Editor’s note: This is a live account of COVID-19 updates from Monday, May 4, as the day unfolded. Click here to see updates from Tuesday, May 5and click here to find resources and the latest extended coverage of the pandemic.

About two-thirds of Seattleites say they’re willing to keep up physical distancing for as long as required, according to a new survey. Many respondents here said they’d want one of two things to happen — both based on data — before distancing can be put to rest: Widespread antibody testing or a significant drop in coronavirus cases.

The survey also showed about one-third of Seattle residents have either lost their job or had their hours cut because of the COVID-19 crisis, 69% say they have cut back on food spending since the crisis began, and 23% have skipped a credit card or loan payment.

A few dates to know as you start the week: As of today, Costco customers are required to wear masks (meanwhile, Whole Foods is providing masks but not requiring them for shoppers). And tomorrow, more than 100 Washington state parks will reopen.

Throughout Monday, on this page, we’ll be posting updates from Seattle Times journalists and others on the pandemic and its effects on the Seattle area, the Pacific Northwest and the world. Updates from Sunday 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 Monday.

More

Live updates:

Seattle to provide eviction protection for 6 months after coronavirus moratorium expires

The Seattle City Council voted Monday to provide residential tenants with a defense against rent-related evictions for six months after the coronavirus emergency moratorium in place right now expires.

Seattle has existing coronavirus-emergency moratoriums that prohibit rent-related evictions of residential tenants, nonprofits and certain small businesses. They’re all set to end on June 4, when a similar, statewide moratorium on residential evictions also is scheduled to run out.

Monday’s bill, sponsored by Council President M. Lorena González, will protect residential tenants for an additional six months by adding a special section to a city law that dictates the circumstances under which evictions can happen.

Mayor Jenny Durkan, who recently extended Seattle’s current moratoriums to June 4, “believes people should be able to stay in place” and intends to sign González’s bill, spokesman Ernie Apreza said.

Read the full story here.

—Daniel Beekman
Advertising

Reopening date for Washington’s largest meat-packing plant, hard-hit by COVID-19, could come Tuesday

Tyson Foods is expected to announce as early as Tuesday a reopening date for its meat-packing plant in Walla Walla County, which has been hit by a major outbreak of the COVID-19 disease that prompted a late April closure.

On April 24, when the plant was largely shut down, more than 100 workers had tested positive for COVID-19. Since then, a mass screening of employees, now nearly completed, has picked up 147 additional positive cases — nearly 12 percent of the 1,239 workers tested, according to figures released Monday by Walla Walla County.

Meghan Debolt, director of community health for Walla Walla County, said that the county will make a joint announcement with Tyson tomorrow about a plan for reopening.

“They are cleared to open with healthy workers,” Debolt said.

Read the full story here.

—Hal Bernton

Carnival Cruise Lines cancels remaining 2020 Seattle-Alaska voyages

Carnival Cruise Lines has canceled its remaining Alaska voyages, dealing another blow to Seattle’s coronavirus-battered cruise economy.

Between a no-sail order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a Canadian cruising moratorium, July 1 is the absolute earliest cruise ships could begin calling in Seattle again, according to the Port of Seattle.

The Carnival Spirit was scheduled to call in Seattle 11 times after that date, on its way to Alaska and Vancouver, British Columbia.

Carnival’s shutdown extends beyond its Alaska routes. Other than eight vessels homeported in Florida, which will resume service Aug. 1, the company has suspended service on all routes departing from North American and Australian ports through Aug. 31.

Read the full story here.

—Katherine K. Long

Seattle officials clear Ballard encampment, raising concerns about where homeless can go during coronavirus pandemic

Cynthia Cantrill clears out her tent Monday at Ballard Commons before the deadline to have everything removed by the City of Seattle’s Navigation Team. (Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)
Cynthia Cantrill clears out her tent Monday at Ballard Commons before the deadline to have everything removed by the City of Seattle’s Navigation Team. (Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)

Seattle city officials on Monday removed an unsanctioned encampment in Ballard Commons Park that had increasingly frustrated housed neighbors as it grew, though federal guidelines advise against breaking up camps during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended cities do not remove homeless encampments unless individual units of housing are available and warned that doing so could cause people to disperse and infectious disease to spread. The city said in March it would not remove encampments, except under extreme circumstances, in order to focus on outreach during the pandemic.

