King County Executive Dow Constantine. (KIRO 7)
Health officials say 42 people in Washington state have died from the coronavirus. Another 769 cases have been confirmed. Schools have been ordered closed and soon, all restaurants and bars will follow suit.
10:54am – Gov. Jay Inslee and King County Executive Dow Constantine are delivering a press conference with more details on the plan to close Washington’s restaurants and bars. Watch live here at 11 a.m.
10:14am – An Evergreen Health doctor is in critical condition right now brought on COVID-19. The Kirkland hospital has been at the epicenter of the region’s outbreak, as the site where many of the elderly LifeCenter residents have been receiving treatment.
9:43am – As restaurants and bars in Washington and other states are shutting down dine-in service, GrubHub is opting to defer its commission fees for “impacted independent restaurants.” The popular food delivery service hopes the measure will help restaurants currently struggling to stay afloat in the midst of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
Additionally, it will continue to use contact-free delivery, offering customers the option to have drivers drop food off on doorsteps or in lobbies, rather than delivering it face-to-face.
9:06am – Fred Hutchinson scientist Trevor Bedford provided details on his lab’s work to to sequence the genome of coronavirus in Washington state. You can read more about his research here.
8:23am – Stocks dipped another 8% in morning trading on Wall Street Monday, despite emergency actions taken by the Federal Reserve late Sunday. More details here.
7:54am – The first patient in a Seattle clinical trial to find a coronavirus vaccine will receive an experimental dose on Monday. Read more.
7:22am – Nike has opted to close all of its U.S. and Western Europe retail locations as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus.
6:57am – King County Metro calculates that its ridership has dropped by almost 50% in March, seeing 185,000 fewer riders than usual across its entire system.
6:32am – After the impending temporary closure of all restaurants and bars in Washington was announced Sunday night, King County Executive Dow Constantine had some sobering advice to deliver.
“Go to work if you must. But hunker down if you are able,” Constantine said on Twitter.
Constantine asked that people “assume that they and everyone they meet is infected to avoid any unnecessary interactions.”
He cited that as part of his justification for immediately enacting the closure of restaurants and bars in King County, spelling out the need for increased social distancing measures in a region that’s become the epicenter of Washington’s coronavirus outbreak.
“Treat the next two weeks as a period of self-quarantine, to protect yourself and the lives and health of your loved ones and the entire community,” Constantine detailed.
6:05am – Superior courts in King and Snohomish Counties are suspending criminal jury trials through April 24. Jury summonses are suspended until 27, and court personnel will immediately call off any summons that has already been sent.
5:59am – Safeway and Albertsons locations in Washington are taking steps to restock dwindling supplies. Read more.
5:22am – In an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus, King County plans to repurpose three more properties for isolation centers. Read more.
5:05am – Gov. Jay Inslee announced his intention to enact even more stringent measures to contain coronavirus in Washington state Sunday night. That includes temporarily shutting down restaurants, bars, and recreational facilities statewide.
Restaurants will still be able to provide takeout, drive-thru, and delivery service. Additionally, all gatherings over 50 people are prohibited, while gatherings under 50 people will need to meet strict criteria for hygiene and social distancing.
These new rules do not apply to grocery stores or pharmacies. Retail outlets like hardware stores, gas stations, banks, and shopping centers can also remain open, provided they enforce reduced occupancy.
“I know there will be significant economic impacts to all our communities. But every hour counts as we bend the curve of infection,” said Inslee. “We have, and will continue to take steps to mitigate those challenges.”
The governor will be holding a joint press conference Monday with more details. These changes have taken effect immediately in King County.