Gov. Jay Inslee and a key Democratic legislative leader have thrown cold water on the idea of a special legislative session this summer to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, after elected officials in both political parties said for months that such a session would be likely.
This week’s outbreak at several University of Washington fraternities has hinted at just how hard it’s going to be to keep COVID-19 from spreading when college students return to campus this fall — especially since those students are eager to be around other young people after months of lockdowns and living at home.
As of Friday, 117 students living in 15 fraternity houses this summer have reported testing positive for the virus. The university has confirmed 89 of those cases, along with an additional four students who visited fraternities but didn’t live in them. The numbers are likely to tick upward, since about 1,000 have been tested, including other students who visited the fraternities but didn’t live there.
Residents of Seattle’s Duwamish River Valley have long known they suffer from high levels of air pollution. Air pollution that comes from nearby heavy industry, highways and air traffic has plagued South Seattle neighborhoods.
“To the point that we have 13 years of life expectancy difference between South Park and Magnolia, for example,” said Paulina Lopez, executive director of the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition.
Through the research of Western Washington University Associate Professor of History Jared Hardesty, one of the iconic landmarks of the American Revolution, Boston's Old North Church of Paul Revere's "one if by land, two if by sea" fame, is coming to grips with a bleaker part of its past: that some of its most important Revolution-era members used the church as a gathering place to plan and carry out an illegal slave-trading ring that spanned the Atlantic from Massachusetts to the plantations of Suriname.
At least 80 students living in a dozen fraternity houses just north of the University of Washington campus have reported testing positive for COVID-19, the coronavirus disease, with hundreds of results pending.
Lautenbach emphasized that without widespread mask use, Whatcom County could see nearly 2,000 new cases of COVID-19 every day by Oct. 1,, according to a computer model developed by the Health Department and researchers at Western Washington University.
That model, posted last week at the Health Department website, assumed that 46% of people were complying with guidelines for wearing face coverings.
A second scenario assumed that 80% of people wore masks, and found the daily case count was five.
Laurie Trautman, director of the Border Policy Research Institute at Western Washington University, called for a “more creative and innovative” strategy for the border. She said a regional approach to reopening it would be “huge and really important,” but might not be “logistically possible.”
Around the U.S., coronavirus cases are rising among young people. The spread of the virus has been connected to college-related events such as fraternity parties, drinking at off-campus bars and athletic practices. For colleges planning to bring thousands of students together in the fall, student spread is a real worry. And the stakes are high: If there are outbreaks, campuses may once again be forced to shut down, scattering students and disrupting academics and college finances all over again.
The Border Policy Research Institute at Western Washington University released an updated report about how much money Canadians spend in Whatcom County. The report estimates Canadians spent $140 million in this area in 2018, which represents 11.5% of Whatcom’’s taxable retail sales.
A dozen years later, the Great Recession still haunts Washington state lawmakers.
Democrats for years have pointed back to the budget cuts made after the 2008 economic downturn as the source of long-term damage to the state’s social-safety net, especially the mental health system.
Republicans have pointed to those same cuts as a cautionary tale about drastically increasing state spending too quickly, and then being forced to come back and make cuts later.
The coronavirus pandemic — which has battered economies across America and the world — has given new life and real meaning to those debates.