Coronavirus daily news updates, May 18: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the nation
King County’s new directive on face coverings goes into effect today, and so does Sea-Tac Airport’s requirement that passengers wear them. (Many people don’t do this right — here’s a guide to wearing your mask properly.) The rule has some Seattleites caught in a conundrum, using masks warily as they worry about racial profiling.
COVID-19 deaths topped 1,000 in our state over the weekend, with more than half of those in King County, the state’s most populous.
A total of 285,243 tests for the coronavirus have so far been administered statewide, up a little more than 36,000 compared to a week ago. There’s been a modest decline in the rate of positive tests results — 6.5% as of late Saturday, compared to 6.8% the previous Saturday.
Throughout Monday, on this page, we’ll be posting updates from Seattle Times journalists and others on the pandemic and its effects on the Seattle area, the Pacific Northwest and the world. Updates from Sunday can be found here, and all our coronavirus coverage can be found here.
The following graphic includes the most recent numbers from the Washington State Department of Health, released Sunday.
Machete-wielding man attacks 2 over coronavirus closures
A Nashville couple were in critical condition after a man attacked them with a machete because he was angry about shutdowns that were taking place during the coronavirus pandemic, police said.
Kelvin D. Edwards, 35, attacked Kevin Craft, 55, and his wife Leanne Craft, 50, on Sunday afternoon in a Public Storage in the city, the Metro Nashville Police Department said in a statement.
Edwards took the machete from his bin at the storage facility and continued striking the couple even after they were bleeding on the floor, police said. The victims were transported to a hospital after officers who responded to the scene used multiple tourniquets to control their bleeding.
Police said they found Edwards with his hands raised in surrender on the street outside the facility three minutes after they got a 911 call about the attack.
Investigators said Edwards, who is homeless, told them he attacked the couple to demonstrate his anger about the coronavirus shutdowns and his inability to get into Rescue Mission, an organization that serves homeless people. According to its website, the Nashville Rescue Mission has remained open to individuals without shelter during the pandemic.
Read the story here.
—The Associated Press
Nearly one-third of Americans dealing with lower income due to pandemic, survey shows
Since the beginning of the coronavirus shutdown, 30% of Americans have experienced a decrease in household income, according to a new survey by Bankrate.
Of the 2,653 Americans surveyed about their financial situation, 1 in 5 workers reported applying for unemployment since mid-March, 30% reported a decline in income, one in five said their emergency savings fell and around 16% reported increasing their debt.
“The pandemic is deepening the financial hardship for millions of Americans,” says Greg McBride, CFA and Bankrate chief financial analyst. “Nearly one-third of households report lower income since the start of the pandemic, with half of those same households now having more debt and they are three times as likely to have seen their emergency savings also decline.”
Read the story here.
70 new coronavirus cases one week after schools reopen in France
Just one week after a third of French schoolchildren went back to school in an easing of the coronavirus lockdown, there’s been a worrying flareup of about 70 COVID-19 cases linked to schools.
Some schools opened last week, and a further 150,000 junior-high students went back to the classroom Monday as restrictions were loosened by the government. The move initially spelled relief: the end of homeschooling for many hundreds of thousands of exhausted French parents, many of whom were also working from home.
But French Education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer sounded the alarm Monday, telling French radio RTL that the return has put some children in new danger of contamination. He said the affected schools are being closed immediately. French media reported that seven schools in northern France were closed.
Read more here.
—The Associated Press
Quarantine Corner: Making it easier to stay home
‘More fun than the supermarket’
The fishing boat St. Jude scored tons and tons of high-quality tuna — and returned to find a Puget Sound area with no restaurant dining rooms.
So, they’re selling it directly to the public, with a side of cooking tips.
Catch up on the past 24 hours
Washington state relied heavily on a Chinese firm for coronavirus supplies, ordering $227.5 million worth of masks and other gear. So where is it? Mostly not available yet. Read the Times Watchdog story.
Caught between coronavirus and racial profiling, some Seattle residents are using masks warily, columnist Naomi Ishisaka writes.
The pandemic is creating a paradise for scammers. Know how to keep them from stealing your identity and money, and what to do if your name is used by unemployment fraudsters. Washington state officials are dealing with a flood of bogus unemployment claims — and with a U.S. attorney who got their hackles up by commenting on the state’s “vulnerabilities” to fraud.
COVID-19 patients were dying during every round Dr. Edward Rippe made. The needs were so dire that he took just eight days off to fight his own bout with the virus. Rippe and other doctors from the Seattle area who helped treat patients in New York are describing “hell” in the coronavirus hotspot.
Specialty’s Café & Bakery will close permanently. The national chain has locations in Seattle and Bellevue. We took a look at whether the grand delivery experiment is working for other local restaurants. And forlorn foodies may find a bit of solace in one familiar sight: Tom Douglas grilling Copper River salmon.
Travelers don’t have adequate protection from the coronavirus, writes Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell, who’s pushing for “clear, uniform” national guidelines at airports and on planes. Here’s what to expect when you travel.
Jack McMorrow, 14, woke up with “straight-up fire” running through his veins. The previously healthy New York teen was hospitalized with heart failure, a stark example of the coronavirus-linked severe inflammatory syndrome that has been identified in about 200 children. It’s shaken confidence that children were largely spared from the pandemic.
“COVID toes” are popping up more and more. For some people, it’s the first — or only — thing they notice on the growing list of bewildering coronavirus symptoms.
Homeowners who can’t make mortgage payments have a new deferral option.