The afternoon before, however, more than 20 tents could be counted in the park, and outreach workers estimated more than 40 people were living there. The notice to remove the encampment was posted in the area Saturday morning, said Human Services Department spokesman Will Lemke. By Monday morning, several people had already packed up and left.

Read the full story here.

—Sydney Brownstone and Daniel Beekman
Advertising

Extra buses coming to some crowded Metro routes amid service cuts, passenger limits

King County Metro will add extra buses to routes where ridership is high enough to make social distancing difficult or result in drivers passing up passengers. Routes with additional buses include the 7, 36, 180 and RapidRide routes A, D and E, the agency said Monday.

Metro recently put in place new passenger limits of 12 to 18 riders per bus to create distancing, but on some busy routes those limits can mean riders are passed up while waiting for a bus. The extra buses will be added between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays, Metro said. “We’re also looking at how best to address reports of sporadic pass-ups on weekdays and weekends from 5-9 a.m.,” Metro said in a blog post Monday.

Metro will also install new signs on some seats reading, "seat closed" to try to encourage riders to stay separated, the agency said Monday. It will take about two weeks to put signs on all Metro and Sound Transit buses, streetcars, Sound Transit light rail trains and water taxis, Metro said.

Fares will continue to be suspended through at least the end of May, Metro said.

Metro has cut service amid decreasing ridership and staffing issues during the coronavirus pandemic. Riders are asked to wear face coverings and board through back doors to reduce contact with drivers.

A Metro driver, 59-year-old Samina Hameed, died last month of complications from COVID-19. The union representing Metro employees has called for stronger protections for drivers, including a mask requirement for passengers.

—Heidi Groover

State health officials confirm 15,462 COVID-19 cases

State health officials announced 277 new COVID-19 cases Monday, including seven more deaths.

The recent update brings Washington's totals to 15,462 cases and 841 deaths.

So far, 216,320 tests for the illness have been conducted in Washington, according to the state. Of those, about 93% have come back negative.

The bulk of the cases remain in King County, with 6,545 positive test results and 463 deaths, accounting for 55.1% of the state's death toll.

—Elise Takahama

Treasury plans to borrow $3 trillion from April through June as enormous coronavirus costs pile up

The Treasury Department plans to borrow $2.99 trillion from April through June to cover the federal government’s massive response to the coronavirus pandemic, issuing a tremendous level of debt to try to limit the economic impact on U.S. businesses and workers.

Last year, Treasury borrowed $1.28 trillion over 12 months. Its plan to borrow $3 trillion would be enacted over three months.

The large spike in debt issuance is meant to cover the cost of government assistance to individuals and businesses, the deferral of individual and business taxes until July, and an increase in the assumed end-of-June Treasury cash balance.

These figures only takes into account legislation that has been passed to date, senior treasury officials said Monday. An expansion in government relief, or the passage of additional legislation, could spur Treasury to increase borrowing later in the year.

—The Washington Post
Advertising

You can still get Pike Place Market flowers for Mother’s Day, thanks to the Drive-Thru Flower Festival

In other years, Pike Place Market would be extra bustling with Mother’s Day approaching and people looking to buy flowers from the long line of 40 farm stalls.

Restrictions imposed to battle the coronavirus have shut down the flower market, but mom can still get the flowers. That’s because 20 of the farmers who sell at Pike Place Market are participating in Saturday’s Drive-Thru Flower Festival.

More than 1,000 flower orders have already been made, with pickup sites at three spots in Seattle and one in Renton. Only preorders, which have to be made by Wednesday at noon, are being accepted.

Read the full story here.

—Scott Hanson

Seattle-area cultural organizations projected to lose up to $135 million in revenue because of coronavirus

ArtsFund on Monday announced new projections about pandemic-related losses in regional arts, cultural and scientific nonprofits, as well as its first round of coronavirus-related relief grants.

