use recreation areas. Anyone who had a reservation between now and May 4 can get a full refund.
The IRS and the Treasury Department say Americans will start receiving their economic impact checks within the next few weeks.
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.
Friday, April 3:
Some Washington gun shops are staying open in defiance of Gov. Inslee's order
Gubernatorial candidate Tim Eyman collected signatures on a petition to allow gun shops to stay open.
Governor Jay Inslee is now mobilizing 200 Washington National Guard members to bring relief to food banks throughout the state.
Gov. Jay Inslee cut millions from the state budget over the next three years, as state revenue is expected to dip in the wake of of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Under normal circumstances I would not veto bills that are good policy and smart investments over time, but simply put these are not normal times,” Inslee said.
Amid national guidelines to wear a face-covering in public, you may be scrambling to find one. You can make your own without a sewing machine.
A cotton handkerchief or tea towel
Two rubber bands or hair ties
Optional: a sewing needle and thread (or a sewing machine)
Following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendation that Americans wear face masks or some sort of face-covering while in public to help reduce the spread of coronavirus, officials with Public Health Seattle & King County are offering additional guidance.
“Medical masks are needed for healthcare workers who are caring for patients with COVID-19. We need our healthcare workers to be able to safely continue providing their services during this pandemic,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health—Seattle & King County. “For the general public, homemade fabric masks, especially if well-made and fit, may provide some benefit.”
Duchin said since there are few studies available about the effectiveness of masks against COVID-19, they don't know for sure how useful cloth or other face masks might be.
King County Metro and Sound Transit announced further reductions in service taking effect Monday, April 6. The reductions are a result of reduced ridership during the coronavirus crisis.
Overall, King County Metro will operate with about 37% fewer buses, 30% fewer transit operators, and 19% fewer service trips than typical weekday service, according to Metro officials.
Link light rail trains will run every 20 minutes versus every 14 minutes. Water taxi crews will operate one vessel for six roundtrip sailings per weekday and service on shuttles 773 and 775 are discontinued.
The Washington State Department of Health says a total of 284 people have died of coronavirus statewide as of Friday among 6,966 cases.
Gov. Jay Inslee has vetoed hundreds of millions of dollars of spending in hopes of making a dent in the loss of state revenues as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep the state’s economy largely shut down.
Inslee vetoed nearly two dozen bills in their entirety, and more than 140 separate budget items in the state supplemental budget.
“We cannot sleepwalk our way through this fiscal crisis,” said Gov. Inslee during a news conference about the budget Friday. “I want people to know I share the pain of those decisions.”
The total savings over the next three years is $445 million. All of the veto letters state that circumstances “have changed dramatically” since the budget was approved by the Legislature last month.
President Trump said Friday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is advising the use of non-medical cloth face coverings as a "voluntary" measure to help protect yourself from coronavirus (COVID-19).
The CDC said Friday according to recent studies, a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms (asymptomatic) and even those who eventually develop symptoms can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms.
CDC experts said this means the virus can be spread between people interacting in close proximity, such as speaking, coughing, or sneezing, even if those people are not showing symptoms.
For those reasons, the CDC said it's recommending wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult, such as at the grocery store.