Washington State House Democrats


Thursday, May 21

A family dined outside in West Hartford, Conn., on Wednesday. The state was among the last to take the plunge toward reopening.

All 50 States Are Now Reopening. But at What Cost?
The United States has crossed an uneasy threshold with all 50 states beginning to reopen in some way, two months after the coronavirus thrust the country into lockdown. But there are vast variations in how states are deciding to open up, with some forging far ahead of others. Continue reading at The New York Times. (Jessica Hill)

Graphic of Washington state contact tracing process

How an army of Washington contact tracers is fighting coronavirus
In a cubicle farm on the fourth floor of a state office building lie the seeds of Washington’s next effort to slow and eventually halt the spread of the novel coronavirus. This is Task Force Kokanee, named for the landlocked salmon, part of the state’s effort to expand tracking and tracing of the virus, and hopefully hem it in, like the salmon. Continue reading at The Seattle Times. (Mark Nowlin)

Falafel shop workers Bryant Movern, left, and Javohn Ferguson work to pack customer's take-out orders in a restaurant otherwise closed because of the coronavirus outbreak Tuesday, May 19, 2020, in Seattle. Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday announced $10 million in grants to small businesses in industries particularly hard-hit by the COVID-19 outbreak. They include restaurants, hair salons, fitness studios and theaters.

Washington sees record unemployment rate of 15.4% in April
Washington’s unemployment rate shot up to a record 15.4% in April and the state’s economy lost 527,000 jobs last month as a result of the economic downturn from the coronavirus pandemic. That’s the highest jobless rate the state has seen since it started keeping comparable records in the 1970s. Continue reading at The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin. (Elaine Thompson)


Associated Press
Washington contract tracers making calls to help fight virus
US: Weasel-like mammal endangered in southern Sierra Nevada
Colleges plan fall opening, but campuses won’t look the same
‘Invisible demon’: Virus hits even top-rated nursing homes
Unemployment rate in Washington reaches record high in April
Annual Seafair festival in Seattle canceled
EPA says federal dams raise water temperature in Snake River
Wolves attack 2 more calves, state considering response
Washington sees record unemployment rate of 15.4% in April
EPA says federal dams raise water temperature in Snake River
State Patrol urges caution for motorcycle riders
Amazon starts hiring 2,000 workers in Spokane suburb
Oregon faces 11% drop in revenue; GOP leader blames Brown

Aberdeen Daily World
Splash Festival, County Fair canceled
Razor clam digs officially over for the season
Local small businesses get emergency grants to survive COVID-19 closures
Commentary: Free market ideology won’t help us during the COVID-19 crisis. Here’s what would

Auburn Reporter
Muckleshoot Casino in Auburn to reopen May 26

Bellingham Herald (subscription required)
Whatcom County reports three new coronavirus cases Wednesday, but no deaths
SeaFeast and Farmers Day parade join coronavirus cancellations. Seattle’s Seafair, too
Gov. Jay Inslee schedules 11:30 a.m. Thursday press conference to discuss restarting faith-based services
Washington state reports 160 new COVID-19 cases and 6 deaths Wednesday
Fifth gray whale washes ashore in Washington this year. What’s going on?
Coronavirus updates: Inslee issues guidance for real estate, fitness in Phase 2
‘It’s all your fault.’ Man shoves and spits on Asian couple in video, Washington cops say
Everett Herald (subscription required)
Everett sheds more than 160 employees as part of budget cuts
Snohomish County settles lawsuit over 2016 park rape for $1.95 million
COVID-19 and contact tracing
WaPo: Commentary: CDC is a national treasure; it must be reformed
Letter: Don’t trade my safety for a hair cut
Letter: Don’t discount the economic impacts of stay-home orders
Letter: Let boomers make own decision on when it’s safe to go out

Federal Way Mirror
Muckleshoot Casino in Auburn to reopen May 26

The Inlander
How Gov. Inslee’s stay-home order has inflamed tensions between competing and feuding businesses

Islands’ Weekly
An infodemic

Issaquah Reporter
Motorcycle fatality increase a cause for concern | Washington State Patrol

Journal of the San Juan Islands
Contractor encourages businesses to donate to local nonprofits
Comprehensive Plan update drafts available for review

Kitsap Sun (subscription required)
Gray whale carcass to be towed off Bainbridge beach for study
Active shooter ‘neutralized,’ one injured near Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi officials say

News Tribune (subscription required)
Retired general to get $20K monthly to advise Pierce County exec on COVID-19 recovery
Pierce County sees 10 new COVID-19 cases, one new death; cases at care facilities rise
T-shirts for a cause: #TacomaStrong campaign raises $30,000 for local businesses

New York Times
Coronavirus Cases Near 5 Million Across the Globe: Live Coverage
Many Jobs May Vanish Forever as Layoffs Mount
Trump Will Withdraw From ‘Open Skies’ Arms Control Treaty
All 50 States Are Now Reopening. But at What Cost?

Olympian (subscription required)
Washington state reports 160 new COVID-19 cases and 6 deaths Wednesday
Intercity Transit expects reduced level of service due to shortage of bus drivers
No ‘Music in the Park’ free concert series this year, Olympia Downtown Alliance says
Thurston County woman shot to death, husband booked on suspicion of murder
Coronavirus updates: State reaches 18,971 cases; contact tracing capacity expands
Gambling looks different as casinos reopen from coronavirus lockdowns. What changed?