The biggest number from the Seattle-based research, advocacy and granting organization: an estimated $133 million to $135 million in lost revenue by the end of September.

The arts, culture and science organizations also reported they had collectively laid off 4,976 employees, and 76% had canceled fundraisers that were key to their operations.

Read the full story here.

—Brendan Kiley

Washington’s barbers, hair salons, some in-store retail could restart June 1 amid coronavirus crisis

OLYMPIA — Barber shops, hair salons, professional services and some in-store retail purchases could resume on June 1 as Washington reopens its economy amid the new coronavirus, according to state Secretary of Health John Wiesman.

Those businesses are part of “phase two” in the gradual reopening plan released Friday by Gov. Jay Inslee. Along with that plan, the governor also announced an extension of the current stay-at-home order through May 31 to slow the spread of COVID-19.

If the number the daily confirmed COVID-19 cases “go way down” over the next weeks, those businesses could open earlier, Wiesman said, “But we’re really not anticipating that to be the case.”

Read the full story here.

—Joseph O'Sullivan
Advertising

The world comes together for a virtual vaccine summit. The U.S. is conspicuously absent.

World leaders came together in a virtual online summit Monday to pledge billions of dollars to quickly develop vaccines and drugs to fight the coronavirus.

Missing from the roster was the Trump administration, which declined to participate, but highlighted from Washington its “whole-of-America” efforts underway in the United States and its generosity to global health efforts.

There was one major American player at the virtual summit: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which promised to spend $125 million in the fight.

Read the story here.

—The Washington Post

New UW model estimates raise U.S. coronavirus death toll to nearly 135,000 by summer

An influential – and controversial – computer model today nearly doubled its forecast of total coronavirus deaths in the United States. The modeling group from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Modeling and Evaluation (IHME) also significantly increased the projected death toll in several states, including Washington.

IHME’s new estimate of nearly 135,000 deaths nationwide through early August more closely tracks projections from several other epidemiological models. IHME’s earlier estimates of 60,000 to 80,000 deaths had been criticized as overly optimistic by many infectious diseases specialists. For Washington state, the model’s death estimate jumped from about 800 a few days ago to more than 1,000.

The changes come after major revisions in the model. The new version now includes two approaches, one a statistical approach used to project likely deaths in the next eight days, and the other a more classic, epidemiological model that includes information about disease transmission and people’s movements, as well the potential impact of warming weather which might slow the spread of the virus.

Mobility data from cell phones and computers shows people have been moving around more as social distancing restrictions have been eased in several states and cities. While some states have boosted testing to find and isolate new cases, those efforts “do not offset rising mobility, thereby fueling a significant increase in projected deaths,” says a statement from IHME.

The increase in projected the projected death toll comes on the same day the New York Times is reporting government modeling that predicts 200,000 new cases each day by the end of the month- much higher than IHME’s projections.

—Sandi Doughton

Dave Matthews Band reschedules summer tour to 2021

The Dave Matthews Band will postpone its summer tour to 2021, according to a post on the band's Instagram page.

The group, whose eponymous lead singer resides in Seattle, will play at the same venues — plus a few other places — a year from now. Fans can also request a refund for their tickets.

Read the full story here.

—Dahlia Bazzaz and Michael Rietmulder
Advertising

Frontier Airlines announces "empty" seat option, face mask requirements

Starting May 8, Frontier Airlines will allow customers to pay an additional fee to keep the seat next to them empty, and will require all passengers to wear a mask on its planes and at its ticket counters and gates, according to a press release.

Through at least Aug. 31, there will be 18 seats on each of the budget airline's planes reserved for its "More Room" program. The starting price is $39 per seat.

The announcement follows previous adjustments made this month by the airline to protect passengers. Since April 13, flight crews have been required to wear masks, and all passengers must check their temperature and sanitize their hands before and after flights.

—Dahlia Bazzaz

Seattle Public Schools establishes tech support for online learning

Seattle Public Schools opened a family tech support hotline this week to help resolve any issues with computer devices used for online learning.

