Editor’s note: This is a live account of COVID-19 updates from Saturday, Oct. 3, as the day unfolded. It is no longer being updated. Click here to see all the most recent news about the pandemic, and click here to find additional resources.

The country continues to anxiously await news of President Donald Trump’s condition, following his announcement this week that he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for the new coronavirus. On Friday, he developed a cough, fever and fatigue, and is expected to spend “a few days” at the hospital.

Meanwhile, several senators and reporters who were present or traveled with the president on Air Force One have also tested positive. And according to analysis published by The Washington Post Friday, coronavirus cases have risen in 33 states and Puerto Rico since late August, and at least a dozen states have reported rising hospitalizations in recent days.

Throughout Saturday, on this page, we’ll post updates on the pandemic and its effects on the Seattle area, the Pacific Northwest and the world. Updates from Friday are here, and all our coronavirus coverage can be found here.

Navigating the pandemic
(Jennifer Luxton / The Seattle Times)


Greek Row outbreak increases to 144 cases

Another 30 people were confirmed to have coronavirus since Thursday, according to University of Washington officials.

That raises the count to 144 cases associated with fraternities and sororities, while another 10 people in residence halls tested positive late last week.

"Testing is nearly ubiquitous," reports The Seattle Times' Paul Roberts, in a story you can find here.

Last academic year, authorities said there were 154 UW cases. Greek Row housing, as well as dormitory housing, is operating at far less than usual capacity, while some 90% of courses are currently presented online.

Washington State University is encouraging all students in Pullman to get free testing, after a rapid outbreak there in late summer. Whitman County, which includes WSU, reports 1,374 cases but only four hospitalizations and zero deaths. However, COVID-19 is suspected of causing cognitive and circulatory damage even in some younger adults.

—Mike Lindblom

White House shows little effort in contract tracing for potentially hundreds exposed to Trump

Neither the 150 people at a White House ceremony last weekend, nor the 200 people President Donald Trump met at a New Jersey golf-club Thursday, were being consistently notified about possible COVID-19 exposure, The Washington Post reports. Several political allies are now infected.

The president also held a debate with Democratic nominee Joe Biden on Tuesday, and spoke at a rally in Minnesota, before testing positive for the coronavirus.

"It was the latest evidence of the administration's casual and chaotic approach to the viral threat that has already claimed more than 200,000 lives in the United States," The Washington Post summarizes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had a contract tracing team ready to go but wasn't asked to mobilize, the Post says, but also quotes White House physician Sean Conley saying his team is working with CDC.

Read the full story.

—The Washington Post

Biden says he'll release all coronavirus test results

Joe Biden's campaign said Saturday it will disclose the results of every coronavirus test the Democratic nominee for president takes, The Washington Post reported.

A campaign spokesman didn't say how often the former vice president will be tested, while Biden told reporters his next test will happen Sunday.

President Donald Trump is being treated this weekend at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he said in a four-minute video Saturday evening he is improving, and the next few days will be important.

Biden, who has made it a point to wear masks in public and avoid crowds, held a virtual event Saturday with members of the Amalgamated Transit Union, where The Post reports he was reluctant to criticize Trump.

—Washington Post

Trump says he's feeling "much better" and plans to resume campaign

President Donald Trump thanked the health-care professionals at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and predicted he'll "be back soon," in a 4-minute video posted on Twitter on Saturday.

"I came here, wasn't feeling so well. I feel much better now, we're working hard to get me all the way back. I have to be back because we still have to Make American Great Again..." he said.

Trump wore a blue blazer, spoke in calm tones, and appeared pale compared to his usual orangish-tint in public appearances. He was airlifted to the facility north of Washington, D.C. on Friday for treatment, saying he had tested positive for COVID-19.

Until this weekend, the president spent 2020 downplaying and sometimes mocking the seriousness of COVID-19 at rallies.

The virus has taken 208,118 lives in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control. At 64 deaths per 100,000 people, the U.S. mortality rate from the disease ranks fifth-worst in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

In his Saturday comments, Trump said, "This is something that happened and it's happened to millions of people all over the world, and I'm fighting for them -- not just in the U.S., I'm fighting for them all over the world. We're going to beat this coronavirus or whatever you want to call it, and we're going to beat it soundly." He marveled at therapeutic treatments, including his own at Walter Reed: "We have things happening that look like they're miracles, coming down from God," he said.

Many political colleagues, First Lady Melania Trump, journalists and even White House workers tested positive for coronavirus in the past few days, national correspondents are reporting. Last Saturday, Trump held a Rose Garden ceremony to introduce Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, an event were people closely gathered and few wore masks.

—Mike Lindblom

Another 609 COVID-19 cases in Washington state Friday

Another 609 people in Washington state were confirmed to have COVID-19 on Friday, the state Department of Health reported.

