Washington State House Democrats


Friday, Jan. 14

Registered nurse Bryan Hofilena, certified nursing assistant Alexis Figueroa and registered nurse Emily Yu zip up a body bag holding a COVID-19 victim

‘The worst’ it’s been: Covid hospitalizations reach all-time high in Washington state
Since the highly infectious omicron variant was discovered in Washington state last month, health officials have warned that a surge in cases could cause hospitals to become severely overwhelmed. Health care workers say that moment is now here. “This is the worst situation hospitals in Washington state have been in compared to any prior point during the pandemic,” said Taya Briley, vice president and general counsel for the Washington State Hospital Association during a press conference Thursday morning. Continue reading at KUOW. (Jae C. Hong)

Inslee deploys National Guard to assist hospitals, testing
Gov. Jay Inslee is deploying 100 members of the state National Guard to some hospitals to set up testing sites and to assist in non-medical tasks amid crowding due to a spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations. Inslee announced Thursday that teams will be deployed to assist four overcrowded emergency departments at hospitals in Everett, Yakima, Wenatchee and Spokane, and that testing teams will be based at hospitals in Olympia, Richland, Seattle and Tacoma. There are plans for additional Federal Emergency Management Agency testing sites in King and Snohomish counties. Continue reading at The Associated Press.

Family hopes to turn loss into legislation after hazing leads to death of son at WSU: ‘It’s to save a life for the one taken from us’
It’s a day that Jolayne Houtz remembers vividly. She was sitting at her desk at work and heard ragged breathing outside her door. It was her husband, Hector Martinez, telling her they needed to go home immediately. When they pulled up to their home, they saw three police officers and a police chaplain. Their 19-year-old son, Sam Martinez, had been found dead at his fraternity house. It would later be revealed that the Washington State University freshman and pledge of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity had died of alcohol poisoning after attending a fraternity event. Continue reading at The Spokesman Review.


Associated Press
Inslee deploys National Guard to assist hospitals, testing
AG: $45M settlement with student loan company
Senate hardens penalties for election worker harassment (Frockt)
State health board inundated with false fears of camps for unvaccinated
Microsoft to review workplace harassment, including Bill Gates allegations
Supreme Court halts COVID-19 vaccine-or-test requirement for businesses
WA Supreme Court OKs Cooke Aquaculture steelhead farming

Aberdeen Daily World
Gov. Inslee gives State of the State speech calling for action from lawmakers (Frockt)

Auburn Reporter
Surgeries paused, National Guard deployed to assist hospitals
Sequim senator seeks improvements to police accountability laws (Van De Wege, Mullet)
Auburn teachers and staff struggle during omicron wave
Unions: 2021 hosted a record number of workplace safety complaints vs. hospitals

Bellingham Herald
Whatcom adds 560 COVID cases, 26 hospitalizations, 2 deaths, as Base Camp sees outbreak
National Guard members will be activated to assist at Washington state hospitals
Sandbags placed to reduce Nooksack River flooding
Officials issue a burn ban in this Whatcom community due to air quality concerns
Washington hospitals describe ‘worst’ level of operational crisis since start of COVID
One in 77 Whatcom residents tested positive for COVID-19 during first 10 days of 2022
Clark County emergency rooms report drastic increase in patients
Opinion: In Our View: Pandemic can’t squelch county entrepreneurs

Everett Herald
Sketchy firm’s COVID-test sites shut down as questions mount
Mail delays frustrate and perplex Snohomish residents
Surgeries paused, National Guard deployed to assist hospitals
What we know: Washington coronavirus outbreak at a glance
Bloomberg Comment: Filibuster showing cracks but could prove resilient
WaPo Comment: Supreme Court invites chaos if lawsuit model spreads
Letter: Ferry system’s reduced sailings affect commutes of many

Federal Way Mirror
Federal Way police are now wearing body cameras

New York Times
Sinema Rejects Changing Filibuster, Dealing Biden a Setback
Biden Will Nominate Three New Fed Officials
New Virus Cases Begin to Slow in U.S. Cities Where Omicron Hit First

Peninsula Daily News
National Guard aid requested
Bill aims to help homeless community college students (Leavitt, Tharinger)
State lawmakers consider Women’s Suffrage Day (Lekanoff)

Puget Sound Business Journal
Inslee declares state hospital crisis, deploys National Guard to provide aid
Omicron, Great Resignation and supply chain woes? Businesses are still optimistic.
Supreme Court’s OSHA ruling puts many employers back on the spot
Inslee: Supreme Court ruling doesn’t bar future vaccine mandate for Washington employers
Microsoft commits to outside review of sexual harassment policies
Op-Ed: Viewpoint: Why cities should embrace life sciences as an economic driver

