Editor’s note: This is a live account of updates from Friday, April 10, as the events unfolded. Click here to see updates from Saturday, April 11. Click here to find the latest extended coverage of the outbreak of the coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2; the illness it causes, COVID-19; and its effects on the Seattle area, the Pacific Northwest and the world.

In Seattle’s most recent effort to keep people from crowding together and potentially spreading the new coronavirus, officials announced Thursday that more than a dozen of its largest and most popular parks will be closed this weekend. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump said Thursday that he hopes to reopen much of the country “very, very, very, very soon,” raising concerns among medical experts and economists of a possible COVID-19 resurgence if Americans return to their normal lives before the virus is truly stamped out.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Washington continues to grow, though at a slower rate. As of 11:59 p.m. Thursday, the state has confirmed 9,887 people infected with the virus, including 475 who have died.

Throughout today, on this page, we’ll be posting updates from Seattle Times journalists and others on the outbreak and its effects on the Seattle area, the Pacific Northwest and the world. Updates from Thursday can be found here, and all our coronavirus coverage can be found here.

The following graphic includes the most recent numbers from the Washington State Department of Health, released Friday evening.

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Live updates:

Boeing to restart limited local work on jets as early as Monday

Boeing told employees Friday afternoon it will begin “a safe and orderly restart of limited operations” at a handful of its Washington state sites as early as Monday.

Out of about 30,000 employees idled by the shutdown, Boeing will recall only about 2,500 employees for this narrowly targeted resumption of work. The company said it will provide the workers with personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks, and enforce social distancing measures.

The news comes just five days after Boeing announced that its shutdown in the local plants to contain the spread of COVID-19 would be extended indefinitely. Affected employees had to either take vacation or sick leave, or apply for unemployment.

Read the full story here.

—Dominic Gates
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Washington Supreme Court orders Inslee to take ‘all necessary steps’ to protect inmates from coronavirus

The Washington state Supreme Court is ordering Gov. Jay Inslee and Department of Corrections (DOC) Secretary Steve Sinclair to quickly take “all necessary steps” to protect inmates in state prisons from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a Friday evening ruling on an emergency motion brought on behalf of inmates by Columbia Legal Services, the court directed Inslee and Sinclair to report in writing by Monday on all steps they’re taking to shield inmates from the virus and to show their “emergency plan for implementation.”

The court’s unanimous opinion did not order immediate release of any inmates, nor did it grant a request to appoint a “special master” to help oversee the prison system’s response to the crisis.

In an email Friday evening, Inslee spokeswoman Tara Lee wrote that the governor’s office is “reviewing the order now.”

Read the full story here.

—Jim Brunner and Joseph O’Sullivan

Seattle QFC store manager’s bulletin to workers says social distancing ‘will not always work’ amid coronavirus

Despite an early week rollout of enhanced measures to improve social distancing at QFC stores during the coronavirus crisis, some employees complained that self-checkout registers less than six feet apart continued to operate at full volume.

Employees at the QFC in Broadway Market in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood said the store’s manager, Jillian Boone, chided staffers last week for attempting to close some of the “u-scan” machines to create more space between customers. Boone also posted a memo to staffers last week — a copy of which was obtained by The Seattle Times — telling them social distancing “will not always work.”

“The aisle ways are narrow, the uscans are close together, the check stands are close together,” the memo says. “What I need all of you to understand is that our best defense is to try to get the customers through our front ends as quick as possible … if we only open every other uscan then that means that all of those customers are bottle necked on the back end and still not 6 ft. apart from each other.’’

Read the full story here.

—Geoff Baker

People of color hard hit by coronavirus in King County, but numbers are incomplete

People of color, particularly Hispanic or Latino residents, appear to be disproportionately affected by the coronavirus in King County, according to new but still incomplete data from county health officials.

Public Health -- Seattle & King County acknowledged one limitation of the analysis is that racial and ethnic data is only available for 51% of the county's confirmed COVID-19 cases, and that additional data is needed to draw accurate conclusions.

