Tag Archives: The Coronavirus

King County Will Apply June 1 to Move Into Modified Phase One, Plans to Increase Testing in South End

by Carolyn Bick


King County will apply for a modified Phase One with eased disease benchmarks under Washington State’s new Safe Start guidelines, which Gov. Jay Inslee announced at a May 29 press conference. King County officials said in a later press conference that they will also increase access to testing in South King County in tandem with the move into the modified Phase One.

Continue reading King County Will Apply June 1 to Move Into Modified Phase One, Plans to Increase Testing in South End

Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee Unveils Novel Coronavirus Contact Tracing Plan

by Carolyn Bick


Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee unveiled the state’s novel coronavirus contact tracing plan in a press conference on May 12.

The plan is meant to “box in the virus,” Inslee said, and work in tandem with the state’s phased reopening plan. The contact tracing plan will involve almost 1,400 contact tracing team members, including 351 members of the Washington State National Guard and a combination of more than 600 local and state health department officials. The effort will not directly involve law enforcement, and the National Guard will not have law enforcement capabilities.

Continue reading Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee Unveils Novel Coronavirus Contact Tracing Plan

South King County Food Banks Face Severe Shortages — And There’s No End in Sight

by Carolyn Bick

It’s sunny, and beginning to get warm on an afternoon in early May, when people start to line up outside the White Center Food Bank. Clad in masks, they patiently wait an adequate distance from each other to choose food the National Guard is helping food bank workers distribute.

This outdoor model is the latest iteration of food service the food bank has tried, Associate Executive Director Carmen Smith said. So far, it’s also the most successful, she said. Usually, the food bank operates in a grocery store model, which allows patrons the freedom to choose their own items, and mitigate the stigma associated with needing to use a food bank. But once the novel coronavirus pandemic hit the state, Smith and her fellow food bank employees found that the inside of the food bank was just too small to allow for safe social distancing practices. Having volunteers shop for the patrons’ food was also a no-go, because it’s just too hard to shop for someone else, Smith said.

Continue reading South King County Food Banks Face Severe Shortages — And There’s No End in Sight

Public Health Officer Announces Directive Encouraging Use of Face Coverings in Public and in Private Businesses

by Carolyn Bick


Public Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin has announced a public health directive for all King County residents to wear masks in public and indoor spaces, such as grocery stores and pharmacies, as per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Continue reading Public Health Officer Announces Directive Encouraging Use of Face Coverings in Public and in Private Businesses

Rate of Novel Coronavirus Infections in Washington State Increases

by Carolyn Bick


The rate of novel coronavirus infections in Washington State has risen once again, Gov. Jay Inslee said in a press conference on May 8.

Pointing to models from the Institute for Disease Modeling that show data collected up to April 19, Inslee said that though the rate of infection has dropped significantly since the initial outbreak, the rate of infection has risen from below one in both Eastern and Western Washington to about one in Western Washington and just above one in Eastern Washington. This means that one person is infecting one other person in Western Washington, and more than one other person in Eastern Washington. This is a notable increase for Western Washington, which had previously dropped to an infection rate of just over 0.5 in early April.

Continue reading Rate of Novel Coronavirus Infections in Washington State Increases

Gov. Jay Inslee Extends Stay-Home Order to May 31, Unveils Phased Reopening Plan

by Carolyn Bick


Washington State’s stay-home order will now remain in place until May 31, in order to continue to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, as the state works in four phases to return to relative normalcy.

The state has been under a stay-home order since late March. Though the order was supposed to be lifted on May 4, Gov. Jay Inslee said in a press conference on May 1 that though there has been some “good news,” regarding the slowed spread of the virus, the data simply doesn’t support fully opening up the state yet. As of April 30, there have been 14,327 confirmed cases and 814 deaths.

Continue reading Gov. Jay Inslee Extends Stay-Home Order to May 31, Unveils Phased Reopening Plan

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.

Continue reading Washington State Gov. Jay inslee Extends Stay-Home Order

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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