Wednesday, August 5th - Friday, August 7th, 2020
Editor's note: I'm triaging tonight's newsletter down to just the local sections due to time constraints.

I've been trying my best to keep this mid-week newsletter going while also working busy-season real estate hours, but it's become clear to me that that isn't going to be sustainable. We're also past the initial period of big breaking coronavirus-related news items happening multiple times throughout the week that led me to start the newsletter to begin with back in next week I'm going to experiment with not writing this email at all, and simply triaging the news that goes into the Civic Minute (my weekly email about local news and politics in Seattle, which goes out every Sunday morning at 6 am) more aggressively instead.

Thanks for being a COVID-19 Daily Digest reader--I've really enjoyed writing it, and I hope you've found it useful. I'll let you know which way I decide to go after experimenting next week, but regardless, I would encourage you to subscribe to the Civic Minute if you don't already. -Sol
King County
Daily outbreak summary
Key Indicators 
16,272 confirmed cases (+134), 670 deaths (+7)

Daily Seattle Times infographic
State data dashboard
61,587 confirmed cases (+670), 1,672 deaths (+19)
Total tests conducted: [Washington state hasn't been accurately reporting testing numbers for nearly a week]
COVID Tracking Project
4,913,663 confirmed cases (+61,520), 152,816 deaths (+1,333)
Total tests conducted: 60,415,558 (+762,883)

The world
WHO COVID-19 Dashboard
18,902,735 confirmed cases (+278,291), 709,511 deaths (+6,815)
Local COVID-19 News
Governor Inslee announced a four-phase reopening plan for nursing homes, which will allow them to begin letting their residents receive visitors again (outdoors only in the first phase, with limited indoor visits in phases 2 and 3 and normal visitation rules in phase 4); extended the state's utility-cutoff moratorium through October 15th; and "strongly recommended" that school districts in areas with high rates of infection "move to mostly online or remote learning" (something Seattle Public Schools is planning to do, although the details of what that will look like are still far from finalized). 

Seattle-King County Public Health established an awkwardly-acronymized task force called SSTAR (Safe Start for Taverns and Restaurants) to begin proactive education about and enforcement of Inslee's statewide "Safe Start" reopening guidelines; and they also put out a handy guide detailing how to comply with the county's current Phase 2 guidelines for socializing with people outside your household. [KING 5, Publich Health Insider]

The state received 24,985 new unemployment claims last week, fewer than it has in any week since mid-March. [Seattle Times]

And the City opened its third free community testing site--which, unlike the other two, is a walk-up site instead of a driver-through site--at Rainier Beach High School. [KING 5]
Local Protest News
Image from The Seattle Times: "The large group of protesters organized by Decriminalize Seattle and King County Equity Now winds down South Jackson Street on their way to City Hall to call for police defunding." (Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)
While more than a thousand protesters marched to City Hall and held a rally outside to call for 50% cuts to SPD's budget, the City Council voted several much more modest amendments out of committee that will go before the full Council for final approval on Monday (it was a committee of the whole, so it's unclear if any additional changes will be made), including reducing SPD's payroll by 100 officers, eliminating the Navigation Team responsible for clearing homeless encampments, and reducing pay levels for SPD's command staff, part of which would involve cutting Chief Best's salary by 40%.

Mayor Durkan and Chief Best pushed back on the Council's budget amendments, arguing as they have for weeks that any cuts to the department would have to come from its newest and most diverse officers first because of civil service rules (several Councilmembers insist that an obscure rule could be used to lay off officers out of order instead, by targeting those with histories of disciplinary action), and SPD seemingly responded to the Council's vote by launching a website that mostly appears to be repurposed content from elsewhere on their site, along with a feedback form and positive statements about the department's current policies. 

The King County Prosecutor filed murder charges against an 18-year-old whose whereabouts are unknown for the June 20th shooting death of 19-year-old Lorenzo Anderson at the edge of the CHOP. [South Seattle Emerald]

Five local news outlets (the Seattle Times and four TV stations) are appealing a judge's ruling that they have to turn over unpublished photos and videos from a downtown protest on May 30th to SPD, and the Office of Police Accountability is investigating whether officers used "unlawful force" against journalists during a July 25th protest.

And the City and the Department of Justice agreed to extend through September 18th a temporary restraining order preventing a ban by the City Council on "less lethal" weapons like tear gas and blast balls from going into effect. [Seattle Times]
Ending on a high note
If you ever want a break from the view out your own window, there's a website called WindowSwap that allows you to enjoy the view from the windows of random strangers around the world instead.
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Copyright © 2020 Sol Villarreal, All rights reserved.

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