The hotline, open 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on weekdays, is staffed by 115 volunteers, namely parents working at tech giants such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft, according to a press release from the district.

The announcement comes after the district's late and bumpy start to distributing laptops and WiFi hotspots to students who needed them in order to access coursework online.

The release said Amazon provided support to create the hotline, along with a donation from the Maritz Family Foundation, the amount of which was not disclosed. Amazon recently donated $2 million worth of laptops to the district, which has an estimated stock of more than 30,000 devices.

To get support, families can call 206-413-2700,or fill out a form on the district's website. 

—Dahlia Bazzaz

Carnival Cruises cancels remaining 2020 Seattle-Alaska voyages

Carnival Cruise Lines has cancelled its remaining Alaska voyages, dealing another blow to Seattle's battered cruise economy.

Between a no-sail order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a Canadian cruising moratorium, July 1 is the absolute earliest cruise ships could begin calling in Seattle again, according to the Port of Seattle. The Carnival Spirit was scheduled to call in Seattle 11 times after that date, on its way to Alaska.

Each cruise vessel call supports $4.2 million in economic activity, according to the Port. Nearly 100 vessel calls have already been cancelled to slow the spread of the coronavirus; 125 vessels are scheduled to call at Seattle in the latter half of the summer.

—Katherine K. Long
Advertising

Three nursing homes will take in COVID-19 patients

Three nursing homes in Washington state will begin to take in coronavirus patients from other long-term care facilities, with the goal of better separating them from uninfected residents.

The nursing homes are Avamere Transitional Care of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Richmond Beach Rehab in Shoreline and Avamere Bellingham Health Care and Rehab in Bellingham, according to the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS).

The facilities, owned by Oregon-based Avamere Family of Companies, plan to open designated wings for a total of 135 patients. The wings will have separate staff and entrances. DSHS said last week that the facilities are able to prevent air from flowing into the rest of the building.

Officials will transfer residents from other facilities or hospitals. The residents will return to their original facility or another residential setting of their choice after testing negative for the disease twice.

DSHS is discussing similar arrangements with other long-term care facilities.

Gov. Jay Inslee issued a proclamation last month allowing facilities to transfer nursing home residents even if they appeal.

—Asia Fields

King County Council member calls for revised countywide pandemic response plan

If another disease causes a pandemic in the next 50 years, a new proposal under consideration in King County would require a plan for how to keep county operations active.

Metropolitan King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn on Monday filed legislation that would require county agencies to work together to prepare for future pandemics “using the lessons learned” from the COVID-19 pandemic.

He called on Public Health - Seattle & King County and the King County Office of Emergency Management to expand upon the existing Pandemic Influenza Response plan to add a discussion of known diseases that could reach pandemic status, including the likelihood of occurrence, severity, type of impacts and availability of treatments or vaccines.

The plan, which would be due by Sept. 1, 2021, would also require a description of responsibilities of governmental and nongovernmental agencies during a pandemic and how those services could continue “given the characteristics of the disease and necessary response,” according to the legislation.

Identification of resources or infrastructure currently lacking that would be relied upon during a pandemic should also be included.

The legislation will be introduced on May 12 to the full King County Council.

—Michelle Baruchman

Trump Administration Models Predict Near Doubling of Daily Death Toll by June

As President Donald Trump presses for states to reopen their economies, his administration is privately projecting a steady rise in the number of cases and deaths from the coronavirus over the next several weeks, reaching about 3,000 daily deaths June 1, according to an internal document obtained by The New York Times, nearly double from the current level of about 1,750.

The projections, based on modeling by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and pulled together in chart form by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, forecast about 200,000 new cases each day by the end of the month, up from about 25,000 cases now.

The numbers underscore a sobering reality: While the United States has been hunkered down for the past seven weeks, not much has changed. And the reopening to the economy will make matters worse.

“There remains a large number of counties whose burden continues to grow,” the CDC warned.

