Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday extended orders to keep non-essential businesses closed and most of the state’s more than 7 million residents home through May 4, saying social distancing measures must remain in place an additional month to minimize the spread of the coronavirus.
In recent days, Inslee had been signaling that his initial stay-at-home orders from March 23 — which were set to expire next week — would be extended. The new proclamation, announced during a news conference, extends the original order from two weeks to six weeks. Under previous actions taken by Inslee in response to the coronavirus outbreak, all bars, dine-in restaurants, entertainment and recreation facilities have been closed even longer, since March 17.
The number of people seeking unemployment benefits in Washington set a new record last week, with tens of thousands more people in the state filing new claims as non-essential businesses remain closed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Numbers released Thursday by the state Employment Security Department showed that 181,975 new claims for unemployment benefits were filed with the state during the week of March 22-28, a 41% increase over the previous week’s earlier record of 128,962 new claims.
ESD Commissioner Suzi LeVine noted that last week’s number of claims is a 3,513% increase over the same week in 2019, calling it a “mind-boggling number.”
Under Whatcom Unified Command’s direction, the Economic Impact Task Force, led by Don Goldberg, has compiled five tools/resources for local businesses to utilize so that our team and partners can begin to assess the extent of the economic impacts stemming from the COVID-19 outbreak.
Another Whatcom County resident who tested positive for COVID-19 has died, according to information released Thursday, April 2, by the Whatcom County Health Department. An additional 31 positive tests for the new coronavirus were also reported.
That brings the total number of Whatcom County residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 and died to nine, the health department reported. No other information about the most recent death was included in Thursday’s report.
Whatcom Unified Command, the multi-governmental agency directing local pandemic response, has not yet responded to The Bellingham Herald’s requests for the gender and age ranges of three deaths that were announced Sunday or one reported Wednesday, where those deaths occurred or if they were related to any area care facilities.
Gov. Jay Inslee has updated the list of businesses considered essential under Washington’s emergency stay-home order intended to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.
In a memo Tuesday evening, Inslee said automotive repair shops are considered essential, as are nannies taking care of children of workers deemed essential.
With the airline business staggered by the coronavirus pandemic, Boeing Commercial Airplanes boss Stan Deal told employees Thursday the company must reduce its workforce “to ensure our business is more closely aligned to the realities of a different-sized commercial market once the recovery starts.”
Deal’s message makes clear he’s trying to stave off involuntary layoffs and also strongly suggests that cuts in aircraft production rates are likely.
With more businesses adhering to the coronavirus restrictions, unemployment claims continue to soar across Whatcom County and Washington state.
In Whatcom County, 6,268 people filed unemployment claims for the week ending March 28, according to new data from the Washington State Employment Security Department. In the past two weeks, 10,696 Whatcom residents have now filed initial claims after losing their jobs, which is about 10% of the total workforce.
One more Whatcom County residents who tested positive for COVID-19, the new coronavirus, has died, according to information released Wednesday, April 1, by the Whatcom County Health Department.
That brings the total number of deaths in Whatcom County due to the coronavirus pandemic to eight, the health department reported.
The health department has not yet reported any details about the most recent death, and it is unclear if it was the person in their 70s that Shuksan Healthcare Center reported had died Monday night.
Bellingham shoppers can leave their reusable grocery bags at home as long as the new coronavirus pandemic persists, Mayor Seth Fleetwood said Tuesday, March 31.
Fleetwood suspended enforcement of the city’s plastic grocery bag ban for one year, or until the proclamation of local emergency he issued earlier this month is revoked, the city said in a statement at its website.
Since 1973, in any of the Seattle Post Intelligencer's buildings, one figure has been a constant in a newsroom that's a microcosm for the turbulent last few decades in news media.
Chances are, at any given hour of a weekday, if you stumble into the P-I newsroom you've seen a man hunched over his desk, furiously typing or grumbling to himself after a politician blew him off over the phone — although sometimes the grumbling was instead an exclamation of triumph after a particularly delicious interview.
Joel held a lifetime of knowledge about the Pacific Northwest. He grew up in Whatcom County, not far from the hometown of another iconic journalist, Edward R. Murrow. Joel left the state briefly for a few years at Notre Dame, as well as a few summer quarters at Western Washington University. After school, he got a job with the P-I and never looked back.