Seattle Times
Downtown Seattle light rail closed for weekend tunnel repairs
Celebrate Martin Luther King’s life by retracing his footsteps from his 1961 visit to Seattle
After weeklong closure, Stevens Pass and White Pass reopen
Inslee calls out National Guard to help at overtaxed hospitals, testing sites
Head of corrections union calls for 2-week quarantined shutdown of King County jails
Editorial: Kent assistant police chief must resign over Nazi insignia

Sol De Yakima
¿Qué sabe de la variante ómicron en el condado de Yakima?
Distritos escolares de Yakima, Toppenish cambian aprendizaje en línea la próxima semana
The Truth Sanctuary ayuda a familias afectadas, en necesidad

Spokesman Review
Family hopes to turn loss into legislation after hazing leads to death of son at WSU: ‘It’s to save a life for the one taken from us’ (Senn)
National Guard deployed to help Sacred Heart; Inslee pauses nonurgent procedures statewide
Critical staff shortages will close Spokane Public Schools on Tuesday

Tri-City Herald
Omicron COVID variant is surging in Tri-Cities. Next 2 weeks could be worse
National Guard to set up Tri-Cities COVID testing site. Here’s where else you can go
Mid-Columbia School Delays & Closures
COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough cases on the rise amid unprecedented surge, WA says
Washington hospitals describe ‘worst’ level of operational crisis since start of COVID

Walla Walla Union Bulletin
Walla Walla mayor and mayor pro tem appointed for another two-year term
Tri-State Steelheaders seeks grants in Walla Walla’s Mill Creek fish passage remediation
College Place City Council approves purchase of new fire truck and other fire equipment

Washington Post
Lawmakers begin discussing government spending deal as Democrats eye virus aid, paid leave
These mass shooting survivors were called journalism heroes. Then the buyouts came.
Doctors call out Spotify over Joe Rogan spreading ‘false and societally harmful’ covid-19 claims

Yakima Herald-Republic
Yakima Valley hospitals strained by staffing shortages, rising hospitalizations
Memorial hospital in Yakima to get help from National Guard; Inslee pauses all non-urgent procedures


‘Sam’s Law,’ named after WSU student, would strengthen penalties for hazing-related deaths
Inslee pauses non-urgent medical procedures, deploys National Guard to Washington hospitals
Washington trash service workers on strike address frustrations over garbage collection delay
Upgrading your mask? Here’s how to make sure you’re spending your money on an authentic respirator
Pierce County schools adjust COVID guidelines, lower isolation times
Kittitas County ‘disappointed’ vaccine mandate prevents state from accepting help in clearing snow
Why it took longer to reopen Stevens and White passes

COVID testing company suspends operations in Washington while under investigation
Inslee deploys National Guard, halts non-urgent procedures to help hospitals
Food safety investigations – another casualty of the Covid-19 pandemic?
Classes canceled or shifted to remote learning for some schools under SPS
South Kitsap Schools closing campuses for several days due to COVID-19
DOH: Breakthrough COVID-19 cases on the rise during omicron surge

COVID-19 omicron surge: Inslee to deploy National Guard to help overwhelmed hospital
Local businesses weigh in on SCOTUS vaccine mandate decision
Columbia Sportswear plans to fire employees who won’t get COVID-19 vaccines
Seattle schools cancel classes, switch to remote because of COVID cases
Seattle students plan walkout, demanding tighter COVID safety measures
Test sites run by Center for COVID Control now under investigation; close temporarily

KNKX Public Radio
Inslee deploying 100 National Guard to help hospitals, orders pause on non-emergency procedures

KUOW Public Radio
‘The worst’ it’s been: Covid hospitalizations reach all-time high in Washington state
Covid updates for today: Don’t go to the hospital if you’re in Washington state
As WA lawmakers consider a safe staffing bill, nurses warn of crisis conditions and risks to patients
Washington grocery workers ‘begging’ for more hours as wages don’t keep up with bills
We asked how you’re feeling about Covid these days. This is what you told us

Q13 TV (FOX)
Washington hospitals in ‘worst situation’ yet since COVID-19 pandemic started: WSHA


Burien extends eviction moratorium until state of emergency ends
WSDOT accuses Kittitas County of ‘misinformation’ on snow removal dispute
Franklin High School students stage sick-out to demand better COVID safety precautions
King County Corrections Guild calls for two-week shutdown of jail operations
Spate of Puget Sound region K-12 schools return to remote learning
Gov. Inslee deploys National Guard, halts non-urgent procedures amid hospital staffing crisis
Settlement over ‘predatory’ practices to erase student debt for over 1,400 Washingtonians
‘And then there were none:’ 4 major Washington mountain passes reopen
State Board of Health will not yet make a decision to require COVID vaccine for students
Seattle-area trash service could be delayed longer due to out-of-state strike

U.S. suicide hotline 988 is set to go live, but many states may not be ready (Orwall)

West Seattle Blog
CORONAVIRUS: Chief Sealth International High School closed Friday due to ‘sickout’ over safety concerns