COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
COVID-19 (Coronavirus; CDC graphic)

It’s time for anoth­er install­ment of of our spe­cial series COVID-19 Update, bring­ing you the lat­est devel­op­ments on the nov­el coro­n­avirus out­break that pub­lic health author­i­ties here and through­out the coun­try are work­ing dili­gent­ly to mitigate.

Washington

Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee announced Wednes­day that the state’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” stay at home order will extend past the orig­i­nal May 4th expi­ra­tion date. How­ev­er, a relax­ation of restric­tions on the con­struc­tion indus­try and spe­cif­ic out­door activ­i­ties, such as hunt­ing and fish­ing, has been accom­pa­nied by a list of a writ­ten guide­lines by which pre­vi­ous­ly with­held elec­tive surg­eries can now proceed.

“I do not believe that we will have the infec­tion rate or the fatal­i­ty rate or the hos­pi­tal admis­sion for COVID-like symp­toms rate, none of those num­bers will be low enough to jus­ti­fy remov­ing major social dis­tanc­ing strate­gies,” Gov­er­nor Inslee said on Wednes­day. “One of the most frus­trat­ing num­bers, I have to tell you, is our num­ber of infec­tions per day because that is stub­born and has not been going down as we would have liked in the last week to 10 days.”

Gov­er­nor Inslee wants to, as soon as is rea­son­able, replace some phys­i­cal dis­tanc­ing require­ments with more robust test­ing, con­tract trac­ing and quar­an­tine mea­sures. Toward that end, the Fed­er­al gov­ern­ment has com­mit­ted to over 500,000 nasal swabs and oth­er mate­ri­als nec­es­sary per month, which would result in being able to reach the state’s goal of over 22,000 being test­ed per day.

Gov­er­nor Inslee will announce at a press con­fer­ence this after­noon how he will start to re-open the state in phas­es, as test­ing, trac­ing of peo­ple, fol­lowed by quar­an­tine of the known sick, advance, using his office’s risk assess­ment dash­board to assess progress over time.

Oregon

Gov­er­nor Kate Brown will be hold­ing a press con­fer­ence this after­noon to dis­cuss test­ing and track­ing pro­ce­dures as the state con­sid­ers re-open­ing and phas­ing out its ongo­ing stay at home order, which present­ly has no end date. Guide­lines for the pub­lic in gen­er­al, and specif­i­cal­ly for busi­ness­es in par­tic­u­lar, are in draft at the moment but are also like­ly to be part of the press conference.

This includes such items as main­tain­ing a six foot min­i­mum dis­tanc­ing rule for indi­vid­u­als, using a face mask when out­side and rec­om­mend­ing that busi­ness­es keep a record of all cus­tomers vis­it­ing their facil­i­ties and when they did so, for poten­tial track­ing pur­pos­es. Four coun­ties have asked for a resump­tion of eco­nom­ic activ­i­ties and anoth­er four have endorsed the request from Dou­glas Coun­ty, one of the first four coun­ties to make a direct request.

This is the begin­ning of Gov­er­nor Brown’s attempt to ful­fill her state­ment of April 14th — “While we have to be care­ful, we also can­not stand still.”

Idaho

Gov­er­nor Lit­tle of Ida­ho declared on Thurs­day that the state has met its cri­te­ria to end its “Stay Healthy” order starter March 15th and will begin Stage 1 of its “Ida­ho Rebounds” plan today.

Most stores and busi­ness­es will be allowed to reopen, but not such places as restau­rant din­ing rooms, bars, night­clubs, hair and nail salons, indoor gyms, recre­ation­al sites, or con­ven­tion or enter­tain­ment cen­ters. Church­es may be allowed to open, but only if they fol­low strict phys­i­cal dis­tanc­ing and san­i­ta­tion require­ments in place per the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol (CDC). Child­care facil­i­ties and youth activ­i­ty facil­i­ties and camps may be allowed to reopen, though no specifics are as yet not­ed on how to min­i­mize poten­tial dis­ease transmission.

While Gov­er­nor Lit­tle stum­bled bad­ly when COVID-19 hit Ida­ho, he has tried to lis­ten more to his Health and Wel­fare Direc­tor, Dave Jeppsen, and relat­ed pub­lic heath experts. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, he also has had some­what of a hands-off approach, which has led to chal­lenges to his author­i­ty with­out response.

Gov­er­nor Lit­tle also is being request­ed to have a more trans­par­ent effort toward pro­vid­ing a full and com­plete set of data regard­ing the num­bers of those made ill and who have died as a result of the SARS-CoV­‑2 virus.

British Columbia

Rapid response by provin­cial pub­lic health author­i­ties have result­ed in the province being ahead of the rest of Cana­da in its response to COVID-19. Con­sid­er­a­tion of under what con­di­tions and by what means a phased reopen­ing of the province may take place is under dis­cus­sion, but no firm plan has been pro­posed as yet and the excit­ing lock­down orders are still in place. Var­i­ous anti­body tests are being exam­ined for valid­i­ty in deter­ring the rate of “herd immu­ni­ty” with­in the province.

Today a press con­fer­ence will be held by Finance Min­is­ter Car­ole James about a one-time ben­e­fit of $1,000 for cit­i­zens of the province and how the appli­ca­tion process will work.

The hard, cold numbers

Wash­ing­ton state has had 14,327 cas­es and 814 attrib­ut­able deaths.

193,981 peo­ple have been tested.

Ore­gon has had 2,510 cas­es and 103 attrib­ut­able deaths.

56,512 peo­ple have been tested.

Ida­ho has had 2,015 cas­es and 63 attrib­ut­able deaths.

28,240 peo­ple have been tested.

British Colum­bia has had 2,112 cas­es and 111 attrib­ut­able deaths.

86,030 peo­ple have been tested.

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