BREAKING: Senator Elizabeth Warren is expected to announce that she is dropping out of the presidential race.
A Seattle Facebook employee has the coronavirus: The employee is a contractor who was last in Facebook's offices on February 21. Facebook isn't taking any chances. The office will be closed until March 9, and employees are encouraged to work from home for the next three weeks. Amazon also has an infected employee. Listen to King County, employers, and let your people work remotely!
Unless your employer wants to listen to Trump: Who didn't condemn people who go to work with coronavirus. DO NOT DO THAT.
I NEVER said people that are feeling sick should go to work. This is just more Fake News and disinformation put out by the Democrats, in particular MSDNC. Comcast covers the CoronaVirus situation horribly, only looking to do harm to the incredible & successful effort being made!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 5, 2020
Washington Public Health has been, and still is, underfunded: Local health departments across the country are consistently strained and underfunded, and Washington is no exception. They have a backlog of cases already, for things like the hepatitis A outbreak making its way through the homeless community. Now workers have had their duties reshuffled to focus on COVID-19, but funding woes extending back at least 20 years have made the job imminently harder. The Seattle Times has the rest here.
UW Medicine can now test for COVID-19: The lab got the green light from the federal government to start testing. The UW Medicine virology division had started trying to develop a test since the outbreak first started in China. It's one of two locations in the state that can test for COVID-19. The other is Washington State Public Health Laboratory in Shoreline. “Every virus is a little different, but this is the most challenging one that I’ve seen in my lifetime,” Dr. Alex Greninger of the UW Medicine Clinical Virology Laboratories told KING 5.
Airlines respond to the outbreak: The Port of Seattle is making sure that Sea-Tac Airport is nice and disinfected. Alaska Airlines is also committing to thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting its planes. Additionally, Alaska Airlines announced some crazy flight deals, maybe to try to jump-start flight sales, or maybe March is just a hot time for deals.
School closures: All of Northshore School District's schools will close for 14 days. Superintendent Michelle Reid has said that 26 Northshore schools have been exposed to the virus in some way. Instruction will take place online. These schools in the area are also closed today.
According to the weather, it's National Book Day: If I can piece this riddle together... it seems like it will be rainy tonight?
We know for you book lovers it was "Crime and Punishment" reading that last tweet. It was a "Catch-22" to do it or not. We bet now you are wishing " One Hundred Years of Solitude" for us. Oh well, "The Sun also Rises". #WorldBookDay2020 #wawx
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) March 5, 2020
Ex-Bellevue cop accused of murder: The cop, Michael Helte, was involved in two fatal officer-involved shootings back when he was on the force. Currently, he's accused of shooting and killing his 24-year-old neighbor in Virginia.
Amid the chaos, some good news: A baby boy gorilla was born at the Woodland Park Zoo.
Coronavirus outside of Washington: California has declared a state of emergency. More than 90,000 people have the virus worldwide. India has shut down schools in New Delhi. American stocks are slipping, and the S&P 500 just fell more than 2 percent. There are 13 confirmed cases in New York. New Jersey has its first case. A cruise ship where some passengers are showing symptoms is being quarantined off California's coast. The man who died in California yesterday from the virus had been on that cruise ship. There's a whole bunch more happening, too.
Facial recognition app used by police also used by the wealthy: It turns out that Clearview AI, the app that can identify a person and a ton of information on them with just a picture of their face (which is beloved by cops), was also being used by the app's investors and moneyed power players. One billionaire used it to look up who his daughter's date was. He also used it in his grocery stores to identify shoplifters, since people were "stealing our Häagen-Dazs." Ashton Kutcher even has a beta version. More from the New York Times here.
The original Rosie the Riveter is dead: Rosalind P. Walter, who was from a wealthy family but still chose to work on an assembly line in World War II, has died. She was 95.
An Olive Garden race war: A white woman in Indiana threw a hissy fit when she and her party were served by a black waiter after she had just finished being vile to two black hostesses. She demanded a non-black server. The manager acquiesced. That manager has now been fired.
Today's best entertainment options are: A comedy show with Gabriel Rutledge, Seattle Art Museum's unveiling of Georgia O'Keefe's Abstract Variations, and a show with master guitarist Bill Frisell. See more on our EverOut Things To Do calendar.