April 03, 2020

Seattle

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KC approves $2.2M emergency childcare aid for first responders
Seattle

For more coverage, visit our complete coronavirus section here. This week, King County City Council approved an emergency measure that would provide $2.2 million in funding for free childcare services for first responders and essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.The funding was requested by King County Executive Dow Constantine and passed unanimously by the Council on Tuesday to provide relief to families struggling to secure childcare as many facilities are closed due to the pandemic.
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Gov. Inslee's answers on social distancing, paying rent, grocery shopping amid coronavirus crisis
Seattle

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Governor Jay Inslee connected with Washingtonians via Twitter Thursday to answer their questions about the coronavirus and the state's response to slow the spread of the virus. Residents were able to ask Gov. Inslee a question and he responded with a short video on his Twitter feed. Below are five of the top questions asked.Question: What would you say to people who are distancing in terms of avoiding public places but are still visiting non-household family and friends #AskGovInslee - @KristaSueBar
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The best extra-large mat for cat litter boxes
Seattle

I wouldn't call myself a certified cat expert, but after 29 years of living with cats, I will say that I know quite a bit about them. Between me and my parents, I've had roughly 30 cats. Now, I'm the happy cat mom of three furry felines. A lot of essentials that go into raising a cat, especially multiple cats, but one thing I need for my own sanity is a good litter mat.If you have cats, then you know what a litter mat is. If you don't live with cats, it's a mat that goes under the litter box to catch the litter your cat dredges out. Top-entry litter boxes can help cut down on litter splatter and carry, but not every cat will use a top-entry box. My cats are fickle and have turned their noses up at that style of box. They like a traditional box, and that means I really need a trusty litter mat.
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Amid coronavirus outbreak, Seattle’s communities of faith find ways to celebrate holidays and to grow
Seattle

For many people of faith, upcoming religious holidays — Passover, Easter, Ramadan — are traditionally a time of gathering. But under stringent social distancing measures enacted to slow the spread of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, life in the Northwest has been marked by retraction and isolation.But even as holidays are reimagined — sometimes drastically — and services go remote, leaving houses of worship empty, local faith leaders say that interest in religious services has gone up, and congregants have found new ways to receive and share practical support and relief through their spiritual communities — maintaining a sense of connection in an otherwise dark time.
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US sheds most jobs in a decade, ending record hiring streak
Seattle

WASHINGTON (AP) — A record-long streak of U.S. job growth ended suddenly in March after nearly a decade as employers cut 701,000 jobs because of the viral outbreak that's all but shut down the U.S. economy. The unemployment rate jumped to 4.4% from a 50-year low of 3.5%.The monthly job loss reported Friday by the government, the worst since the depths of the Great Recession in 2009, is still just a small indication of what's to come. Last month's actual losses were likely even larger because the government surveyed employers before the heaviest layoffs hit in the past two weeks. Nearly 10 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits in the final two weeks of March, far exceeding the figure for any corresponding period on record.
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Artists project messages of hope in Seattle
Seattle

SEATTLE — Against the backdrop of a beleaguered city, messages of hope floated hundreds of feet in the air.Throughout Seattle, images of balloons stamped with phrases like “Thinking of You,” “Stay Healthy, Stay Home,” and “We Will Dance Again” were projected onto the sides of landmarks, buildings and a hospital.The art was temporary, but the two local artists who created it hope the effect will be lasting.
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FDA authorizes new antibody test for coronavirus; Washington State says priority on expanding swab tests
Seattle

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized emergency use of a new test for coronavirus antibodies that could be a key part of a broader strategy to help Americans resume a more normal life.The pinprick blood test by North Carolina-based Cellex is similar to some already in use in Asia and Europe. These tests are not intended to replace tests based on swab specimens that can detect an early, active case of the COVID-19 disease. But they could be a vital complement, helping to identify people who have developed protective antibodies after being exposed to the virus and who might be able to venture from their homes with less risk.
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Gov. Inslee extends Washington stay-at-home mandate through May 4
Seattle

