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 across the coun­try are work­ing to mitigate.


Attor­ney Gen­er­al Bob Fer­gu­son’s office sent cease and desist orders on May 19th, declar­ing vio­la­tions of the state Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Act, against two gyms – one in Puyallup and one in Arling­ton – that had been open in spite of Gov­er­nor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” stay at home order.

The co-own­er of the gym in Arling­ton has said that he will join Tim Eyman in his law­suit against the stay at home order. This is not the first set of vio­la­tions – the state Depart­ment of Licens­ing recent­ly revoked the cos­me­tol­ogy oper­a­tor license of the own­er of the Stag Bar­ber Shop in Sno­homish and served him with a cease-and-desist order for doing busi­ness with­out a salon shop license.

A Hob­by Lob­by and a Jo-Ann Fab­ric and Crafts in Spokane, and two bars and a cof­fee shop in Spokane Val­ley have also been vio­lat­ing the stay at home order.

Gov­er­nor Inslee’s response to these vio­la­tions was clear.

Said Inslee: “There’s just no rea­son why cer­tain peo­ple would think they’re kind of spe­cial, and they have cer­tain rights that oth­er cit­i­zens do not. They think they’re above the law, appar­ent­ly… For some irre­spon­si­ble busi­ness lead­ers to besmirch the ones that are respon­si­ble, that just will not stand.”

Four more trib­al casi­nos, which are not under state juris­dic­tion, opened on Mon­day, May 18th. They joined three oth­er casi­nos that opened on May 14th.

The facil­i­ties are allow­ing entry at between 30% and 50% of capac­i­ty, depend­ing on the facil­i­ty, have lim­it­ed their food ser­vice options, and have kept closed their accom­pa­ny­ing hotels and con­fer­ence spaces.

As of this post, ten new coun­ties in Wash­ing­ton state are being allowed to apply to oper­ate under Phase 2 of the Safe Start Wash­ing­ton reopen­ing process. Ten coun­ties are already oper­at­ing under Phase 2 of the process.


On Mon­day, May 18th, Bak­er Coun­ty Cir­cuit Judge Matthew Shirt­cliff grant­ed a pre­lim­i­nary injunc­tion Mon­day against Gov­er­nor Kate Brown’s stay at home order. Gov­er­nor Brown declared Oregon’s State of Emer­gency using ORS 401.165, which gives her broad pow­ers in declar­ing a state emer­gency, but some of her more spe­cif­ic actions seem to be in line with ORS 433.441, pro­claim­ing a pub­lic health emer­gency, which can last no more than 28 days and would like­ly require a re-con­ven­ing of the state leg­is­la­ture to re-implement.

Judge Shirt­cliff con­sid­ered the lat­ter to be the pre­dom­i­nant statute in effect, and thus since more than 28 days have passed since the dec­la­ra­tion of the State of Emer­gency, he declared it no longer in effect.

The Ore­gon state Supreme Court, lat­er that evening, issued a tem­po­rary stay on the deci­sion and is present­ly review­ing the case.

Ore­gon is in the process of reopen­ing the state grad­u­al­ly using spec­i­fied guide­lines.


On May 14th, the Food and Drug Admin­is­tra­tion (FDA) put out a press release cau­tion­ing about con­cerns with the accu­ra­cy of the Abbott ID NOW point of care test, which in one report was declared as pos­si­bly miss­ing as many as 48% of infec­tions through false neg­a­tives. These tests are in high use in east­ern Ida­ho through a non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tion, Crush the Curve.

Abbott Labs has respond­ed with a press release and by declar­ing the report an “out­lier,” with three oth­er stud­ies declar­ing the point of care test very accurate.

The hard, cold numbers

Wash­ing­ton state has had 19,639 cas­es and 1,029 attrib­ut­able deaths.

289,940 peo­ple have been tested.

Ore­gon has had 3,726 cas­es and 140 attrib­ut­able deaths.

99,630 peo­ple have been tested.

Ida­ho has had 2,476 cas­es and 77 attrib­ut­able deaths.

37,847 peo­ple have been tested.

British Colum­bia has had 2,446 cas­es and 146 attrib­ut­able deaths.

125,044 peo­ple have been tested.

Adjacent posts

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