Across Washington, there have been 9,887 cases and 475 deaths, the large majority in King County, according to the state’s latest count Friday.

Of confirmed cases where race or ethnicity information is known, Hispanic or Latino, Black and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander people were overrepresented compared to the county’s population. While about 6.4% of the county’s population is Black, 7.5% of confirmed cases in which racial information is known were Black.

The rate of confirmed cases is highest among Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders and Hispanics or Latinos, the county said. While the rate of cases among white people is about 94 per 100,000 county residents, that rate is more than double — 189.5 per 100,000 — for Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders. The rate is about 159 per 100,000 among Hispanics or Latinos.

The infection rate for Asians is about 69 cases per 100,000 people, and about 109 cases per 100,000 people for Blacks.

Read the full story here.

—Heidi Groover
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Washington confirms 9,887 cases and 475 deaths from COVID-19

Washington health officials confirmed Friday an additional 279 cases and 29 deaths from COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.

The newly released numbers bring Washington's totals to 9,887 cases and 475 deaths.

Benton, Chelan, Lewis, Snohomish, Whatcom and Whitman counties reported new deaths Friday. The bulk of the cases remain in King County, which has confirmed 4,047 cases and 275 deaths, according to the state.

The state Department of Health did not provide the most updated count of negative test results Friday.

—Elise Takahama

Son whose dad was among first U.S. coronavirus deaths writes Trump a letter: ‘I just want him to know’

Nathan Lambrecht, left, his father, Doug, center, and his mother, Karen, in December 2019, two months before Doug Lambrecht died from COVID-19. He had spent time at the Life Care Center of Kirkland, and was among the earliest COVID-19-related death in the United States. (Courtesy of Nathan Lambrecht)
Nathan Lambrecht, left, his father, Doug, center, and his mother, Karen, in December 2019, two months before Doug Lambrecht died from COVID-19. He had spent time at the Life Care Center of Kirkland, and was among the earliest COVID-19-related death in the United States. (Courtesy of Nathan Lambrecht)

Nathan Lambrecht and his family were allowed to say goodbye to his father through plastic face masks and with gloved hands as he became one of the first in the United States to die of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

In the days after, as the number of COVID-19 diagnoses and deaths in the Seattle area and around the world soared, so did Lambrecht’s anger over what he believes President Donald Trump failed to do to save his father and those who died after him.

Last Sunday, Lambrecht, 29, wrote a letter to Trump, letting him know about his family’s loss, and rebuking the administration for what he saw as inaction and carelessness.

“I personally hold the current administration directly responsible for the untimely death of my father,” Lambrecht wrote. “I’ve always assumed one of the main functions of a government is to provide for and protect its citizens. Instead, what I have seen is blatant disregard for our nation’s safety and our government’s inability to proactively respond in the face of a global pandemic.”

Read the full story here.

—Nicole Brodeur

Dates and salmon quotas if fisheries open for the summer

Regardless of whether the coronavirus pandemic persists deep into the summer, Pacific salmon will not be deterred from returning to coastal waters as they prepare to make their final migrations to freshwater spawning grounds. And this week, in a meeting held via webinar instead of face-to face, the Pacific Fishery Management Council approved commercial and recreational fisheries.

That does not mean, for sure, that these ocean salmon fisheries will still unfold. The National Marine Fisheries Service could opt to close them based on recommendations from state officials to address public health concerns about the COVID-19 disease caused by the virus.

If the fisheries go forward as planned, here are the details, according to a statement released by the Pacific Fishery Management Council.

The recreational salmon fishery north of northern Oregon’s Cape Falcon opens June 20 and by June 29 will include all salmon, including coho. These harvests will continue through Sept. 30, or until chinook and coho quotas are reached.

The recreational fishermen will have access to 26,360 chinook, a bit more than the 26,250 fish quota last year. The quota of marked coho hatchery salmon will be 26,500, way down from last year’s level of 159,600 fish.

