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Wednesday, July 15th - Friday, July 17th, 2020
In brief: The U.S. reported 75,000 new infections on Thursday, a new daily record, as hospitalizations and deaths continue to accelerate as well; Governor Inslee responded to the dramatically rising number of infections across the state by reducing the number of people allowed at social gatherings for counties from 50 to 10 for counties that are in Phase 3, and from 10 to 5 for counties that are in Phase 2; and several local Democratic groups passed resolutions calling on Mayor Durkan to resign, signaling broad support among local Democratic Party activists for the recall petition that's currently working its way through the courts.
STATS
Washington & King County
As of last night at 11:59 pm
Statewide: 45,067 confirmed cases (+754), 1,434 deaths (+6)
Total tests conducted: 767,657 (+14,483)

King County: 12,766 confirmed cases (+208), 631 deaths (+0)
King County Key Indicators (last updated 7/14 at 1:30 pm)

U.S.
Today
3,555,877 confirmed cases (+72,045), 137,864 deaths (+926)
Total tests conducted: 44,203,733 (+851,788)

The world
Today
13,616,593 confirmed cases (+237,743), 585,727 deaths (+5,682)
Local COVID-19 News
State health officials reported 1,267 new cases on Thursday, setting a new daily record; and on Friday they warned that Washington's infection rate is on track for "runaway growth" unless "concrete actions are taken to stop the spread." [Seattle Times]

Governor Inslee responded to the dramatically rising number of infections across the state by reducing the number of people allowed at social gatherings for counties from 50 to 10 for counties that are in Phase 3, and from 10 to 5 for counties that are in Phase 2; but he didn't roll back or alter any other components of his four-phase Safe Start reopening plan. [Governor's Office on Medium, Seattle Times]

Mayor Durkan announced that business owners who refuse to comply with the state's reopening guidelines will eventually face the possibility of criminal charges and suspended business licenses. [MyNorthwest]

Lewis Kamb and Sydney Brownstone looked at the delay of test results by up to 10 days for many people in the Seattle area, as two of the national labs that are processing tests from across the country are overwhelmed by demand as a result of the nationwide surge in infections. [Seattle Times]

Washington workers filed 40,466 new claims for unemployment insurance last week, a 42.5% increase from the previous week, as many businesses continue cutting jobs. [Seattle Times]

The Space Needle is spending $1 million on high-tech instant sanitization technology that they hope will help convince visitors that the tourist attraction is safe to visit. [GeekWire]

And Amazon announced that its employees will be able to continue working from home until January of 2021. [GeekWire]
Local Protest News
The 36th, 37th, and 43rd District Democrats passed resolutions calling on Mayor Durkan to resign, signaling broad support among local Democratic Party activists for the recall petition that's currently working its way through the courts. [South Seattle Emerald, The Stranger]

The City Council held another committee hearing Wednesday on its 2020 budget rebalancing--which has become an exercise in defunding SPD--as around 100 pro-SPD protesters demonstrated outside of City Hall. [KING 5, MyNorthwest]

The Department of Justice and the federal monitor overseeing SPD's consent decree notified the City that the recent ban on SPD's use of tear gas and other "less lethal" crowd control devices against peaceful protesters violated the consent decree because it wasn't approved by the monitor. [Seattle City Council Insight]

And a small core of protesters and people experiencing homelessness are still camped out on Seattle Central College's lawn, as the school works to try to get them to leave peacefully without involving the City. [Capitol Hill Seattle Blog]
National COVID-19 and Protest News
The U.S. reported 75,000 new infections on Thursday, a new daily record, as hospitalizations and deaths continue to accelerate as well.

"The Trump administration has ordered hospitals to bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and send all Covid-19 patient information to a central database in Washington beginning on Wednesday. The move has alarmed health experts who fear the data will be politicized or withheld from the public." [New York Times]

Members of the Trump administration launched a public campaign against Dr. Fauci in an effort to undermine his credibility with the public, as the administration increasingly turns a blind eye to science in its push to reopen schools and businesses at all costs. [New York Times, NBC News]

Joe Biden released a plan for safely reopening schools, as data from Florida showed that 31% of children who have been tested for COVID-19 across the state have tested positive. [NPR]

Russian hackers are apparently trying to steal coronavirus vaccine research from various countries. [New York Times]

The Pentagon sidestepped Trump to ban the flying of the Confederate flag at military bases around the world (why the Confederate flag had been previously allowed to fly at military bases is another question entirely). [New York Times]

And Portland elected officials are continuing to push back against the presence of federal officers in their city, who have been deployed by the Department of Homeland Security to try to quell the ongoing protests there. [Washington Post]
Viral
Coronavirus hospital data will now be sent to Trump administration instead of CDC [CNN, 3.8 million shares]

In historic move, North Carolina city approves reparations for Black residents [USA Today, 1.9 million shares]

CDC says U.S. could get coronavirus under control in one to two months if everyone wears a mask [CNBC, 1.8 million shares]

White House blocks CDC from testifying on reopening schools next week [CNN, 1.6 million shares]

Federal Law Enforcement Use Unmarked Vehicles To Grab Protesters Off Portland Streets [Oregon Public Broadcasting, 1.0 million shares]

Walmart, Kroger will start requiring customers in US stores to wear masks [CNN, 1.0 million shares]

Florida reports 15,300 new COVID-19 cases — a record for one day anywhere in the U.S. [Miami Herald, 663k shares]
Ending on a high note
There have been some great photos taken of Comet Neowise by local photographers--and it's still visible to the naked eye after sunset if you want to see it for yourself.
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Copyright © 2020 Sol Villarreal, All rights reserved.


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