The projections confirm the primary fear of public health experts: that a reopening of the economy will put the nation right back where it was in mid-March, when cases were rising so rapidly in some parts of the country that patients were dying on gurneys in hospital hallways as the health care system grew overloaded.

Read the full story here.

—The New York Times
Advertising

Donor gives $1 million for worker bonuses at California hospital

Around the country, there’s a lot of gratitude for medical providers these days, and in Santa Cruz, California, a recent anonymous note to the local hospital was no exception.

“Thank you for standing up (and staying up!) to care for our community,” it said. “This humankindness is what makes you heroic.”

It was the donation that came with that note — $1 million — that has hospital employees cheering. The gift was designated entirely for employees: Nurses, cleaning staff, lab techs, medical records workers, even mailroom staff and security guards who have worked at Dominican Hospital for at least a year are getting a bonus check. Full-time staff get $800, part-timers receive $600.

Hospital president Dr. Nanette Mickiewicz said the donation is a testament to their employees' clinical excellence and their tireless dedication.

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press

Homeland Security says China hid virus’ severity to hoard supplies

U.S. officials believe China covered up the extent of the coronavirus outbreak — and how contagious the disease is — to stock up on medical supplies needed to respond to it, intelligence documents show.

Chinese leaders “intentionally concealed the severity” of the pandemic from the world in early January, according to a four-page Department of Homeland Security intelligence report dated May 1 and obtained by The Associated Press. The revelation comes as the Trump administration has intensified its criticism of China, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying Sunday that that country was responsible for the spread of disease and must be held accountable.

The sharper rhetoric coincides with administration critics saying the government’s response to the virus was slow and inadequate. President Donald Trump’s political opponents have accused him of lashing out at China, a geopolitical foe but critical U.S. trade partner, in an attempt to deflect criticism at home.

The report says that China, while downplaying the severity of the coronavirus, increased imports and decreased exports of medical supplies.

The report also says China held off informing the World Health Organization that the coronavirus “was a contagion” for much of January so it could order medical supplies from abroad — and that its imports of face masks and surgical gowns and gloves increased sharply.

Read more here.

—The Associated Press

Citing fraud and ‘unscrupulous actors,’ FDA steps up oversight of coronavirus antibody tests

The Food and Drug Administration, under fire for allowing more than 100 commercial coronavirus antibody tests on the market without review, moved Monday to assert oversight, saying the tests will have to pass agency muster, including meeting standards for quality and accuracy.

Officials said “unscrupulous actors” have been “marketing fraudulent test kits and using the pandemic as an opportunity to take advantage of Americans’ anxiety.”

The FDA action came after the agency was criticized for a March 16 policy that allowed commercial test makers to sell antibody tests after validating their own data and notifying the FDA. The result, some testing experts said, was a flood of products of dubious quality that confused hospitals, doctors and consumers — “a wild, wild West” environment, said Scott Becker, executive director of the Association of Public Health Laboratories, which represents state and local public laboratories. He and others in the laboratory field urged the agency to exert its authority over the tests.

Read the story here.

—The Washington Post
Advertising

Trump says press more hostile to him than it was to Lincoln

Sitting inside the cavernous Lincoln Memorial on Sunday for Fox News’ virtual town hall, President Donald Trump appeared to draw inspiration from his surroundings when asked about why he uses divisive language and dodges questions during White House coronavirus briefings.

“I am greeted with a hostile press, the likes of which no president has ever seen. The closest would be that gentleman right up there,” Trump said from his perch on a high-backed stool, pointing at the imposing marble statue of martyred president Abraham Lincoln in the background. Lincoln was assassinated in April 1865.

“They always said, ‘Lincoln, nobody got treated worse than Lincoln,'” Trump continued. “I believe I am treated worse.”

Read the story here.

—Allyson Chiu, The Washington Post

Aggressive testing helps Iceland tame coronavirus

Winter storms isolated the northern village of Hvammstangi from the rest of Iceland. Then spring brought the coronavirus, isolating villagers from each other. Now, as summer approaches, residents hope life is getting back to some kind of normal.