Those figures bring total cases this year to 89,419, or nearly 1 in 86 state residents. There have been 7,611 hospitalizations, and 2,142 deaths, as of 11:59 p.m. Friday.

So far, 1.92 million Washingtonians have been tested since the outbreak began here in late February.

The DOH lowered its fatality count Saturday by 1 person, after "routine daily reconciliation of the data." The state has stopped reporting new coronavirus deaths on weekends.

—Mike Lindblom

Chris Christie checks in to hospital following COVID-19 diagnosis

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has checked himself in to a hospital following his positive COVID-19 diagnosis.

Christie said in a tweet that he only has mild symptoms, but decided it was an “important precautionary measure” because he has asthma. Asthma may increase a person’s risk of severe illness from COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Christie was in close contact with President Donald Trump and others who tested positive for COVID-19 throughout the week.

—Paige Cornwell

Trump campaign to resume in-person rallies after Wednesday's debate

The Trump campaign will host virtual events with Vice President Mike Pence and President Donald Trump’s family members while Trump is hospitalized with COVID-19 and resume in-person rallies after Wednesday’s vice presidential debate.

Pence will travel to Arizona and Indiana after the debate in Salt Lake City, Utah, while Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Lara Trump will make campaign appearances in other states. Trump’s family members said they tested negative for the virus.

The series of visits are being called “Operation MAGA,” campaign manager Bill Stepien said in a statement. Stepien on Friday tested positive for COVID-19.

—Paige Cornwell

Titans’ outbreak now 18, with Bills’ game possibly at risk

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The positive test results keep coming for the Tennessee Titans in the NFL’s first outbreak of COVID-19.

If the positive results don’t stop, the Titans’ next game, against Buffalo (3-0) on Oct. 11, could be at risk, forcing the NFL into even more rearranging of the schedule.

The NFL postponed Sunday’s game between New England and the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs after “positive COVID-19 tests on both teams.” ESPN reported on Saturday that Patriots quarterback Cam Newton was among those testing positive. The league also pushed the Colts-Bears game from an early kickoff to 4:25 p.m. to fill the slot left open by the Patriots-Chiefs.

On Saturday, another Titans player and two staff members tested positive for COVID-19, raising the team’s total to 18 since Sept. 24, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because neither the NFL nor the Titans had announced the latest results.

Read the full story here.

—Associated Press

Trump physician clarifies '72 hour' statement

President Donald Trump’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, now says he incorrectly used “72 hours” during a briefing earlier Saturday instead of “day three” to describe how much time has elapsed since Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19.

Trump tested positive Thursday evening, Conley said in a statement sent to media outlets through White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany.

Conley added that Trump on Friday started taking an antibody cocktail being developed the drugmaker Regeneron.

Conley's earlier comment about "72 hours" set off a flurry of inquiries, as that timeline would have meant the president had been diagnosed earlier in the week and that the public had been in the dark longer. It also would have meant that the president would have put himself in contact with more people over a longer period of time after knowing of his diagnosis.

—Paige Cornwell

Official: Next 48 hours critical for Trump on virus fight

BETHESDA, Md. — President Donald Trump went through a “very concerning” period Friday and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care as he battles the coronavirus at a military hospital, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Saturday.

The comments came after it was revealed that Trump was administered supplemental oxygen Friday morning at the White House before he was transported to the hospital, although staff insisted he had only mild symptoms.

Trump’s doctors, for their part, painted a rosy picture of the president’s health in a press conference at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. But the briefing by Navy Commander Dr. Sean Conley and other doctors raised more questions than it answered.

Conley left murky the issue of whether the president needed supplemental oxygen and declined to discuss exactly when he fell ill. Conley also revealed that Trump began exhibiting “clinical indications” of COVID-19 on Thursday afternoon, earlier than previously known.

—Associated Press

GOP seeks to curtail Senate work, but not Barrett hearings

WASHINGTON — Republicans on Saturday sought to call off legislative work in the Senate until Oct. 19 as the coronavirus reached into their ranks. But they vowed that hearings for President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee would push ahead as planned.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett will still begin Oct. 12, even if Democrats agree to cancel the regular Senate session to avoid further spread of COVID-19. Since Friday morning, three GOP senators have announced they have tested positive.

“The Senate’s floor schedule will not interrupt the thorough, fair and historically supported confirmation process,” the Kentucky Republican wrote. “Certainly, all Republican members of the committee will participate in these important hearings.”

There was no immediate word on whether Senate Democrats would agree to shutter Senate business as McConnell requested.

Read the full story here.

—Associated Press

Trump tweets from hospital, says he's feeling well

COVID-19 outbreak on UW Greek Row increases to 139 cases

 A COVID-19 outbreak connected to the University of Washington’s Greek Row has grown to 139 cases as of Saturday morning.