Peninsula Daily News
City of Port Townsend approves utility relief fund
Phased reopening of Olympic Peninsula in the works
Clallam now on short list for Phase 2
Jefferson County elected officials in favor of applying for variance

Puget Sound Business Journal
Coronavirus shut down the ‘experience economy.’ Can it come back?
US jobless claims keep climbing to hit 38.6m since lockdowns
After coronavirus, office workers might face unexpected health threats
Seafair cancels 2020 events, including 4th of July fireworks, Torchlight parade, Blue Angels
Seattle hotel issues permanent layoff notices as state jobless rate tops 15%
Health care systems embark on a new frontier, and it’s all about economics
SBA’s PPP loan forgiveness application leaves unanswered questions
Commentary: Seattle public schools have taken a left turn

Renton Reporter
Op-ed: Motorcycle fatality increase a cause for concern | Washington State Patrol

Seattle Times (subscription required)
School ‘as usual’ is unlikely as Washington officials weigh options for next fall amid coronavirus pandemic
Coronavirus brings ‘a whole other layer of trauma’ for workers who serve homeless people
How an army of Washington contact tracers is fighting coronavirus
Washington state adds more than 145,000 weekly jobless claims as coronavirus crisis lingers
Microsoft president urges Congress to fund rural broadband internet connectivity in wake of coronavirus

Skagit Valley Herald
Hospitals begin reopening non-emergency services
Virus cases dropping, but county not yet qualified for next phase
New report could guide regional steelhead recovery

Spokesman Review
Spokane County health officer makes masks mandatory in public – but rule won’t be enforced
Spokane County restaurants, retailers and salons gear up to reopen next week
Washington lost a half-million jobs in April; unemployment reaches 15%
Study shows most parents in Washington are worried their kids are falling behind in school

Tri-City Herald
This Tri-Cities store sold books for 46 years. It’s closing because of the coronavirus
2 more Tri-Cities coronavirus deaths. Known cases top 1,400
Molestation, abuse and ‘riot’ being investigated at Christian boarding school near Tri-Cities
Editorial: Division won’t help us reopen the economy. We need unity over COVID-19 

USA Today
House plans to vote on changes to small business loan program to offer more flexibility

Walla Walla Union Bulletin (subscription required)
Editorial: Oregon ruling on gubernatorial power could be first of many

Washington Post
Coronavirus hot spots erupt across the country; experts warn of second wave in South
NOAA predicts Atlantic hurricane season will be unusually active

Yakima Herald Republic
Yakima County infection rates still high; officials say COVID much worse than flu
Memorial Day traditions adjusted due to coronavirus pandemic


Real-time updates: Washington State Fair still scheduled for September
Washington retailers worry about restrictions as they prepare to reopen
2019 Seattle radiation leak a ‘near miss’ to disaster, federal report finds
High COVID-19 infection rate in nursing homes could delay larger Washington counties from reopening
Kent cuts staff after facing $15 million budget shortfall

Cantwell pushing for federal airline distancing guidelines
State rapidly training personnel to help with contact tracing
Seafair cancels all summer 2020 events
Police release body camera video of officer-involved shooting in Lower Queen Anne
Mayor responds to bias attacks
2.4 million more Americans file for unemployment
Can you ID this man who attacked an Asian couple and said ‘It’s all your fault’?
Washington sees record unemployment rate of 15.4% in April
Man released from prison suspected in assault on North Sound trail
COVID-19 contact tracers may lose critical help

Snohomish barber shop defying stay-home order given ‘final warning’ to close
‘We’ve taken all the precautions’: Dental offices reopen around state amid COVID-19 danger
Governor, health officials warn against large gatherings this Memorial Day weekend
Secret Service looks into Nigerian crime ring as fake unemployment benefit claims spike

EPA releases plan to keep water in Columbia, Snake rivers cool enough for salmon

38.6 Million Have Filed For Unemployment Since March
Summer school in Seattle goes ahead, on a short schedule
What these nurses see on the Covid ICU in Seattle
Updates on the coronavirus pandemic in Washington state
‘Between Life And Death’: McDonald’s Worker Says Pandemic Puts Safety In Focus
A special session of the Washington Legislature in June? Don’t bet on it, but don’t rule it out
As States Locked Down In March, Motor Vehicle Fatality Rate Spiked By 14%
Why The Race For A Coronavirus Vaccine Will Depend On Global Cooperation
Poll: Two-Thirds Expect Return To ‘Normal’ Will Take 6 Months Or More
A Double-Barreled Approach To Antibody Testing Could Improve Accuracy
A new $1.6B proposal to house thousands experiencing homelessness in King County
Amid High Stakes, China Is Fast-Tracking COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts
About Half Of U.S. Homes Lost Wages During Pandemic, Census Bureau Finds
Trump Repeats Unfounded Claims About Mail-In Voting, Threatens Funding To 2 States

Q13 TV (Fox)
Another rally planned in Olympia to protest stay-home order
Beekeeper says Asian Giant Hornets wiped out one of his hives, ‘decapitating every honeybee’
Even on private property, some Seattle City Council members trying to limit removals of unauthorized homeless encampments
School districts across Washington work to finalize summer school plans amid COVID-19
Boeing supplier pivots portion of work to construct face shields


Seattle’s anti-vaccine history stretches back to the Spanish flu
Public health workers threatened, harassed while fighting COVID-19
What to know about the surge of unemployment fraud in WA

Seattle’s Fight for “Internet for All” Is Reignited, Sorta