North of Cape Falcon, commercial fishermen will have access to 27,640 chinook and just 2,000 marked coho.

—Hal Bernton
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Circus performer from Seattle trapped aboard Persian Gulf cruise ship due to coronavirus lockdown

Stuck on a cruise ship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Seattle aerialist Jody Poth practices acrobatics solo on the deck of the MSC Bellissima. (Courtesy Jody Poth)
Stuck on a cruise ship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Seattle aerialist Jody Poth practices acrobatics solo on the deck of the MSC Bellissima. (Courtesy Jody Poth)

Seattle resident Jody Poth joined Cirque du Soleil at Sea late last year to board the MSC Bellissima, a 4,000-passenger cruise ship, as it visited the Middle East and Asia.

“This was what I always wanted to do,” said Poth, who Seattle denizens may know from her Sunday-night aerialist gig at the Pink Door twirling above diners’ heads in a hoop suspended from the ceiling.

But Poth got to perform for just two weeks before precautions to control the spread of the novel coronavirus trapped her and roughly 1,400 other crew members aboard a ship docked in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. Many have been awaiting a way out for more than a month.

Initially, the crew members had free run of the ship, she said. But as days progressed into weeks, MSC began restricting their access to the pool, the theater and other amenities.

And earlier this week, MSC announced a lockdown and restricted crew members to their cabins.

Read the full story here.

—Katherine K. Long

Uber expands financial-aid program for drivers waylaid by the coronavirus outbreak

Amid complaints from ride-hailing drivers who were denied help, Uber has expanded its financial assistance program to include those who are at higher risk of becoming seriously ill from the coronavirus.

Uber’s initial criteria for payments left out older drivers or those with preexisting medical conditions who were self-isolating for their own protection, leaving them to choose between financial loss and health concerns as officials urged people at risk to stay at home.

The company will now offer aid to drivers and delivery people whose doctors told them to quarantine because they may be at higher risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, broadening previously narrow criteria that required drivers to show they had the illness or were at risk of spreading the virus to others.

Read the full story here.

—Michelle Baruchman

A plan to defeat coronavirus finally emerges, but it’s not from the White House

A national plan to fight the coronavirus pandemic in the United States and return Americans to jobs and classrooms is emerging – but not from the White House.

Instead, a collection of governors, former government officials, disease specialists and nonprofits are pursuing a strategy that relies on the three pillars of disease control: ramp up testing to identify people who are infected. Find everyone they interact with by deploying contact tracing on a scale America has never attempted before. And focus restrictions more narrowly on the infected and their contacts so the rest of society doesn’t have to stay in permanent lockdown.

But there is no evidence yet the White House will pursue such a strategy.

—The Washington Post
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Washington State Ferries extends winter sailing schedule

Washington State Ferries will continue to operate on a winter sailing schedule through at least June 20, the agency said Friday, to match reduced ridership due to the novel coronavirus.

Spring service, which includes additional trips on some routes, was originally scheduled to begin March 29.

The agency previously extended the winter schedule until April 25.

The announcement comes as systemwide ridership has fallen over 75% compared to the last week of February, and fewer trained and qualified crew members are available.

A Washington State Ferry employee whose death the agency announced March 29 tested positive for COVID-19.

The following routes had been scheduled to receive additional services, but now that will not occur until at least June 20:

• Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth

• Anacortes-San Juan Islands

• Anacortes-Friday Harbor-Sidney, B.C.

—Michelle Baruchman

King County rents block of 80 hotel rooms for health care workers impacted by COVID-19

King County on Friday afternoon announced the reservation of a block of 80 rooms at Bellevue’s Hotel 116 for health care workers looking for a place to stay due to fear of exposure to COVID-19.

The rooms will be provided without cost for Greater Seattle-area health care workers, who have raised concerns over choosing between work and keeping their family members safe. The rooms are set to be available through June, the county said in a statement.

The hotel is located at 625 116th Ave. N.E. in Bellevue, near Kaiser Permanente Bellevue Medical Center and Overlake Medical Center & Clinics.