High schools, hair salons, dentists and other businesses across Iceland are reopening Monday after six weeks of lockdown, after this North Atlantic nation managed to tame its coronavirus outbreak.

Iceland has confirmed 1,799 cases of the virus, but just 10 people have died. The number of new COVID-19 cases each day has fallen from 106 at the peak of the outbreak to single digits — even, on some days, zero.

“I didn’t expect the recovery to be this fast,” said Iceland’s chief epidemiologist, Thorolfur Gudnason.

Iceland’s success is partly testament to its tiny population — just 360,000 people. But it also reflects decisive action by authorities, who used a rigorous policy of testing and tracking to find and isolate infected people, even when they had no symptoms.

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press

A paramedic drove 1,800 miles to help fight COVID-19; a funeral procession carried him home.

When the call went out from New York for volunteers to travel to the epicenter of the pandemic in the fight against COVID-19, from 1,800 miles away, Paul Cary raised his hand.

On March 28, the veteran paramedic got in an ambulance and drove for 27 hours straight from Colorado Springs, Colorado, to New York City, trading shifts at the wheel with his colleague. They were part of a fleet of 29 private ambulances and 72 medics from across the country, from the company Ambulnz, headed there to ease the burden on the city’s overwhelmed EMS services.

And from the moment Cary arrived, before they had even gotten settled, “Paul just kept asking, when are we going out in the field?” said Ambulnz CEO Stan Vashovsky.

Cary would spend his final days in the field on the streets of New York, tending to coronavirus patients in the back of his ambulance as it raced from hospital to hospital.

He worked for nearly three weeks until he fell ill with the virus himself.

Cary, a 66-year-old father of two and grandfather of four, died of COVID-19 on April 30 after spending several days on a ventilator at a New York hospital.

On Sunday, a procession of ambulances and firetrucks carried him home to his family in Colorado. After a long journey from New York, he arrived at a Denver funeral home in the back of an ambulance, his casket draped in an American flag. New York EMS workers and a state health official came to pay their respects to Cary’s family in person.

Read the story here.

—Meagan Flynn, The Washington Post
Advertising

Victory over virus in French nursing home

As the coronavirus scythed through nursing homes in Lyon, cutting a deadly path, Valerie Martin vowed to herself that the story would be different in the home she runs in France.

The action she took to stop the virus from infecting and killing the vulnerable older adults in her care was both drastic and effective: Martin and her staff locked themselves in with the 106 residents.

For 47 days and nights, staff and residents of the Vilanova nursing home on the outskirts of the east-central city of Lyon waited out the coronavirus storm together, while COVID-19 killed tens of thousands of people in other homes across Europe, including more than 9,000 in France.

“I said, ‘No. Not mine. My residents still have so much to live for,'” Martin said in an interview. “I don’t want this virus to kill them when they have been through so much.”

On Monday, Martin and 12 colleagues who stayed in the home for the full duration ended their quarantine with hugs of celebration and singing, and with an uplifting victory: Coronavirus tests conducted on the residents and staff all came back negative. The caregivers, who nicknamed themselves “the happily confined,” left in a convoy of cars, joyously honking horns and heading for reunions with families, pets and homes.

“We succeeded,” Martin said. “Every day, every hour, was a win.”

While COVID-19 killed people by the dozens at some other homes, Martin said there were just four deaths at Vilanova during their lockdown and that none appears to have been linked to the virus. The average age of residents at the home is 87 and the deaths were not unexpected, she said.

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press

Stimulus aid is on the way for college students, but some are getting left out

Some critics say stimulus money for college students in the federal CARES Act should have been allocated differently, and there needs to be more of it. (Alan Berner / The Seattle Times)
Some critics say stimulus money for college students in the federal CARES Act should have been allocated differently, and there needs to be more of it. (Alan Berner / The Seattle Times)

Washington colleges and universities are getting more than $220 million in stimulus money, and half of it is supposed to go to needy students whose educations were scrambled by the coronavirus. But many of those students are excluded. Here's where the money is and isn't going.

And, around the country, some college students who are unimpressed by online schooling are demanding refunds.

