Tag Archives: Coronavirus

New COVID-19 Testing Site to Open at Rainier Beach High School

by Carolyn Bick


South Seattle will see a third free, walk-up novel coronavirus testing site at Rainier Beach High School, starting on Friday, Aug. 7.

Joined by Public Health – Seattle & King County Director Patty Hayes and Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins in a press conference on July 31, Mayor Jenny Durkan announced that the new testing site will replace the one that opened in April at the Atlantic City Boat Ramp. 

The test will be free, neither citizenship nor insurance is required. While pre-registration also isn’t required, it is encouraged. The site will be open from 9:30 am. – 5 :30 p.m., and will be accessible for those with disabilities.

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As State Hits 50,000-Case Milestone, South King County Appears to Be Next Potential Outbreak Hotspot

by Carolyn Bick


Washington State has reached a new milestone in the ongoing saga of the novel coronavirus pandemic. As of today, there have been 50,000 people who have tested positive for the virus, since the start of the pandemic.

This is not a good number.

Continue reading As State Hits 50,000-Case Milestone, South King County Appears to Be Next Potential Outbreak Hotspot

First Jail Health Services Employee at King County Jail Tests Positive for COVID-19

by Carolyn Bick


A jail health services (JHS) employee at the King County Correctional Facility in Seattle has tested positive for COVID-19, according to an official Public Health – Seattle & King County letter the Emerald received from an anonymous source. The employee is the first JHS staffer to test positive.

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Most of the Continuing Increase in Novel Coronavirus Cases Throughout the State Is Among 20-Year-Olds

by Carolyn Bick


Washington State continues to see a dramatic rise in novel coronavirus cases, with most of the new cases now occurring in young people ages 20–29. But despite the rapidly increasing caseload statewide, Gov. Jay Inslee stopped short of moving counties back into earlier phases of the state’s Safe Start plan.

In a press conference on July 14, Inslee shared several graphs, including one that showed cases are continuing to increase. They are now at almost 112 cases per 100,000 people. Just last week, they sat at a little more than 95 cases. The rate of infection in western Washington is now more than 1.5 and just above 1 in eastern Washington. This means that one person is infecting a little fewer than two people in western Washington, and one person is infecting about one other person in eastern Washington.

Continue reading Most of the Continuing Increase in Novel Coronavirus Cases Throughout the State Is Among 20-Year-Olds

Undocumented Workers Must Wait on COVID-19 Relief Fund, Will Not Be Eligible for State’s First Public Option Health Program

by Carolyn Bick

Washington State’s undocumented workers waiting for the same kind of economic relief their documented peers receive will have to keep waiting, Gov. Jay Inslee’s office told the Emerald. They also won’t be eligible for the state’s first public option health program, Cascade Care, when it begins next year.

In late May, Inslee said his office was looking into the possibility of creating a novel coronavirus pandemic relief fund for undocumented workers, who are ineligible to receive unemployment benefits or federal economic relief. In an email to the Emerald on July 10, Inslee’s Deputy Communications Director and Press Secretary Mike Faulk said that the reason a fund is taking so long is due to a number of factors, including the complexity of the task and the recent mandate that requires certain staff members to take one furlough day per week, in an effort to cut costs.

Continue reading Undocumented Workers Must Wait on COVID-19 Relief Fund, Will Not Be Eligible for State’s First Public Option Health Program

As State’s COVID-19 Case Rate Surges Past April Numbers, King County Sees Increase in Cases Among Young People

by Carolyn Bick


Sporting a Seahawks face mask, Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee in a July 7 press conference tried to reframe the state’s burgeoning novel coronavirus case rate in a more positive light, but the state’s current numbers still paint a bleak picture. As of this writing, the case rate is even higher than it was in April, at what had previously been the peak of the pandemic in the state.