King County is partnering with Washington state health care unions to inform their members after discussions with three unions — Washington State Nurses Association, SEIU Healthcare 1199NW and UFCW 21.

“Health care workers on the front lines of our crisis response shouldn't have to put their families and loved ones at risk for doing their jobs,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine in the statement. “I am gratified to have the opportunity to work with health care unions to offer housing for caregivers during this public health emergency, so they can remain safe and care for our community.”

—Trevor Lenzmeier

Former Washington Gov. Gary Locke responds to Trump ad suggesting he is a Chinese official

Former Washington Gov. Gary Locke served two terms as Washington’s governor, then was Commerce secretary under President Barack Obama and later U.S. ambassador to China. (Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times, 2018)
Former Washington Gov. Gary Locke served two terms as Washington’s governor, then was Commerce secretary under President Barack Obama and later U.S. ambassador to China. (Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times, 2018)

A new attack ad by President Donald Trump’s campaign that portrays former Vice President Joe Biden as too cozy with China to confront the country over the coronavirus pandemic includes an image of Gary Locke, a former governor of Washington state, that appears to falsely suggest he is a Chinese official.

Locke, who is Chinese American and was serving as U.S. ambassador to China at the time, is briefly depicted onstage at a 2013 event in Beijing with Biden, now the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. The clip is interspersed with others of Biden toasting the country’s leader, Xi Jinping, and criticizing Trump as xenophobic for imposing a travel ban on China following the coronavirus outbreak in that country.

The ad prompted swift condemnation from Democrats for its inclusion of the former governor, and Locke responded Friday in a statement released by public-relations firm Nyhus.

“President Trump and his team are fanning hatred and it needs to stop now,” Locke said in the statement. “There is one priority that matters in America right now: stopping this virus and saving lives.”

Read more here.

—The Washington Post
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Inslee says more restrictions could be needed beyond the May 4 stay-at-home order to battle coronavirus

OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee Friday said the state may have to extend restrictions beyond the May 4 stay-at-home order to keep the coronavirus from spreading, just as Washingtonians are looking outside and seeing sun and warm temperatures.

In a news conference on the state's response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Inslee said that any decisions about stay-home extensions or future restrictions have yet to be made.

“Is it possible that there will have to be actions after May 4?” Inslee said. “Certainly there is, and we will make decisions at that time based on the data and science, and how much progress we're making.”

That stay-at-home order has shuttered many activities and businesses — except some deemed essential, like grocery stores — and forced Washington's economy to nearly halt.

The move is considered necessary to avoid Washington's health care facilities from being swamped by outbreak and prevent potentially thousands of state residents from dying.

Read the full story here.

—Joe O'Sullivan

Kansas prisoners riot over health care, video purports; officials investigate

An hourslong disturbance at a Kansas prison has been resolved, officials said Friday, adding that it has not yet been determined whether any inmates involved will face charges or whether the outburst stemmed from concerns of the new coronavirus.

Kansas prison staff and tactical teams responded to a disturbance at the Lansing Correctional Facility beginning around 3 p.m. Thursday, said Rebecca Witte, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Corrections.

Two inmates sustained minor injuries, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said during a news conference Friday afternoon. One inhaled gas and the other required stitches for a cut.

The medium-security prison located about 30 miles northwest of Kansas City is the same facility where an outbreak of COVID-19 was reported.

The corrections department said earlier this week that at the Lansing facility, eight inmates and seven staff members tested positive for the virus. The COVID-19 case numbers have since increased to 16 staff members and 12 inmates, according to the KDOC website. Seven additional inmates are also under quarantine for observation, but do not have confirmed cases of coronavirus.

The disturbance sparked amid growing tensions nationwide surrounding the welfare of inmates during the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more here.