OLYMPIA, Wash — Gov. Jay Inslee has extended the state's stay home mandate another month, through May 4.Inslee said that the data collected on the spread of the novel coronavirus shows it is still on the rise in Washington state."We unfortunately have yet to see the full weight of this virus in our state. This order is not only justified, it is morally necessary," he said. "We are confident in the steps we have taken but we cannot lose steam in the middle of this fight."
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Photos of the day, April 3: Seattle Times photographers document life during the coronavirus pandemic
Seattle

Throughout the day, on this page, we will share images from Seattle Times staff photographers documenting the coronavirus outbreak and its effect on the Seattle area and Puget Sound.The previous day’s post can be found here.
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Stay-at-home orders could put domestic violence victims at risk
Seattle

The widespread stay-at-home orders are one of the primary tools officials have to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Stay home, stay healthy, experts have repeatedly said.But for victims of domestic violence, those orders mean they could be forced into isolation with their abuser."Home is not a safe place for everyone," said Kelly Starr, managing director for public affairs with the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence. "And when you're confined to the home, that can be particularly dangerous for abuse that really thrives on silence and isolation."
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LiveCoronavirus daily news updates: 6.585 cases confirmed in Washington; FDA approves new blood test
Seattle

Prepare to hunker down longer: Gov. Jay Inslee has added nearly a month to the stay-home order that has closed thousands of businesses, public schools and much of society. Here are the do’s and don’ts under his order, as cities everywhere confront how far police should go to enforce lockdowns. Meanwhile, researchers are making some strides; the Food and Drug Administration approved a new test for coronavirus antibodies, the first for use in the United States.
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Jeff Bezos to donate $100 million to U.S. food banks during virus
Seattle

SEATTLE (KOMO) – Amazon's founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said Thursday he will donate $100 million to food banks across the United States while the country grapples with a virus that has taken its toll on the community.Bezos said his donation will go to help Feeding America, the largest non-profit in the country focusing on food security."Even in ordinary times, food insecurity in American households is an important problem, and unfortunately COVID-19 is amplifying that stress significantly," Bezos said in an Instagram post. "Non-profit food banks and food pantries rely in large part on surplus food from a range of food businesses. For example, many restaurants donate excess food. But during this time of social distancing, restaurants are closed, and many other normal channels of excess food have also shut down. To make matters worse, as supply is dwindling, demand for food bank services is going up.
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Former Seattle-area radio host stepping up to pay your rent as coronavirus crisis continues
Seattle

SEATTLE — As the coronavirus crisis continues many are dealing with financial hardships as they scramble to figure out how to pay their mortgage or rent.A voice that many in the Puget Sound area recognize from years of local morning radio as a host for 106.1 KISS FM has a message, offering his help.Bender of "The Bender Nation" on social media has partnered with Oberto Specialty Meats to pay the mortgage or rent of one Washingtonian every Friday of April.
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Fact check: Debunking 10 myths about the new coronavirus
Seattle

As the new coronavirus spreads across the globe, so does misinformation about it. Here’s a look at 10 claims about the virus, along with the facts from trusted sources. Young people are not susceptible to the coronavirus. People of all ages can be infected. Older people and people with preexisting medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill. But young people can carry — and spread — the virus, even if they don’t show symptoms.
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A Co Alarm Should Be Replaced If It Chirps Every 30 Seconds
Seattle

Press release from the Seattle Fire Department:The Seattle Fire Department has received hundreds of 9-1-1 calls this year from concerned residents because of chirping carbon monoxide (CO) alarms. While it's important to call 9-1-1 if your CO alarm is sounding continuously without stopping, a CO alarm that chirps every 30 seconds is not an emergency. It probably means your CO alarm has reached its end of life and should be replaced.
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Help: I’ve spent all day customizing shoes at the Converse...
Seattle

Last night a friend of my texted me: “Hey, you wanna play some Diablo 3?” Since we’d been self-quarantining for almost three weeks, our regular video game sessions have become an important ritual. I told him I’d be ready in a few minutes, and then an hour later canceled. My excuse was that I had chores to do around my apartment, but the truth is I had spent that whole time designing my own custom Converse All Stars on their website.
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Nearly $9M awarded to former Gig Harbor physicians who were fired after complaining about impaired doctor
Seattle

