Tag Archives: Feature

Washington State Gov. Jay inslee Extends Stay-Home Order

by Carolyn Bick


Washingtonians will remain under a stay-home order past the original stop date of May 4, Gov. Jay Inslee announced in a press conference on April 30.

Joined by Vice Admiral Dr. Raquel Bono, director of Washington state COVID-19 health care response, as well as state health officer Kathy Lofy, and the Washington State Emergency Operations Center deputy intelligence section chief Katherine Guest, Inslee said that the decision to keep Washingtonians under a stay-home order was not an easy one, but was necessary, based on current modeling data. The stay-home order is meant to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.

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Agricultural Warehouse Workers Claim Employers Failing to Protect Them From Novel Coronavirus, Follow L&I Rules

by Carolyn Bick


Every morning at 6 a.m., Penelope punches into work at a food processing warehouse in Eltopia, Washington. She works seven days a week with no days off for $13.65 an hour. With the exception of a 30-minute lunch break, Penelope is on her feet sorting spears of asparagus for up to nine or 10 hours a day. It’s difficult work in normal times. But now, it’s become dangerous.

Penelope says her employer is not providing her or other employees with enough personal protective equipment or allowing them any space to social distance to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus. She is undocumented, so she’s afraid of repercussions if she speaks out or tries to involve the Department of Labor and Industries, which is responsible for overseeing safe workplace conditions. But she is also afraid that these conditions will get her killed: she’s 40 years old and suffers from diabetes and heart disease, and has breast cancer that has recently reemerged.

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Despite Rain, Rainier Beach Community Uses City’s First Walk-Up Novel Coronavirus Testing Site

by Carolyn Bick


A week ago, Janet C. returned to her home in Rainier Beach, where she spent time with her husband, who has asthma. She kissed her son goodnight. When her daughter, who also has asthma, awakened from bad dreams, Janet consoled the girl, and slept in bed with her.

Then, days later, she learned that she had been exposed to the novel coronavirus. She’s not worried for herself, she said. She’s worried about her daughter, whose allergies are triggered by pollen.

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Inslee Announces Broad Plans to Reopen Washington State’s Economy, Including Rapid Response Team

by Carolyn Bick


Washington State Governor Jay Inslee said the state will not be able to lift all current movement restrictions and distancing measures by May 4.

In a televised announcement on April 21, Inslee said that the return to normalcy will be guided by science and data, and will be “more like a turning of a dial than the flip of a switch.” He said that these decisions will be based on healthcare modeling, which currently shows a plateau in new novel coronavirus cases, as well as carefully monitoring how the spread of the virus responds, after easing some restrictions.

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Seattle’s First Walk-Up Coronavirus Testing Site to Open in Rainier Beach

by Carolyn Bick


Starting tomorrow, the city will see its first walk-up novel coronavirus testing site at the Atlantic City Boat Ramp across from Rainier Beach High School in South Seattle.

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Washington State Expands Unemployment Eligibility, Increases Weekly Payment by $600 Through Federal CARES Act

by Carolyn Bick


Washingtonians who were previously unable to claim unemployment may now find themselves eligible for benefits.

At a press conference on April 16, Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee and Washington Employment Security Department Commissioner Suzi LeVine announced an expansion to the state’s unemployment benefits program by implementing certain parts of the federal CARES Act, a response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

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“We Know There Are Sick People in Here”: Inmates Claim DOC Measures Just for Show

by Carolyn Bick


Every day, Dave M. works in the Washington Corrections Center kitchen. He stands right next to fellow inmates, all of whom are currently without masks, to make meals for the rest of the prison’s population. He says nothing in the kitchens have been moved or changed to make it safer for himself and his fellow kitchen workers. All the measures the Department of Corrections has announced its prisons are taking? He says they’re just for show.

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When People Don’t Follow Social Distancing Guidelines, It’s the Vulnerable Who Pay

by Carolyn Bick


The hardest part of the week for Brandi Soggs begins on Thursday nights. That’s when the chemo she’s received the day before starts kicking in. It makes her tired and foggy, she said, and she doesn’t have the ability to put together even a basic protein shake, let alone stand in front of the whirring machine for the two minutes it takes to make one.

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Lack of Detailed Demographic Data Around COVID-19 Has Serious Impacts for Providers

by Carolyn Bick

Despite Washington State being the original epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak in the United States, the state has not released detailed demographic data around infections and deaths from COVID-19, lagging behind several states and counties throughout the country. King County released detailed demographic data around infections and deaths from COVID-19 on April 10, but the data is only from 51 percent of confirmed cases.

The King County data available shows that cases of the disease are highest among non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders, but that deaths are highest among white people. This available data is not consistent with what other areas of the U.S. are reporting –– that Black communities are at a disproportionately higher risk of death from the disease –– or with what some local critical care providers are seeing on the frontlines.

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United Way of King County Unveils Rental Assistance Program for Those Impacted by COVID-19

by Carolyn Bick


Both documented and undocumented renters worried about their April rent payments will be able to breathe a little easier for at least a month, thanks to the United Way of King County’s emergency rental assistance program.

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