—The Associated Press

Giving old tech a new life: Exchange gets computers to students who need them now

First grade teacher Nisha Daniel receives two used laptops from Chris Wilkins on Thursday as part of Southeast Seattle Education Coalition’s Student Tech Exchange, a grassroots effort to get technology to kids who need it. (Greg Westhoff / Tideway Creative)
First grade teacher Nisha Daniel receives two used laptops from Chris Wilkins on Thursday as part of Southeast Seattle Education Coalition’s Student Tech Exchange, a grassroots effort to get technology to kids who need it. (Greg Westhoff / Tideway Creative)

With school buildings closed for the rest of the school year and most classes going online, students need computers immediately — and not all families have access to them.

To remedy that, the Southeast Seattle Education Coalition is running a grassroots student tech exchange. The system is simple: There's one form to list what you have to offer, and another is used by educators and organizations that have been tracking families’ needs.

SESEC Executive Director Erin Okuno said they are trying to fill the technology gap immediately while details of Amazon’s donation of 8,200 computers to Seattle Public Schools are sorted out. They also want to get technology to the families who may fall through the cracks because they make too much money to qualify for the free computers but still do not make enough to meet their family’s needs.

“School and social connections have shifted online, so kids and families who are connected have an advantage right now,” Okuno said, noting that she is grateful for Amazon’s donation but knows it can’t help every family in need. “Families need access to technology. We need to close that equity gap.”

After a donor fills out a form online, they are connected to educators. Together they work out the details of the exchange. SESEC doesn’t want to connect donors directly to families, for safety reasons.

First grade teacher Nisha Daniel has retrieved tech from two different donors with no difficulties. “People are coming from a place of love and compassion, and that lets me trust them,” Daniel said.

Find out more here.

—Anne Hillman
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For essential workers, new ways to access child care

Child Care Aware of Washington has new resources available to quickly connect essential workers to child care options. The organization is tracking child care vacancies in real time to connect families with providers. They are also working with child care programs to help them stay open and adapt to current health and safety guidelines.

The Family Center is now accepting calls at 1-800-446-1114 and can immediately help people in their home languages, including Chinese, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. Providers can also text that number to update the organization about their availability. You can find posters with information about the service in multiple languages here.

Essential workers who live or work in King County can get free child care through the month of June. They will need to provide verification of their employment and/or home address by emailing photos of IDs, utility bills, or other documents to Child Care Aware. Call the same number, 1-800-446-1114, for more information.

—Anne Hillman

Western Washington University to hold a virtual commencement

Western Washington University’s spring commencement in June will move to a virtual format, President Sabah Randhawa announced Friday.

Western joins three other Washington public universities that have scrapped an in-person ceremony due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Western is also moving its summer classes all online, canceling its summer study-abroad travel program and offering fall advising and orientation online only.

“I am truly sorry,” Randhawa wrote in a message to campus. “I know that our students and their families were looking forward to this important lifetime milestone, and we share your disappointment.”

Randhawa said students who were to graduate in spring would be welcome to join commencement ceremonies next year.

The University of Washington, Washington State University and Central Washington University have also moved to a virtual format for commencement. Seattle University announced Thursday that it is planning to hold its commencement for spring 2020 graduates in the fall.

—Katherine Long

Terminal 18 resumes operations

The region's largest container terminal is back online after a labor arbitrator ruled Thursday evening that terminal operator SSA Marine must find a way to more thoroughly disinfect equipment between shifts, resolving a dispute over equipment sanitation that halted cargo operations earlier in the day.

Washington Area Arbitrator Jefferson Thomas found that the employer had failed to comply with previous arbitration agreements and CDC guidelines.

"This constituted a bona fide health and safety issue and all standby time shall be paid," Thomas ruled, noting that SSA had also violated the coastal safety code by failing to provide a safe working place and proper gear.

"This resolution means cargo will continue to provide emergency supplies, daily necessities and boost our larger economic recovery during this difficult time," said Port of Seattle spokesperson Peter McGraw.

Tensions flared earlier this week after one SSA Marine supervisor and one longshore worker tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The longshore workers union charged that machinists hired by terminal operator SSA to sanitize shared equipment were too overworked to adequately clean the machines.