Joined by Washington State Department of Health State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy, Inslee showed a graph that showed a dramatic spike between June and today. As of the press conference, the state is seeing more than 95 cases per 100,000 Washingtonians in the last two weeks, which is about 20 more cases per 100,000 people than at the previous peak in April.

Continue reading As State’s COVID-19 Case Rate Surges Past April Numbers, King County Sees Increase in Cases Among Young People

Inslee Issues Mandate That All Businesses Require Mask Use Among Patrons, But Stops Short of Active Enforcement

by Carolyn Bick

A mask-clad Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee announced in a July 2 press conference that beginning on July 7, businesses will be legally required to enforce mask use among their patrons. He also said that all counties’ applications to move forward into a new Safe Start phase will be paused for two weeks starting immediately.

The announcements come as the number of novel coronavirus cases statewide continue to rise. In an earlier press conference, Public Health – Seattle & King County’s Public Health Officer Jeff Duchin revealed that cases in King County have more than doubled in the last two weeks, going from 40 per day to more than 100 per day, and that almost half these cases are in the City of Seattle alone. Most of the increase is among younger people. Duchin said that one-third of these recent increases are among young adults 20-29 years old, and more than half of all new cases are in people 29-39 years old.

Inslee called the surge across the state a “troubling spike,” and pointed to graphs that showed the number of cases in several counties are almost at or have surpassed the number of cases in April, when the virus was at its peak in the state. He also showed a graph that indicates the rate of transmission is once again increasing, and is at just above one in Western Washington and around 1.5 in Eastern Washington. This means in both parts of the state that one person is infecting more than one other person.

Continue reading Inslee Issues Mandate That All Businesses Require Mask Use Among Patrons, But Stops Short of Active Enforcement

Staying Afloat: How Children of Immigrants Are Helping Family Restaurants Weather the Pandemic

by Sharon H. Chang


It is a gratefully busy afternoon at Dim Sum King in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District (ID). After months of being closed, a steady flow of customers comes in for takeout, following tape arrows on the floor to maintain six feet of distance. Michelle Cai is explaining how she drew reopening plans for her parent’s restaurant, which included directing foot traffic. Cai’s extroverted mother, Amy, is happily serving food and chimes in to emphasize how helpful her children have been during the pandemic. “My son and my daughter is very good!” Amy beams. “They give me a lot of idea. They very smart too.” 

Michelle Cai’s parents immigrated to the U.S. from Guangzhou, China, over two decades ago. Cai was a 7th grader when they opened Dim Sum King and she would help out after school, filling soy sauce bottles or cleaning floors. After graduating college, Cai moved to Southern California. But this spring Cai flew home when her parents temporarily closed their restaurant so she could be with family and eventually support her parents in reopening.

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King County Council Passes $86 Million in Emergency Funding, Looks to Future Legislation To Make Juneteenth a Holiday For County Employees

by Carolyn Bick


Following a unanimous vote at a meeting on June 23, King County Council has approved a third round of emergency funding to the tune of $86 million. Council Chair Claudia Balducci also said that legislation to make Juneteenth a holiday for King County employees will be introduced at a future meeting.

The emergency funding money, which will come from the county’s general fund, will provide support for several programs throughout the county meant to combat both the novel coronavirus and racism, which the council formally recognized as a public health crisis on June 18.

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“We’ve Had Lots of Reports of People Not Wearing Face Masks”: On the Eve of King County’s Move Into Phase Two, Coronavirus Cases On the Rise

by Carolyn Bick


King County has moved into Phase Two of Washington State’s Safe Start reopening plan, even as the number of novel coronavirus cases have increased.

In a briefing on June 19, Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin of Public Health — Seattle & King County shared that the evening before the briefing, the office had learned that cases had increased 47 percent. He said the department learned of this after Duchin had approved the county’s application to move into Phase Two. 

Continue reading “We’ve Had Lots of Reports of People Not Wearing Face Masks”: On the Eve of King County’s Move Into Phase Two, Coronavirus Cases On the Rise