Tag Archives: Feature

COVID-19 Cases in Washington State Double to Twice April’s Peak in Less Than a Month

by Carolyn Bick


Between June 9 and July 9, the rate of novel coronavirus cases in Washington State has doubled from the state’s previous peak in April. Despite this, with the exception of limiting gatherings, Gov. Jay Inslee has once again shied away from imposing more stringent regulations and measures or rolling counties back into earlier phases of the state’s Safe Start plan.

Continue reading COVID-19 Cases in Washington State Double to Twice April’s Peak in Less Than a Month

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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The Position of King County Sheriff Could Become an Appointed One. Here’s Why That Matters.

by Carolyn Bick


For 25 years, voters who live in King County’s 12 unincorporated areas that do not have their own police departments have seen their already-small power over who enforces the laws in their communities dwindle. Since the position of King County sheriff became an elected one in 1996, more and more people have moved to cities that have their own police departments. Today, just 11% of voters live in unincorporated King County.

But why do these numbers matter?

Continue reading The Position of King County Sheriff Could Become an Appointed One. Here’s Why That Matters.

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

Farm Stand in Rainier Beach Provides Free and Low-Cost Produce for the Community

by Carolyn Bick


The farm stand hadn’t even opened for business yet, but the socially distant line for Tilth Alliance’s new farm stand was already starting to stretch down the organization’s driveway on the sunny afternoon of June 25.

The nonprofit organic gardening and urban ecology organization is located at the Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands in partnership with Friends of Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands. Tucked away in a leafy residential area on South Cloverdale Street, this is the city’s largest urban farm. Tilth Alliance officially launched the new farm stand in this outdoor space on June 18. The farm stand is open every Thursday from 2–7 p.m. and is yet another one of Tilth Alliance’s efforts to support South King County residents.

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Skyway Residents Gather to Highlight Black-Led, Community-Driven Solutions

by Carolyn Bick


When Elijah L. Lewis was born in Skyway Park two decades ago, he carried his mother’s grief over his father’s death inside himself.

“My father had been walking my little sister down the stairs when he had collapsed. At the time, we did not have a phone, because of the inequities we were suffering because of the poverty mindset … and the reality that we have to face,” Lewis said, describing how difficult it was for his family to summon medical aid. “My six-year-old [sibling], my nine-year-old sister, and my 10-year-old brother and mother, witnessed my father, who was a Black man, turn purple and die in front of their face. … We did not have any financial stability left when he passed, so we had to struggle.”

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Pride Celebrates and Supports Justice for Black Community

compiled by Emerald Staff


There’s reason for thousands of LGBTQIA and ally communities dancing in the street, but everything is different in the age of COVID-19, and protests in support of Black Lives Matter and an end to police brutality. Like elsewhere, Seattle Pride activities this month are largely virtual. This is a community that understands only too well how the ravages of a disease can destroy it. 

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