Live: Coronavirus daily news updates, May 30: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state, and the world

Live: Coronavirus daily news updates, May 30: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state, and the world


Gov. Jay Inslee unveiled a new coronavirus recovery plan Friday — days before his existing stay-at-home order expires — which could soon allow a range of businesses in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties to reopen, including barbershops, hair salons and some restaurant dining. And the new directive adds something else: Workers in Washington will have to wear facial coverings at their jobs, unless they don’t have in-person interactions.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump on Friday leveled an extraordinary broadside at the Chinese government, accusing it of a comprehensive “pattern of misconduct” and ordered U.S. officials to begin the process of revoking Hong Kong’s special status under U.S. law.

Throughout Saturday, on this page, we’ll post 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 Friday 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 Friday.

Live updates:

Pandemic’s overall death toll in U.S. likely surpassed 100,000 weeks ago

The number of people reported to have died of the novel coronavirus in the United States surpassed 100,000 this week, but an analysis of overall deaths during the pandemic shows that the nation probably reached a similar terrible milestone three weeks ago.

Between March 1 and May 9, the nation recorded an estimated 101,600 excess deaths, or deaths beyond the number that would normally be expected for that time of year, according to an analysis conducted for The Washington Post by a research team led by the Yale School of Public Health.

That figure reflects about 26,000 more fatalities than were attributed to COVID-19 on death certificates during that period, according to federal data.

Those 26,000 fatalities were not necessarily caused directly by the virus. They could also include people who died as a result of the epidemic but not from the disease itself, such as those who were afraid to seek medical help for unrelated illnesses. Increases or decreases in other categories of deaths, such as motor vehicle accidents, also affect the count.

Such “excess death” analyses are a standard tool used by epidemiologists to gauge the true toll of infectious-disease outbreaks and other widespread disasters.

Read the whole story here.

—Washington Post

Researchers warn COVID-19 could cause debilitating long-term illness in some patients

Researchers are raising alarms that the novel coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease it causes will also leave in its wake a potentially large population with post-viral problems that could be lifelong and, in some cases, disabling.

At the National Institutes of Health and elsewhere, scientists who have been studying post-viral ME/CFS are seizing the opportunity to focus on COVID-19 patients. They want to understand what biological factors separate those who regain their health from those who remain sick.

“We want to look at who recovers and who doesn’t,” said Avindra Nath, the head of clinical neurology at NIH’s Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, who is gearing up to study COVID-19 patients. “It’s quite possible some will never get their health back.”

In addition to emerging reports of damage to lungs, kidneys and hearts, COVID-19 patients are complaining of ongoing crushing fatigue, muscle pain, cognitive problems and other symptoms.

Read the whole story here.

—Washington Post

Catch up on the past 24 hours:

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an emergency appeal by a California church challenging limits on attendance at worship services. In the 5-4 decision, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s four liberals in turning away a request from the South Bay United Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista, California. Roberts wrote that the restrictions allowing churches to reopen at 25% of their capacity, with no more than 100 worshipers at a time, “appear consistent” with the First Amendment.

A federal judge has given Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials until Tuesday to explain why they can’t begin immediate testing for the novel coronavirus of the more than 600 immigration detainees at the Northwest Immigration and Customs Enforcement Processing Center.

Federal authorities have sent a warning letter telling a Seattle-based entrepreneur to stop all efforts to sell a purported coronavirus “vaccine’’ and remove any online claims that he can treat, cure or prevent COVID-19 symptoms.

A developer is pulling out of a planned $25 million deal to purchase the site of the former 13 Coins restaurant in South Lake Union. Onni, the Vancouver, B.C., real-estate group, cited the economic downturn due to the coronavirus pandemic in cancelling its plans. Nine months ago, Onni paid $1 million for an exclusive option to purchase the parcel, which is entitled for a 40-story apartment building.

—Jim Brunner


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