The UW students are in 11 fraternities and sororities. The students who tested positive and students with COVID-like symptoms have been instructed to isolate where they live.  

Testing is available to anyone affiliated with UW who has symptoms or had close contact with someone who tested positive.

The positive cases are separate from a UW outbreak over the summer, when 154 students living in fraternity and sorority houses tested positive for COVID-19.

—Paige Cornwell

Trump was given oxygen before his admission to hospital

President Donald Trump on Friday was administered supplemental oxygen at the White House hours after being diagnosed with COVID-19 and before being flown to a military hospital.

A person familiar with Trump’s condition confirmed that Trump was given oxygen at the White House, after the president’s physician, Navy Commander Dr. Sean Conley, sidestepped the question at a press briefing Saturday. Conley said Trump was not administered oxygen on Thursday or since he has been a patient at Walter Reed Medical Center.

—Associated Press

New England-Kansas City game postponed after players' positive COVID-19 tests

The New England-Kansas City football game scheduled for Sunday has been postponed following several positive COVID-19 tests among players on both teams, the NFL said in a statement Saturday.

Patriots quarterback Cam Newton has tested positive, ESPN reported. Neither the Patriots nor Kansas City identified any players by name.

The game in Kansas City will be played Monday or Tuesday, the NFL said. The Patriots played the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle two weeks ago.

—Paige Cornwell

Trump physician: President 'doing very well' following COVID-19 diagnosis

Dr. Sean Conley, President Trump’s physician, said Saturday that Trump is “doing very well” at Walter Reed hospital, where he was admitted as a patient Friday following his positive COVID-19 diagnosis.

Trump’s mild cough and fatigue are improving, and he has been fever-free for 24 hours, according to Conley. His oxygen saturation leve is at 96%.

Conley said Saturday morning that it is 72 hours into Trump’s diagnosis, which would place the start on Wednesday, before Trump publicly announced that he had tested positive.  

When asked by a reporter why Trump had been taken to Walter Reed, Conley replied "because he's the president of the United States."

—Paige Cornwell

Chris Christie says he's tested positive for COVID-19

Pence to hold campaign event in Peoria, Arizona

Vice President Mike Pence will host a campaign rally in Peoria, Arizona, this week, the Trump campaign announced Saturday, a day after it said that previously scheduled events involving President Donald Trump would be postponed or held virtually.

The event will be held Thursday at the production facility of TYR Tactical, which sells bulletproof vests and other military gear.

Pence said Friday that he and his wife, Karen Pence, had tested negative for coronavirus.

—Paige Cornwell

AP source: Titans’ outbreak now up to 18 with 3 more results

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Another Tennessee Titans player and two staff members tested positive for COVID-19, raising the team’s total to 18 since Sept. 24, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Saturday.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because neither the NFL nor the Titans had announced the latest results.

This is the fifth straight day that at least one member of the Titans’ organization has had a positive test result return. The Titans placed a cornerback from their practice squad on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Sept. 24.

Read the full story here.

—Associated Press

Trump’s diagnosis shows US vulnerability to the coronavirus

President Donald Trump’s startling COVID-19 diagnosis serves as a cruel reminder of the pervasive spread of the coronavirus and shows how tenuous of a grip the nation has on the crisis, health experts said.

With U.S. infections rising for several weeks, Trump was one of about 40,000 Americans who learned they had tested positive when he broke the news early Friday. First lady Melania Trump also tested positive, and both were described as having mild symptoms. The president went to a military hospital for what the White House said was a precautionary visit of “a few days.” Some of his top advisers and allies also have tested positive recently.

“No one is entirely out of the virus’s reach, even those supposedly inside a protective bubble,” said Josh Michaud, associate director of global health policy with the Kaiser Family Foundation in Washington.

Read the full story here.

—Associated Press

Trump's physician to provide update on president from Walter Reed

President Donald Trump’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, is scheduled to provide an update on the president’s health at 8 a.m. from Walter Reed medical center. View the briefing live in the video above.

—Paige Cornwell

Virus spreads on panel handling Supreme Court nomination

Two Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have tested positive for the coronavirus, raising questions about the timing of Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett and whether additional senators may have been exposed. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed the confirmation process is going “full steam ahead.”

North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis and Utah Sen. Mike Lee both said Friday that they had tested positive for the virus. Both attended a ceremony for Barrett at the White House on Sept. 25 with President Donald Trump, who announced Friday that he had tested positive and was later hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Lee, who did not wear a mask at the White House event, said he had “symptoms consistent with longtime allergies.” Tillis, who did wear a mask during the public portion of the event, said he has no symptoms. Both said they will quarantine for 10 days — ending just before Barrett’s confirmation hearings begin on Oct. 12.

Read the full story here.

—Associated Press

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