Two physicians will receive more than $8.78 million in a yearslong wrongful termination lawsuit against Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), which fired them in 2013 for blowing the whistle on patient harm, according to an arbitrator’s ruling.The doctors, Michael Romney and Faron Bauer, had accused the health care group of allowing an impaired physician to continue practicing without restrictions, according to a Friday statement from their attorney’s office, Blankenship Law Firm. They were fired after they raised their concerns.
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Self-employed in Washington? See how to claim financial help
Seattle

SEATTLE — In response to the coronavirus pandemic, federal lawmakers extended unemployment benefits to the self-employed, gig workers, and independent contractors.The government plans to begin disbursing loan money to companies and freelancers Friday under the $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program.But actually getting those benefits is proving to be a problem.Collin Sells started Valiant Barber Collective. He has two locations where a total of seven barbers work, and was about to open a third location.
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Financial fallout from coronavirus threatens survival of local newspapers
Seattle

EVERETT, Wash. — In the midst of a deadly global pandemic, the news media has, arguably, never been more important to the American people. Now, though, newspapers are falling victim to the coronavirus (COVID-19), as well.Furloughs, cutbacks, and closures are sweeping the industry at the same time it is being considered an "essential service.""These are unprecedented times that are just gut-wrenching," said Everett Daily Herald publisher Josh O'Connor, stepping out of his largely deserted newsroom, Thursday.
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Ships with coronavirus patients dock in Florida
Seattle

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A cruise ship where at least two passengers died of coronavirus while barred from South American ports finally docked Thursday in Florida after two weeks at sea and days of negotiations with initially resistant local officials.The Zaandam and a sister ship sent to help it, the Rotterdam, were allowed to unload passengers at Port Everglades after working out a detailed agreement with officials who feared it would divert needed resources from a region that has seen a spike in virus cases.
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Washington food and cash assistance spikes in the wake of coronavirus outbreak
Seattle

Many Washington families are feeling the strain in the wake of the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, as state food and housing assistance saw increases in applications since mid-March.The global coronavirus pandemic has made major impacts to the economy, as governments and public health officials have closed businesses and mandated that people stay home to prevent spreading the novel coronavirus.
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Burglar connected to 15 burglaries arrested in Queen Anne
Seattle

A prolific burglar tied to dozens of crimes was arrested Wednesday night in Queen Anne, continuing an alarming trend in which Seattle businesses are burglarized during Washington state's stay-home order.The Seattle Police Department arrested a 35-year-old suspect with several warrants in his name. Investigators believe the suspect was involved in at least 15 burglaries.Police said the suspect was booked into the King County Jail for multiple counts of burglary. His vehicle was impounded pending a search warrant, police said.
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A beacon of hope shines bright from historic Mukilteo Lighthouse | Seattle Sketcher
Seattle

Sketched March 26, 2020The Mukilteo Lighthouse has never failed to catch my eye, ever since I first boarded a ferry in the nearby terminal soon after moving to the Seattle area in 2006.Lighthouses aren’t the crucial navigational beacons they used to be. GPS, radars and other advances of modern technology can do the job now. But they are still useful in many other ways. Their towers remind us of our vital connection with the water and mark scenic locations always worth exploring. This one, built in 1906, is the centerpiece of a whole park and museum where I’ve often taken visitors from out of town for leisurely excursions.
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Last week's jobless claims in Washington state set a new record
Seattle

The number of people seeking unemployment benefits in Washington set a new record last week, with tens of thousands more people in the state filing new claims as non-essential businesses remain closed due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.The latest numbers released by the state Employment Security Department showed that 181,975 new claims for unemployment benefits were filed with the state during the week of March 22-28, a 41 percent increase over the previous week's earlier record of 128,962 new claims.
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Ride the Ducks Seattle files for bankruptcy after closing for good
Seattle

Ride the Ducks Seattle, which never recovered financially after a devastating 2015 crash on the Aurora Bridge that killed five people and injured more than 60, has closed and filed for bankruptcy.The local tourist attraction filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy — which does not involve a repayment plan like Chapter 13 bankruptcy does — after it closed last month, KING 5 reported.The company said in a statement when it closed that the financial impact from the crash was “too much for the company to overcome” despite its efforts to hold the manufacturer of the amphibious vehicle involved in the crash accountable.
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