Recap of Today’s COVID-19 News and Updates
Numbers: As of 11:59 p.m. on May 3, there are 15,462 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Washington state, an increase of 277 cases in the last 24 hours. Visit the Department of Health’s website for cases by county, demographics, and more.
Statewide Response Updates
Gov. Inslee signs new COVID-19 order for phased re-opening of Washington’s economy:
Some businesses could re-open as early as this week under the new COVID-19 order signed by Gov. Jay Inslee today. The state’s “Safe Start” plan is a phased approach to re-opening Washington’s economy.
Phase 1 builds upon recent decisions made around re-opening some construction activity (allowed as of April 29) and outdoor activities such as fishing, hunting, playing golf and some park access. Beginning May 5, Phase 1 also adds drive-in spiritual services with one household per vehicle, auto/RV/boat/ORV sales, retail open for curb-side pick-up orders, car washes, landscaping, and pet walking. Businesses may only re-open when they are able to fully comply with the industry-specific requirements that will be issued no later than May 15, 2020.
The state will stay in every phase for a minimum of three weeks in order to allow one complete disease incubation period plus an additional week to compile complete data and confirm trends. Every phase will still require social distancing and appropriate health precautions including the use of personal protective equipment in a number of workplaces.
This phased approach may be adjusted as the pandemic evolves. Businesses listed in each phase of the plan will have industry-specific guidance and safety criteria developed to ensure workplace safety and public health are maintained.
Inslee’s new order also details how counties with a population of less than 75,000 that have not had a new case of COVID-19 in the past three weeks can apply to the state Department of Health with a plan to more quickly move to Phase 2.
Dedicated COVID-19 long term care facilities
Today the Department of Social & Health Services announced three nursing homes in the Puget Sound region will open COVID-19 units in the coming weeks to house residents recovering from the coronavirus and to prevent its spread to other long-term care facility residents.
Read the news release.
Heart attack and stroke don’t stop for COVID-19
Visits to the emergency room have declined in Washington and across the country since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Since we’re staying in our homes, and driving less, we may certainly be having fewer car crashes and fewer workplace or sports-related injuries. But what’s really concerning is that hospitals across the country are reporting a drop in the number of people coming to the emergency department for a heart attack or stroke. It could be that people who are actually having a heart attack or a stroke are deciding not to go to the hospital to avoid getting exposed to COVID-19. It’s important to get medical care as soon as possible if you are having or think you may be having a heart attack or stroke. If you don’t get treatment or if you delay treatment, you may be doing much more damage to your heart or brain, and this damage could be irreversible.
New travel data dashboard: In response to the interest in daily travel information, the state Department of Transportation has developed a new online dashboard to share travel trend information with analysis features. The dashboard will be updated daily.
TVW: Find links to past and future coverage regarding COVID-19 and resources from TVW’s partners at www.tvw.org/covid-19/.
Washington 211 COVID-19 Call Center: Do you need information or answers to your questions and concerns about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)? You can call 1-800-525-0127 or text 211-211 for help. You can also text the word “Coronavirus” to 211-211 to receive information and updates on your phone wherever you are. You will receive links to the latest information on COVID-19, including county-level updates, and resources for families, businesses, students, and more.