Quarantine Corner: Making it easier to be stuck at home

There are plenty of fun ways to stretch your kid’s brain (and your own) at home this week, whether you’re listening to sloth sounds or embracing the rain with a little science project. Here are five ideas.

Athena, a two-toed sloth, hangs at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., in December 2019. (National Zoo)
Athena, a two-toed sloth, hangs at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., in December 2019. (National Zoo)

—Kris Higginson
Advertising

Here's help

Can't make your car payment? Take proactive steps to keep from ruining your credit.

Using all your credit cards now will protect your finances. Wait, what?! Strange times call for strange measures, and here's the reasoning from columnist Chuck Jaffe, who isn't advising you to spend more.

The pandemic is leaving a trail of depression and anxiety. Nutrition isn't a cure, but studies have shown strong associations between diet and mental well-being, nutritionist Carrie Dennett writes. Here are resources for mental health support, as well as emergency food, child care and more.

Research has shown a correlation between eating a Mediterranean diet — high in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, legumes, fish and olive oil — and improved mental health. (Dreamstime / TNS)
Research has shown a correlation between eating a Mediterranean diet — high in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, legumes, fish and olive oil — and improved mental health. (Dreamstime / TNS)

—Kris Higginson

Catch up on the past 24 hours

Washington hospitals are facing a new crisis: They're bleeding red ink as patients stay home in the wake of canceled appointments and surgeries. Community health centers are facing particularly daunting finances.

More than 100 Washington state parks' gates swing open tomorrow. Here's the list and a look at when other parts of Washington might reopen. The park access creates chances to heal your spirit through hiking; just know how to do it safely.

Hikers come down the North Beach Trail in mid-March at Discovery Park. Research has shown that there are many benefits to being outdoors, including improved happiness, cognitive function, sleep habits and social engagement, among other things. (Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)
Hikers come down the North Beach Trail in mid-March at Discovery Park. Research has shown that there are many benefits to being outdoors, including improved happiness, cognitive function, sleep habits and social engagement, among other things. (Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)

Many Seattleites plan to continue social distancing long after the stay-home order is lifted, FYI Guy writes. In Texas, though, they're already going back to movie theaters.

If you get sick at work, is your company liable? Congress is revving up for a fight with huge implications for how millions of Americans will re-enter workplaces. Masked senators open a new session today, but the House is staying home.

The Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort is temporarily closed because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. In Washington, 22 tribes operate 29 casinos on reservation lands. (Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times)
The Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort is temporarily closed because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. In Washington, 22 tribes operate 29 casinos on reservation lands. (Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times)

When will casinos reopen? That's up to tribes, major employers whose economic pain stretches beyond reservation borders. The first reopening is planned for next week.

The Lummi Nation's first cluster of cases in weeks has been traced to children playing together.

Read this before your next grocery run: Whole Foods will provide face masks for shoppers, and Costco's new mask requirement starts today for its customers. Are you wearing yours properly? Many people aren't.

Costco shoppers leave with their purchases Wednesday in Shoreline. Costco is requiring shoppers to wear masks starting Monday.   (Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times)
Costco shoppers leave with their purchases Wednesday in Shoreline. Costco is requiring shoppers to wear masks starting Monday. (Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times)

The coronavirus is worsening the racial wealth gap. Columnist Naomi Ishisaka looks at how federal loans are discriminating against some small businesses owned by people of color and women.

Will the Supreme Court justices be in pajamas when the session opens today? That may remain a mystery, but we can all listen to live arguments this morning, for the first time ever, as the justices conduct their work by phone.

If you work in a senior or long-term care facility in Washington, we'd like to hear from you. How have you navigated the challenges of your job both before and during the pandemic? What is the situation like now?

—Kris Higginson

Coronavirus resources

How is this outbreak affecting you?

What has changed about your daily life? What kinds of discussions are you having with family members and friends? Are you a health care worker who's on the front lines of the response? Are you a COVID-19 patient or do you know one? Whoever you are, we want to hear from you so our news coverage is as complete, accurate and useful as possible. If you're using a mobile device and can't see the form on this page, click here.