• 95 people have died and there have been a total of 1,996 confirmed cases in Washington state so far, according to numbers released at 3 pm today by the state. That's only one additional death in the last 24 hours.
• "Harvey Weinstein has tested positive for COVID-19, and has been put into isolation."
• A Target store in Seattle apologizes for selling face masks while medical workers face shortages.
• Rand Paul, "one of eight Republican senators who voted against a coronavirus relief package last week," has tested positive for COVID-19. He was reportedly at the Senate gym this morning, swimming in the pool.
• 50,000 N95 surgical masks arrive at a UW researcher's house, thanks to Elon Musk.
• Cancer patients are being turned away from local hospitals as facilities brace for a coronavirus surge.
• Lynnwood gun store owner says, "People are scared and now they're massively buying guns." Oh good, yeah, good idea everyone, guns will help.
• Washington State hospitals are running out of ventilators.
• Feds announce that some places in the US that need masks and ventilators are going to have to wait.
• In Canada, the "total number of coronavirus deaths jumped to 19, an increase of 46 percent."
• Nevertheless, people in the Seattle area spent Saturday crowding into nature areas. A solo runner on Tiger Mountain was horrified by what he saw yesterday. What is wrong with you people? Meanwhile, here's what Rattlesnake Ridge looked like yesterday:
• Microsoft's CEO tells the company, "We are in uncharted territory."
• Sound Transit is temporarily going fare-free to reduce hand-to-hand contact.
- No fares on Metro or Sound Transit starting Saturday
- Board through the back door if you can
- Service cuts coming, don’t trust Google Maps
- Bus drivers will still get paid if their route is reduced, Metro says
- Something I should know? DMs openhttps://t.co/3kBkaRgcge
— Heidi Groover (@heidigroover) March 21, 2020
• The Peace Corps is firing 7,300 volunteers from 61 countries.
• Playgrounds and sports courts are being closed in Seattle and King County. A warning from Spain: If you want your parks to stay open during a pandemic, keep your distance from each other.
JUST IN: Seattle and King County are closing playgrounds and sports courts to aid coronavirus social distancing.
Ballfields and playfields will remain open for walking and other non-team activities. Appears to be effective immediately.
— Daniel Beekman (@DBeekman) March 21, 2020
• Wait, what the fuck.
Here's the scene right now at Alki Beach in Seattle, despite the governor pleading that people stay home:
• Beach volleyball games
• Crowds around bonfires
• Groups of roller-bladers
• A line of customers for fish-and-chips
(I got out of my car only to take picture) pic.twitter.com/tznCyrlLtI
— Mike Baker (@ByMikeBaker) March 21, 2020
• There are now 1524 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Washington and 83 deaths, according to Friday's update from the Washington Department of Health. That's an increase of 148 cases and nine deaths since Thursday.
• One of Mike Pence's staffers tested positive for coronavirus. A White House spokesperson said that "neither President Trump nor Vice President Pence had close contact with the individual."
• Illinois has issued a stay-at-home order: "The order is set to start at 5 p.m. Saturday and go until April 7. Like other states, the order will mean residents can still go to the grocery stores, put gas in their cars, take walks outside and make pharmacy runs."
• Gov. Gavin Newsom, the man in charge of the fifth-largest economy in the world, has ordered 40 million Californians to stay at home: “We will look back at these decisions as pivotal," he said.
• Meanwhile, Inslee gave an address to the state Friday evening where he encouraged everyone to stay at home. If you catch roving bands of 18-year-olds, tell them the governor will scold them. He also asked everyone to call the older people in their lives and tell them “not to be going to dinner parties and coffee clatches, and sewing needle get-togethers.”
• Washington is getting a shipment of personal protective equipment for health care workers from federal government stockpiles this weekend. Though Inslee said the state is still short ventilators, we’re getting 1.6 million N95 masks, over half a million surgical masks, 12 million disposable gloves (unclear if that’s pairs or singles), 650,000 gowns (which could be made “in our prison industries, actually"), and 74,000 canisters of disinfectant wipes.
• Inslee also said “employers have got to do their part to flatten this curve.” To that end, he said he’s “working on” an order that would “ensure” people over the age of 65 and/or people with serious medical conditions can legally stay home, collect unemployment, and get their job back when this is over.
• Do you have personal protective equipment? The city of Seattle would love it if you donated it.
• A Bothell company is increasing its production of ventilators, which are needed in severe COVID-19 cases. From KOMO:
Prior to the outbreak, Ventec produced roughly 150 ventilators a month. It’s now ramping production up to 1,000 month, working around the clock to do so while actively looking to hire 100-150 people.
• The Pacific Science Center has laid off most of its staff.
• Mayor Jenny Durkan's office announced that some rent relief is coming to some arts organizations and businesses in some parts of Seattle.
