coronavirus | KNKX


courtesy of Daniela Hall

Washington families have been trying to get up to speed on this new world of at-home schooling. This is the first week remote education is required across school districts since schools were shut down last month to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Photos courtesy of Michelle Bennett. Illustration by Parker Miles Blohm/KNKX

Michelle Bennett couldn’t hold her mother’s hand in those final moments, 10 days after Carolann Christine Gann tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Bennett couldn’t even go through her mother’s belongings as she prepared to bury her.

So two people in protective gear did what she couldn't.

A typical scene from a Seattle farmers market, long before the advent of the new coronavirus.
Courtesy of Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Markets

Farmers markets and their supporters in Seattle are submitting more than 1,500 signatures to Mayor Jenny Durkan, asking to be considered essential businesses the same way grocery stores are — which would give them the green light to reopen.

Seattle shut them down on March 13, amid the wave of widespread closures in response to the novel coronavirus. The markets were subject to the ban because they are classified similar to parades or street fairs.

Seattle and King County health officer Dr. Jeff Duchin talks to reporters while Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and King County Executive Dow Constantine listen on March 11, 2020.
Stephen Brashear / The Associated Press

Limits on social interaction seem to be slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus in King County, health officials said Monday.

Two studies from the Bellevue-based Institute for Disease Modeling appear to show people have been moving around less and that each person carrying the virus is now infecting fewer people on average than they were a month ago.

David Lukov presided over an October 2019 ceremony honoring the lives of 25 people who went unclaimed after they died. Lukov has postponed a handful of funeral services amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Joe Buchanan died two weeks ago, after months of routine dialysis treatments. His wife of 34 years, Kimra, and their son, Justin, braced for this day they knew would eventually come.

But they weren’t prepared for what came after.

“The time when we should be mourning and going through old photos and hugging this out, we can’t,” Justin Buchanan said during a video interview last week.

Swedish Medical Center has launched a mobile COVID-19 testing clinic for people staying in homeless shelters or living in Plymouth Housing buildings.
Will James / KNKX

Four people staying in King County shelters have tested positive for COVID-19, county officials said, signaling the first signs of the novel coronavirus in the Seattle area's homeless population. 

The four people were staying in at least three different shelters, according to a news release Saturday by health officials in King County.

Dr. Jeff Duchin, right, public health officer for Seattle and King County, talks to reporters on March 4, 2020.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

King County's top health official ordered residents to follow quarantine and isolation guidelines meant to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

Dr. Jeffrey Duchin, public health officer for Seattle and King County, signed the order Saturday.

It directs anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms and has been tested to remain in quarantine while awaiting results.

Judie Shape, center, who has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, but isn't showing symptoms, at Life Care Center in Kirkland on March 17, 2020.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

A study of a King County nursing home shows just how insidious an outbreak of the novel coronavirus can be, federal investigators said Friday.

The study looked at one unnanmed nursing home where an outbreak of the virus was suspected earlier this month.

It found that more than half of people who tested positive for the virus had no symptoms at the time. 

Krista Linden, founder of Step By Step and Farm 12, handles fabric that will eventually be assembled into kits for handmade medical masks. Linden was asked by county officials to turn her event hall into an operations hub for the assembly line.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Krista Linden had a grand vision when she opened her restaurant and event space in Puyallup just a few short months ago. But she never imagined a global pandemic — and hundreds of yards of fabric — would swiftly become part of that vision. 

Farm 12 Restaurant & Events doesn’t just offer locally sourced food on the grounds of a historic bulb farm. It’s created jobs for the at-risk mothers Linden has helped for 23 years, through her nonprofit Step By Step. 

The Community Day Center for Children in Seattle's Central District is one of the centers that's temporarily closed because of employee concerns about the coronavirus outbreak.
Photo courtesy of the Community Day Center for Children

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, Gov. Jay Inslee has emphasized the need for child care to enable parents in medical or first-responder professions to continue to work. He’s designated child care workers as essential to critical infrastructure.

But advocacy groups say child care centers are in crisis and the government needs to step up to help them in this difficult time. Sen. Patty Murray said she secured $3.5 billion for child care in the current version of the Senate’s coronavirus relief package, including about $58 million for Washington.   

A mobile COVID-19 testing station set up by Swedish Medical Center outside a Plymouth Housing building in downtown Seattle on March 24, 2020.
Will James / KNKX

Dave Rodriguez tilts his head back. A health care worker in a mask and gown inserts what looks like an extra-long Q-tip into one of Rodriguez's nostrils. The worker pushes it all the way through the nasal cavity until it touches the back of Rodriguez's throat.

They're sitting in folding chairs on a downtown Seattle sidewalk. Swedish Medical Center has set up a mobile COVID-19 testing center here for the afternoon, the first outing in an effort to detect the novel coronavirus in some of the city's most vulnerable people.

Mac / KNKX

Though sit-down service is banned for now, many area eateries are doing what they can to keep staff employed.  In this week's Food for Thought, Nancy Leson tells what they're doing to cope with the times.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The state Department of Natural Resources is closing all DNR-managed lands to public recreation. The closure goes into effect Thursday and will last through at least April 8. It’s an additional step in government efforts to stop the spread of the new coronavirus.

courtesy of Ricky Haneda

The coronavirus outbreak has upended many lives, but it can be particularly difficult for those who are separated from their families.

Many university students have packed up and returned home amid the outbreak, but it’s more complicated for the thousands of international students studying in the Pacific Northwest. Some have remained here even as campuses empty out.

Nativity House, operated by the nonprofit Catholic Community Services, saw its first case of COVID-19 last week.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

A Tacoma homeless shelter has had four residents test positive for the novel coronavirus, so far the largest publicly disclosed outbreak in Washington state's homeless population.

Suzanne Smith, owner of clothing store Betty Be Good Boutique.
Courtesy of Smith

At slightly over 5,500 miles, the U.S.-Canada border is the longest undefended boundary in the world. The closure of that border, except for commercial and essential traffic, is having an impact.

The United States Trade Representative estimates that $718.5 billion in all types of trade crossed the U.S.-Canada border in 2018. That is more than $2 billion a day. That’s a lot of trade activity coming to a grinding halt. 

People gather at Golden Gardens Park in Seattle on Friday, despite calls from public health officials to stay home amid the coronavirus outbreak. Gov. Jay Inslee took those calls a step further Monday, issuing a statewide stay-at-home order.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Gov. Jay Inslee issued a statewide stay-at-home order Monday night, following the lead of other states that have taken the extraordinary step to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.  

The order — which the governor is calling “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” — follows actions taken by some local jurisdictions who decided not to wait for the state to make the call. Inslee's order will stay in effect for at least two weeks. 

Sisters Seri Sedlacek, left, and Susan Simpkins look in on their father, Chuck Sedlacek, at the Life Care Center, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, in Kirkland. Shuksan Healthcare Center in Bellingham is working to avoid what happened at the Kirkland facility.
Elaine Thompson / The Associated Press

More than 30 residents and employees of a Bellingham nursing facility have tested positive for COVID-19, prompting officials to take steps to avoid a deadly scenario that played out in Kirkland.