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Friday, July 3rd, 2020
In brief: There were protests and arrests Wednesday night and last night both at the police barricade at Broadway & Pine on Capitol Hill, which is becoming a new version of the nightly faceoff between protesters and SPD officers at the "western barricade" by the East Precinct that preceded the creation of the CHOP; Washington reported 716 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, the state's highest daily number since the start of the pandemic, driven in part by a dramatic surge in cases in Eastern Washington; and Governor Inslee announced that starting July 7th businesses statewide will be required to turn away customers who aren't wearing masks or face fines and eventually closure, and that there will be a two-week moratorium on any counties proceeding to the next phase of reopening.
STATS
Washington & King County
As of last night at 11:59 pm
Statewide: 34,778 confirmed cases (+627), 1,352 deaths (+10)
Total tests conducted: 599,975 (+14,986), 5.8% positive

King County: 10,684 confirmed cases (+149), 618 deaths (+3)
King County Key Indicators (last updated 6/30 at 1:37 pm)

U.S.
Today
2,732,531 confirmed cases (+53,301), 128,648 deaths (+624)
Total tests conducted: 34,213,497 (+721,054)

The world
Today
11,048,509 confirmed cases (+212,009), 524,663 deaths (+4,029)
Local Protest News
There were protests and arrests Wednesday night and last night both at the police barricade at Broadway & Pine on Capitol Hill, which is becoming a new version of the nightly faceoff between protesters and SPD officers at the "western barricade" by the East Precinct that preceded the creation of the CHOP. [Capitol Hill Seattle Blog, Q13 Fox]

SPD is currently enforcing a 10-day cordon of the former CHOP zone to allow City crews time to clean the area, refusing access to anyone who doesn't live, work, or have business within the boundaries of their cordon. Officers are in some cases requiring ID in order to let residents simply walk through the cordon to their own homes, and businesses inside the restricted zone say that the new police occupation is making it hard for them to operate.

The King County Prosecutor's Office announced that it didn't file criminal charges against any of the more than 60 protesters who were arrested during the clearing of the CHOP on Wednesday, and said that its policy of not charging non-violent protesters hasn't changed. [MyNorthwest]

KING 5 released exclusive footage that they shot from behind police lines Wednesday morning while the CHOP was being cleared and SPD officers were re-entering the East Precinct for the first time since they abandoned it to the protesters on Monday, June 8th (SPD didn't allow any other media outlets past their roadblocks during Wednesday morning's operation as far as I know). [KING 5]

There were reports that SPD officers used pepper spray and other crowd control weapons while clearing the CHOP, potentially in violation of a temporary injunction from a judge stemming from an ongoing lawsuit over use of excessive force being brought by the ACLU on behalf of several protesters. [Seattle Times]

And Seattle Black Collective Voice, a Black-led group that grew out of the CHOP, published an op-ed in the South Seattle Emerald telling the story of the CHOP in their own words; and KUOW talked to Converge Media's Omari Salisbury, who's been live-streaming from the front lines of the protests every day for over a month now, about his take on the protest zone.
Local COVID-19 News
Image from GeekWire
Washington reported 716 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday--the state's highest daily number since the start of the pandemic--driven in part by a dramatic surge in cases in Eastern Washington. Hospitalizations remain significantly below their highs from late March and early April, though, and statewide deaths are at some of their lowest levels since the pandemic began, largely because most of the new cases are occurring in people under 40 (including a significant outbreak among students in UW's Greek Row), who are at much lower risk of dying from the disease. [Seattle Times daily updates, Seattle Times, Seattle TimesGeekWire]

Governor Inslee announced that starting July 7th businesses statewide will be required to turn away customers who aren't wearing masks or face fines and eventually closure, and that there will be a two-week moratorium on any counties proceeding to the next phase of reopening. [KING 5]

Matt Baume looked at the Seattle Public Library's Library to Business program, which is "basically like a business advisor program available to local entrepreneurs, for free," and now includes help navigating the world of coronavirus relief as well as free 30-minute sessions with volunteer lawyers who work for local companies but donate their time to the program. [The Stranger]

And in order to replenish the state's unemployment insurance funds that are being exhausted by the pandemic, the unemployment taxes that employers pay could nearly triple by 2022 if the state is unable to offset the need for new taxes by getting federal grants or loans. [Seattle Times]
National COVID-19 and Protest News
There were more than 55,000 new cases reported across the country on Thursday according to the New York Times, setting a new daily record for the sixth time in the last nine days. Case counts are rising in 40 out of the 50 states; 24% of Arizona's tests are coming back positive; and Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who earlier in the year prohibited any counties or cities from requiring their residents to wear masks, implemented a statewide requirement to wear a mask in public in any county with more than 20 cases. [New York Times, Seattle TimesNPR, NBC News]

The U.S. added 4.8 million jobs between May 12th and June 12th (a time period that ends just before the current spike in cases began), and the unemployment rate fell slightly to 11.1%, lower than its peak of 14.7% in April but "still higher than in any previous period since World War II." [Washington Post, New York Times]

The White House is reportedly planning to roll out a unified COVID-19 messaging strategy next week based on a theme that one anonymous administration official described as "we need to live with it," focusing on reopening the economy, promoting treatments that are showing promise, and emphasizing that statistically speaking, most Americans won't be killed by the coronavirus (the latter point was used heavily earlier in the year in Republican ad campaigns against the shutdown orders). [NBC News]

The Washington Post looked at the importance of dozens of lawsuits by Democratic groups and Republican groups alike that are winding their way through the court system now in determining how easy it's going to be for voters to procure and use absentee ballots to cast their votes this November. [Washington Post]

And researchers at a university in Florida measured the effectiveness of various types of face coverings at preventing the spread of droplets from simulated coughs and sneezes, and found that "droplets from a simulated uncovered cough were able to travel more than 8 feet; with a bandana they traveled 3 feet, with a folded cotton handkerchief, they traveled 1 foot, 3 inches; and with the cone-style mask, droplets traveled about 8 inches. With the stitched-quilting fabric mask, they traveled 2.5 inches." [CNN]
Viral
In the Covid-19 Economy, You Can Have a Kid or a Job. You Can’t Have Both. [New York Times, 1.2 million shares]

Young people are throwing coronavirus parties with a payout when one gets infected, official says [CNN, 810k shares]

Study finds hydroxychloroquine may have boosted survival, but other researchers have doubts [CNN, 610k shares]

Minnesota Gov. Walz asks Trump for disaster declaration after George Floyd riots trigger over $500M in damages [Fox News, 434k shares]

Texas governor mandates mask-wearing across most of state as coronavirus cases surge [NBC News, 328k shares]

Hillary Clinton thinks she would handle coronavirus pandemic better than Trump, would beat him in November [Fox News, 293k shares]

Hydroxychloroquine lowers COVID-19 death rate, Henry Ford Health study finds [The Detroit News, 283k shares]

Hydroxychloroquine helped save coronavirus patients, study shows; Trump campaign hails 'fantastic news' [Fox News, 281k shares]

 
Ending on a high note
Text one of your friends or family members with kids for their Disney+ password, because the movie version of the hit musical Hamilton (which as I understand it is just a professionally filmed version of a stage performance by the original Broadway cast) is now available for streaming, well in advance of its originally planned October 2021 theatrical release date. 
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Copyright © 2020 Sol Villarreal, All rights reserved.


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