Elsewhere down the coast, longshore workers have raised similar concerns with regard to terminal cleanliness, including at the Port of Oakland.

—Katherine K. Long
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XFL, including the Seattle Dragons, suspends operations and terminates employees

The eight-team XFL spring football league, which included the Seattle Dragons, has suspended operations and terminated all employees as of Sunday.

However, Dragons coach Jim Zorn told The Seattle Times that he had not been given any definitive word on the league’s future and he said for now he will continue to act as if the league will resume play at a later date.

“I hope it continues on and I think everybody does,” Zorn said. “Right now there is no real way to have an emotion about it. For me it’s just a matter of continuing to go plan as though we are going to continue.”

Read the full story here.

—Bob Condotta

Local governments, companies, donors put $5 million toward rent relief

Seattle and King County, along with several large local companies and individual donors, announced Friday that they are putting a combined $5 million into subsidizing rent payments for low-income King County residents who have lost their jobs or some income because of COVID-19.

The money will expand an existing program for preventing renters from falling into homelessness because of eviction. Eligible renters can apply for help online through United Way of King County or by calling the county crisis line at 2-1-1.

The expansion is funded by $1.5 million from King County’s veterans and human services levy, a $1 million commitment from the city of Seattle’s housing department through levy funds, and a $1.5 million grant from money raised by the Seattle Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund. The rest of the funds will come from Microsoft, Starbucks, Amazon, Washington Federal Bank and AT&T, as well as individual donors who have contributed to United Way’s Community Relief Fund.

As unemployment claims have soared in Washington and renters worry how they’ll pay for housing, King County Executive Dow Constantine acknowledged at a press conference that the money wouldn't be enough to fill the need.

“We know that our combined efforts today are not going to be sufficient,” Constantine said. “So I call on the state government and the federal government, to give this housing issue -- this housing insecurity issue -- the attention that it needs.”

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said she thinks the city will be able to help thousands of renters through this fund.

The fund is available for renters in King County who have been economically impacted by COVID-19 and have a monthly household income below half the area median income. For a household of one person, that’s less than $3,483; for two, up to $3,893; for three, up to $4,479; for four, up to $4,975; and for five, up to $5,375. Figures for different-sized households can be found online.

—Scott Greenstone

Bainbridge police officer dies from symptoms similar to COVID-19

Kurt Enget, a five-year veteran of the Bainbridge Island Police Department, died Friday morning from symptoms similar to COVID-19, according to Bainbridge Island city officials.

The official cause of death is not yet known, officials said on the city's website, but the 49-year-old was being treated at Harrison Medical Center for symptoms that presented similar to COVID-19.

The Kitsap County Coroner’s office will perform an autopsy to determine cause of death.

Enget, whose name was made public by the city with permission from his family, leaves behind his wife, three children, two grandchildren and his K-9 partner, Whitney.

(Courtesy of the city of Bainbridge Island)
(Courtesy of the city of Bainbridge Island)

“Kurt was a very important member of our team, known by so many in our community, including those at the dog park where he often brought K-9 Whitney,” Interim Police Chief Scott Weiss said in the statement. “He was a friendly and caring officer who embodied what it means to be a member of the Bainbridge Island Police Department. He was an irreplaceable colleague, dedicated to service to the entire community, and we will miss him greatly.”

Enget was a Kitsap native; he went to South Kitsap High School and then worked at Safeway for years before starting his law enforcement career. He joined the Suquamish Police Department in 2005 and Bainbridge in 2015, the city said. In the last two years he'd earned nine commendations for extraordinary service, including his work helping rescue a capsized kayaker and assisting in a call for a suicidal person.

The city said Enget’s last day on duty was Friday, March 27, and, because it's unclear whether he had COVID-19, it does not yet have information about possible exposure.

"We urge our community to please continue to follow Gov. Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order," the statement said. "Please help us honor Ofc. Enget’s life and service by doing your part to stay home and save lives!"

