Tag Archives: COVID-19 Pandemic

Struggling Art Sector Is Critical to State’s Recovery, Report Shows

by Agueda Pacheco Flores


A new report — quantifying the pandemic’s toll on Washington arts and culture institutions — warns the damage still isn’t done but identifies the arts as a key element in the state’s overall recovery. 

Leaders from across the state, such as Seattle Art Museum’s CEO Amada Cruz and Spokane Arts’ Executive Director Melissa Huggins, joined ArtsFund’s President and CEO Michael Greer last week to highlight the importance of the art sector. Leaders also made an urgent call for state leaders to prioritize funding for the arts. 

“Washington’s cultural institutions have been significantly impacted as a result of this pandemic,” Greer said during his opening remarks at last week’s report presentation. 

Continue reading Struggling Art Sector Is Critical to State’s Recovery, Report Shows

PHOTO ESSAY: Student Voices, Demands From Last Friday’s COVID-19 Walkout

by Ari Robin McKenna, photos by Chloe Collyer


Recently, in Mx. Sam Cristol’s ethnic studies class at Cleveland STEM High School, students were discussing the effects of COVID-19 in Seattle. “We started with the idea of all of us being frustrated with the way that these issues are being handled — and not handled, for that matter,” said student organizer Nya Spivey, “and then we were like, well … what as students can we do?” Spivey and classmates Mia Dabney and Ava May decided they could do something, and so they did.

Continue reading PHOTO ESSAY: Student Voices, Demands From Last Friday’s COVID-19 Walkout

Western WA’s COVID Cases Level Off, Hospitals Brace for Surge, More Masks and Tests Available

by Sally James


Washington’s medical officials are bracing for the next few weeks in the latest surge of the COVID-19 pandemic. But they also offered a glimmer of good news at their Wednesday, Jan. 19, media event

“The next several weeks will be very difficult,” said Umair Shah, M.D., M.P.H., secretary of health of the Washington State Department of Public Health (DOH). Even though case counts have leveled off in most of Western Washington, they are still rising in Eastern Washington. Hospitals are struggling with too many patients and barely enough room or staff to care for them properly. Gov. Jay Inslee has sent National Guard personnel to help several state hospitals. 

Continue reading Western WA’s COVID Cases Level Off, Hospitals Brace for Surge, More Masks and Tests Available

UW’s Latino Center for Health Recommends Policy Overhaul to Benefit Latinos

by Agueda Pacheco Flores


When COVID-19 started to circulate within Washington State, Monica*, 45, was in the same boat as everyone else — scared of getting sick. 

“We knew if we got sick we wouldn’t work, but then we stopped working anyways,” she says. 

Continue reading UW’s Latino Center for Health Recommends Policy Overhaul to Benefit Latinos

Why School Was Cancelled at Kimball Elementary for the Past Three Days

by Ari Robin McKenna


When Seattle Public Schools’ (SPS) mass COVID-19 screening flagged seven of their coworkers last Monday, Kimball Elementary School staff knew they were in for a week. A tight-knit group who has a strong relationship with their Parents, Teachers, and Students Association (PTSA), Kimball’s staff braced themselves.

As the week progressed, Kimball — in Southeast Seattle and serving 75% students of color — was without one Instructional Assistant (IA) after another, as well as multiple teachers and an administrator. By the end of the week, Kimball was short six IAs. School staffs across Seattle have been worn down by factors including a national substitute teacher shortage, the challenges teaching students returning to in-person school after a such long break, and unrealistic pressure to “catch up.” Yet while the entire system is in crisis, throughout last week, Kimball staff approached its actual breaking point.

Kimball Music Teacher and Seattle Education Association (SEA) Union Rep KT Raschko, described staffs’ still-determined ethos in the hallways of the Van Asselt building, where Kimball is housed while its new building is constructed:

Continue reading Why School Was Cancelled at Kimball Elementary for the Past Three Days

With Our Gratitude to You

by Emerald Staff


These past two years have been a time like no other. As if the deadliest pandemic in United States history wasn’t enough, this nation also had to continue addressing the legacy of chattel slavery and the racist policies that have marred this country’s democratic aspirations. Both caused pain, suffering, death, and sapped the economic vitality of families and communities around the country and here in the South End. Through it all, the South Seattle Emerald’s dedicated board, core team, and freelance content contributors have done their best to amplify your voices and reflect your cultural, political, and informational expressions. They are the expressions of a community that is in pain yet also has the resilience and strength to overcome. 

Continue reading With Our Gratitude to You

Community Rallies Behind Local Business Owners

by Ronnie Estoque


When the COVID-19 pandemic swept the country abruptly in March of last year, many worried what the impact on local small businesses would be. 

Small businesses in South Seattle had to adjust and pivot their business models to weather the brunt of the pandemic, and many of them found unwavering support from the local community. 

Continue reading Community Rallies Behind Local Business Owners

Seattle Public Schools to Offer Vaccine Clinics for Students This Weekend 

by Sally James


Some South Seattle school buildings will be offering COVID-19 vaccines this weekend for students in the district and their families. 

Students do not have to attend the school where the clinic is offered.

Some of the clinics offer both first and second doses, and some offer only second doses. All students must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. If your child is receiving their second dose, please bring their vaccination card with you to the clinic to be updated.

Continue reading Seattle Public Schools to Offer Vaccine Clinics for Students This Weekend 

OPINION: We Must Collaborate to Address Violence and Safety Issues in Mount Baker

by Gloria Hodge


In 1975, following the end of the Vietnam war, thousands of South Vietnamese refugees were fleeing to the United States to start a new life. Today, the Vietnamese immigrant population in Seattle is large, second only to China as the country of origin for immigrants in our city. This month, Hoa Mai Vietnamese Bilingual Preschool will celebrate its sixth anniversary of serving children from 20 months to 5 years old. Located adjacent to the Mount Baker Light Rail Station, we are part of the Sound Child Care Solutions Consortium. At Hoa Mai, two of our core values are providing a joyful workplace and promoting social justice. I have had the honor of working for our organization for almost 11 years and am also the founding director of Hoa Mai. 

Before we closed for the pandemic in March of 2020, things were happening quickly. Yet there was a lot of confusion and unknowns. We received very few guidelines about best safety practices from King County Public Health; there were also mixed messages regarding mask- wearing. At first, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) told us to save the masks for the medical field. There were also conversations about the possible negative impacts on young children seeing adults wearing masks. One of our employees from China expressed safety concerns and wanted to wear her mask, which I denied. It seems so trivial now, but it is the one regret I have about handling the pandemic — not immediately permitting masks to be worn. 

Continue reading OPINION: We Must Collaborate to Address Violence and Safety Issues in Mount Baker

Systemic Fault Lines for Undocumented Community Revealed by the Pandemic, New Report Shows

by Agueda Pacheco Flores


After raising and disbursing more than $62 million during the height of the pandemic for the state’s undocumented community last year, the Washington Dream Coalition (WDC) says there’s still more work to be done. 

A new report published early last week details the impact the organization’s COVID-19 relief fund had on the undocumented immigrant community. The grassroots effort for the relief fund was in response to most undocumented immigrants being left out of the stimulus package last year and ineligible for unemployment benefits. The report consists of qualitative demographic and employment data taken from the application process, which one of the main organizers and writers of the report called an “unprecedented” look at the community. It also highlights the voices of those who were directly impacted by the pandemic and the fund. 

Continue reading Systemic Fault Lines for Undocumented Community Revealed by the Pandemic, New Report Shows