Tag Archives: COVID Cases

COVID-19 Vaccine May Come Available Soon, But Not Before Hospitals Will Have to Start Implementing Surge Plans

by Carolyn Bick


Aside from starting to cancel non-emergent surgeries and other procedures, there doesn’t appear to be much else healthcare professionals can do to make way for what many see as an inevitable surge in COVID-19 cases and associated hospitalizations, following Thanksgiving and the December holidays.

Continue reading COVID-19 Vaccine May Come Available Soon, But Not Before Hospitals Will Have to Start Implementing Surge Plans

If State Does Not Curb COVID Trend, Healthcare Workers Will Have to Start Making “Painful Choices,” Experts Warn

by Carolyn Bick


Already, Dr. Nathan Schlicher has lost a patient to a heart attack, due to the patient’s inability to get timely and appropriate care at the hospital. This delay was caused by the skyrocketing rate of COVID-19 cases — a rate Gov. Jay Inslee called “almost vertical” — and associated hospitalizations throughout the state, as hospitals begin to delay certain forms of care, in order to keep up with the increase.

Continue reading If State Does Not Curb COVID Trend, Healthcare Workers Will Have to Start Making “Painful Choices,” Experts Warn

New Test Site to Open in Highline, As Cases in South King County Skyrocket

by Carolyn Bick


A new, free walk-up COVID-19 testing site will open in South King County’s Highline College, Public Health – Seattle & King County announced in a press release on Nov. 19.

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“We Admitted 10 Patients in Five Hours”: State, Hospitals Rapidly Approaching Critical Case Counts and Hospitalizations

by Carolyn Bick


The dire warnings the state’s top health officials shared with the public just last week appear to be coming to pass. 

In a Washington State Department of Health (DOH) COVID-19 briefing on Nov. 18, DOH Health Officer Kathy Lofy shared several charts that show what Lofy called a “dramatic,” exponential growth rate in cases of COVID-19 and “sharp increase” in hospitalizations in Western Washington. She also said that the effective reproductive number — also known as the R-naught or R0 number, which is the number of people one person will infect — has continued to rise. It now stands at 1.7 in Eastern Washington, and 1.8 in Western Washington.

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Gov. Inslee Institutes New Restrictions to Curb COVID Spread, Announces $50 Million Fund for Struggling Businesses

by Carolyn Bick


Gov. Jay Inslee has declared a series of new restrictions for the state of Washington, in light of rapidly escalating numbers of new COVID-19 cases. These restrictions will last for a minimum of four weeks. He also announced the state has found an extra $50 million to support struggling state businesses.

In a virtual press conference on the morning of Nov. 15, Inslee said that these new restrictions will begin to take effect at 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 16, and last until 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 14, after which point the state will reassess the situation. When the Emerald followed up after the press conference with Inslee’s office to ask whether there will be any penalties imposed on individuals who do not follow these new restrictions, the office said that the question of enforcement is a job for local law enforcement.

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State Reaches Record One-Day High of COVID-19 Cases

by Carolyn Bick


The state has now reached its all-time COVID-19 case one-day high, standing at 2,147 new cases of the disease today alone, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) reported in a press release late in the day on Nov. 13.

“Just two weeks ago, we announced 1,000 new cases in a day for the first time since mid-summer. And, each day this week we have reported over 1,000 new cases per day. This rapid escalation is extremely alarming,” the press release reads.

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“We Should Probably All Stop Socializing For the Next Several Weeks”: Health Officials Deliver Grim COVID Data, Warnings

by Carolyn Bick


The basic precautionary measures that public health experts have been asking Washingtonians to take throughout the novel coronavirus pandemic are now “the only thing[s] standing between us and disaster,” Tacoma-Pierce County’s Dir. of Public Health Dr. Anthony Chen said in an urgent COVID-19 press briefing on Nov. 10. It’s because people haven’t been taking them that the state is now poised to suffer a sharp — potentially exponential — increase in deaths and hospitalizations.

“I know there are lots of tensions. Everyone’s tired. But this is not the time for argument,” Chen said. We’ve got to … put politics aside, put personalities aside. We’ve got to work on this together.”

Chen and a slew of other public health officials spoke during the briefing, each of them sharing grim statistics. At the core of their concern is the real potential for the state’s healthcare system to become overwhelmed, which would likely force the state to institute more aggressive approaches to slowing down the spread of the disease. These approaches appear to include another lockdown.

Continue reading “We Should Probably All Stop Socializing For the Next Several Weeks”: Health Officials Deliver Grim COVID Data, Warnings

As COVID-19 Cases Skyrocket in South King County, PHSKC Plans to Unveil New Financial Relief Program

by Carolyn Bick


In an effort to better support people who either are or may be infected with the novel coronavirus who would not be able to quarantine themselves at home without risking financial hardship, Public Health – Seattle & King County will be rolling out a financial support program for people infected with the novel coronavirus.

The program has not yet been formally announced, but Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin briefly talked about it in a press conference on Nov. 6, as he was answering the Emerald’s question about the driving factors behind the rapid and concerning rise in COVID-19 cases in South King County, and how — aside from encouraging behavior modification — PHSKC plans to try to combat this rise.

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Essential Workers — Including Those in Health Care — Hit Hard by COVID-19 and Environmental Health Threats

by Jadenne Cabahug


Edna Cortez has worked as a registered nurse at Seattle Children’s Hospital for the past 30 years — and she received a commemorative pin to mark the occasion. Cortez wears another pin these days during the pandemic: she places a button with a picture of her face on top of her scrub hat to help her young patients feel less afraid. 

She usually keeps her face covered while working, like all nurses do during the pandemic. Cortez has to wear full personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks, goggles, face shields, and gowns. Not everyone has access to the same equipment, or the right kind.

Cortez is among the state’s essential workers — in health care and other professions  — who have been put at higher risk from COVID-19 and other environmental health factors in 2020.

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