More about Enget and the many commendations he earned over the course of his career can be found in the city's full statement here.  Information about a fund to help Enget's family that was set up by the Bainbridge Island Police Guild can be found here.

 

—Christine Clarridge
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Jayapal proposes ‘Paycheck Guarantee Act’ to pay salaries of most workers

U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Seattle, is proposing legislation to have the federal government temporarily cover the salaries of workers earning up to $100,000 during the unprecedented coronavirus economic shutdown.

The proposed “Paycheck Guarantee Act,” announced Friday, would provide grants for the next three months to employers to keep workers out of unemployment lines, maintain employer-sponsored health benefits and cover business expenses including rent, according to a summary of the proposal provided by Jayapal’s office.

“A federal paycheck guarantee is a real solution that matches the scale of the crisis. Mass unemployment is a policy choice. We can and should choose differently,” Jayapal said in a news release.

The proposal has been endorsed by major labor unions and is co-sponsored by U.S. Reps. Mark Pocan, D-Wisconsin; Earl Blumenaeur, D-Oregon; Brendan Boyle, D-Pennsylvania; Barbara Lee, D-California; and Andy Levin, D-Michigan.

More details of Jayapal's proposal can be found in a white paper prepared by her office.

The coronavirus-spurred job meltdown has led 16.8 million Americans to file for unemployment aid in the past three weeks. In Washington, the Economic Security Department Thursday reported more than 170,000 new unemployment claims for the week ending April 4, pushing the state’s total claims to about 485,000.

—Jim Brunner

Some Navy officials dispute report of sailors on USS Nimitz with COVID-19

The Navy says there are no sailors with COVID-19 on the Bremerton-based USS Nimitz,  but Gen. John Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Thursday that the Nimitz does have cases, according to the Kitsap Sun.

"There's been a very small number of breakouts on the Nimitz, and we're watching that very closely before the Nimitz goes out," he reportedly said. "But it's not a huge breakout, it's not a big spike at this point."

Cmdr. John Fage, a spokesman for the U.S. 3rd fleet, told the Kitsap Sun that one sailor had displayed symptoms and was placed in isolation away from the ship "out of an abundance of caution," but said testing for the virus proved inconclusive.

"Sailors that had been in close contact with the individual were also removed from the ship as a precaution and placed into quarantine," Fage told the Sun. "That sailor remains off the ship."

—Christine Clarridge

Archbishop leads Good Friday prayers inside fire-scarred Notre Dame Cathedral

Still damaged and scarred by fire, Notre Dame Cathedral came back to life — if only for a fleeting instant — as a center for prayer on Friday in a Paris locked down against the coronavirus.

Just days before the first anniversary of the April 15, 2019, inferno that ravaged the beloved landmark, the French capital's archbishop led Good Friday celebrations unlike any that have gone before inside the centuries-old jewel of Gothic architecture.

Archbishop Michel Aupetit and three clergymen who accompanied him wore hard hats as they entered the damaged cathedral that is closed to the public and which he described as “half collapsed.” They then took off the helmets for the ceremony, in front of a large cross and the gaping hole in the cathedral's roof.

You can read the story here and watch the exceptional ceremony here:

 

—The Associated Press
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Experimental drug may have helped ER doctor recover from COVID-19

The EvergreenHealth emergency room doctor who was placed on life support after contracting COVID-19 has been released from the hospital and is recovering, perhaps helped by an experimental drug.

Ryan Padgett was of the first two ER physicians in the country known to have become critically ill from the coronavirus.

Padgett was first treated at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland and then moved to Swedish Medical Center in Seattle where doctors tried an experimental drug called Actemra, KOMO News reported, which hospital staff said they believe aided his recovery.

 

—Christine Clarridge

Quarantine Corner: Making it easier to be stuck at home

(Illustration by Stephanie Hays / The Seattle Times)
(Illustration by Stephanie Hays / The Seattle Times)

What's it like to watch all nine "Star Wars" movies in a row? There was no better time to find out, so our intrepid staffer set out on his brave journey across the galaxy. Here are more favorite movie franchises to binge-watch, plus our top picks from all the great live-streaming music.