• Our state's unemployment system is overwhelmed. "Unlike during the Great Recession, when claims increased gradually, 'this is all happening at once.'"
• The tax deadline has been moved to July 15.
• Governor Inslee announced statewide restrictions on all “non-urgent medical and dental procedures” so healthcare workers can preserve medical equipment. There are some exceptions, which are outlined here.
• A Seattle team just got funding for a groundbreaking coronavirus treatment.
• As one Florida beach shuts down, another opens. Floridians need a statewide beach shutdown.
I want you to watch this video and see for yourself the difference between how Paris one of the most touristic cities in the world is taking the Coronavirus threat and how Clearwater Florida is dealing with it so that it doesn’t lose tourism revenue during spring break #Covid_19 pic.twitter.com/CbUCf1VZ2r
— Ayman Mohyeldin (@AymanM) March 19, 2020
• Big news, nerds: JSTOR is making its database of over 6,000 ebooks and over 150 journals open to the public. With many universities around the globe shutting down due to the coronavirus, JSTOR says it's working to make more content freely available.
• Stop saying you're "fine" just because you're younger or don't have underlying conditions: "New C.D.C. data shows that nearly 40 percent of patients sick enough to be hospitalized were age 20 to 54. But the risk of dying was significantly higher in older people."
• At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Governor Inslee announced a statewide eviction moratorium. The moratorium still begs the question:
• Get used to online school, Huskies.
• The New York Stock Exchange will temporarily close floor trading starting on Monday. Electronic trading will still be allowed.
• A Shoreline soccer field is turning into a temporary 200-bed field hospital.
Seattle’s commercial evictions order, which Durkan signed Tuesday, says the moratorium will last 60 days or until the end of the city’s emergency. It covers evictions related to nonpayment of rent and lease expirations, and it defines a small business as any business entity with 50 or fewer employees, including sole proprietorships.
• What people need is a motherfucking rent freeze.
• A new study from the New England Journal of Medicine determined COVID-19 can live for three days on surfaces like plastic and steel. It can also suspend airborne for roughly 30 minutes. It survives on cardboard for about 24 hours.
• The U.S. and Canada closed its border and are no longer allowing nonessential travel.
• How long will all of this last? The U.S. virus plan anticipates an 18-month long pandemic with widespread shortages.
• There's a siege mentality among grocery store employees: "People are going to keep needing food. It’s such a weird feeling when you come to work. It’s like walking into a minefield."
• STOP PANIC SHOPPING. “We’re in unprecedented times, consumers need to be patient."
“We want the public to be assured that if they will return to their normal pace of grocery shopping that there will be an adequate supply of products for their consumption,” said Jan Gee, president and CEO of the Washington Food Industry Association. #COVID19 #covid19wa https://t.co/3ZpXlIWRcH
— WA Emergency Management (@waEMD) March 15, 2020
• A drive-thru coronavirus test site is now open to UW Medicine patients. "Starting Tuesday and every day after for as long as needed the drive-thru clinic will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m, and perform 50 tests a day," reports KOMO. The staff is hoping they can add other sites in the near future.
• Seattle's Kaiser Permanente Research Institute is officially "Team Coronavirus." They gave the first shots in a first test of an experimental coronavirus vaccine on Monday.
Here's the 1st of 4 volunteers who this morning received an investigational vaccine for COVID-19 as part of a @kpwashington phase 1 clinical trial. Learn more here: https://t.co/gSJtLyOG2K Thanks to @NIH for making it possible. Credit: Ted S. Warren / AP Photos https://t.co/WiFc7WXlSf pic.twitter.com/IqovYszmYB
— KP WA Research (@KPWaResearch) March 16, 2020
• “All of us have to recognize that for the next several weeks, normal is not in our game plan," said Governor Inslee at a Monday morning press conference. Inslee is shutting down bars, restaurants, theaters, coffee shops, gyms, bowling alleys, and more statewide. Grocery stores and pharmacies can continue to operate, and dining establishments can move to take-out service if they implement appropriate distancing measures.
• The governor is also prohibiting gatherings of 50 people or more statewide.
• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is telling people not to go to the doctor if they're sick. COVID-19 tests are only being saved for the "sickest of the sick." Here's what you should do if you're showing symptoms:
If you develop a fever, cough and shortness of breath, the CDC says, call your doctor. Get immediate help if you have “emergency warning signs” such as trouble breathing, chest pain or pressure, confusion, or “bluish lips or face.”
• Blood. We fucking need it.
• What's it like delivering a baby during the coronavirus crisis? If a mother has any potential COVID-19 symptoms, her newborn baby is kept at least six feet away from her.
• Governor Inslee has closed all schools statewide, both public and private, through at least April 24.
• Keep up to date with our list of events around Seattle that have been canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
• Why does soap work so well to stop COVID-19? A nanoparticle expert explains.
• Here is an interactive map of all coronavirus cases around the world.