"Saturday Night Live" is coming back this weekend, bringing much-needed laughs at a safe distance.

We've pulled together more ideas for weekend fun to be had at home.

What’s bringing you joy or keeping you grounded during the pandemic? We'd like to hear your story.

—Kris Higginson

Catch up on the past 24 hours

The Monroe Correctional Complex, where a disturbance due to coronavirus concerns occurred Wednesday night.  (Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)
The Monroe Correctional Complex, where a disturbance due to coronavirus concerns occurred Wednesday night. (Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)

Gov. Jay Inslee might free some prisoners after tensions erupted over coronavirus fears this week. Yesterday, the governor scolded inmates involved in a major disturbance at Monroe Correctional Complex, but he said he may propose the release of some nonviolent offenders. Inmates are describing what led to the disturbance, and stepping up their legal fight to force the state to drastically thin out prison populations.

Seattle has a problem: The weather is too nice. The city is closing major parks and beaches this weekend to keep them from getting too crowded, and police may cite violators. Remember these distancing guidelines if you go outside, which will be tempting with this mostly cheerful forecast.

President Donald Trump is pushing to reopen much of the country by May 1, but some medical experts are fearing a second viral wave.

Nearly a half-million Washingtonians have been left jobless by the pandemic, and the state is bracing for a "tsunami" of new unemployment claims.

"I know how to get anything made." This is the improbable story of how a small Seattle business joined forces with UW Medicine and Amazon in a frenzied effort to airlift the makings for coronavirus tests, perhaps the most important metric as officials consider lifting social-distancing restrictions. Amazon is also building its own testing lab.

Many of Washington's 165,000 students with disabilities are still waiting for the education that the state owes them. Remote learning is revving up in some places, but teachers, students and families are facing big hurdles.

Furniture is stacked at the closed Robertson Elementary School in Yakima. School closures amid the coronavirus pandemic have been particularly hard on special-needs students and their families. (Amanda Ray/Yakima Herald-Republic via AP)
Furniture is stacked at the closed Robertson Elementary School in Yakima. School closures amid the coronavirus pandemic have been particularly hard on special-needs students and their families. (Amanda Ray/Yakima Herald-Republic via AP)

The virus is spreading through U.S. meat plants, where thousands of low-wage workers stand elbow to elbow. Consumers could see a ripple effect in stores, one analyst says, "if workers don't feel safe" — and many don't.

Shuttered local golf-course operators are teed off. They're making the case that Gov. Jay Inslee should grant them an exception to his shutdown order.

The pandemic is putting globalization in the crosshairs, with significant consequences for the Seattle area. Trashing the world order will make us sicker, columnist Jon Talton writes.

The charred Notre Dame cathedral had a socially distant rebirth to mark Good Friday. Go inside and watch the service.

​​​​​​​Awwwwoooooooo! Many Americans are taking a moment every evening to let it all out with primal howling. Is it a wrenching sound from the depths of the pandemic, or the best part of the day? That depends on the howler.

Five school-aged kids and only one computer: A Seattle Times reader reached out after hearing about a family's predicament, and the gesture spawned a tech exchange to help students learn online. The simple process comes from "a place of love and compassion" — and it's already working. But more donors are needed.

Chris Wilkins, right, donates two used laptops to first grade teacher Nisha Daniel, left, on April 9, 2020 as part of Southeast Seattle Education Coalition’s Student Tech Exchange, a grassroots effort to get technology to kids who need it. (Anne Hillman / The Seattle Times)
Chris Wilkins, right, donates two used laptops to first grade teacher Nisha Daniel, left, on April 9, 2020 as part of Southeast Seattle Education Coalition’s Student Tech Exchange, a grassroots effort to get technology to kids who need it. (Anne Hillman / The Seattle Times)

—Kris Higginson
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