Tag Archives: Washington

Coronavirus in Washington — live updates, cases, and news

Coronavirus cases and fatalities in Washington

A regularly-updated map of confirmed COVID-19 cases, borough by borough.

The number is based on confirmed diagnostic tests. It is very likely that the true number of COVID-19 cases is higher as many cases are asymptomatic.

New COVID-19 cases and fatalities per day in Washington

This is a good indicator of “flattening the curve” — when there is a steady decreasing trend, it is an indicator that the spread of the disease is slowing down.

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If you’d like to use these graphs and maps on your site or articles, please e-mail us.

Cases, updates, and charts on the coronavirus crisis for each US state and territory. Just follow the links below.

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Get Information by Phone or Text

If you have questions about what is happening in Washington, or how the virus is spread, please call 1-800-525-0127 and press # from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. Language assistance is available. Please note that this call center cannot access COVID-19 testing results. For testing inquiries or results, please contact your health care provider.

You may also text the word “Coronavirus” to 211211 to receive information and updates wherever you are. You will receive links to the latest information on COVID-19, including county-level updates, and resources for families, businesses, students, and more.

On January 21, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Washington State Department of Health announced the first case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States in Washington state.

This guidance does not pertain to Gov. Jay Inslee’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order issued March 23, 2020. Information on that order is available on the Governor’s website.

Learn more about the coronavirus from Washington state’s official COVID-19 website. Maintained by the state Joint Information Center.

Current Status in Washington State

4/21: Preliminary data on total hospitalizations for COVID-19 confirmed cases (PDF) are now available. The data represent cumulative counts for hospitalizations and are presented by admission date, date of illness onset, age, sex, and race/ethnicity. 
4/19: Total cases reported today (4/19/20) are lower than yesterday. Data cleaning that occurred late on 4/18 removed 222 confirmed cases that were discovered to be out of state residents.
4/12: Effective April 12, we have added a downloadable table (XLSX). It is also available in the ‘Epidemiologic Curves’ tab under ‘Select views.’

Coronavirus in Washington News:

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A whopping 1,778 methane vent sites found off the coast of Washington

The first such survey in the area revealed hundreds of bubble columns, mostly located along a geologic fault.

Sonar image of bubbles rising from the seafloor off Washington’s coast. This is from a 2014 survey in deeper water: The base of the column is 1/3 of a mile (515 meters) deep and the top of the plume is at 1/10 of a mile (180 meters) deep. Image credits: Brendan Philip /University of Washington.

For a while now, scientists have noticed columns of bubbles rise from the seafloor near Washington — as if a sleeping dragon were lying below. But far from being a dragon, these bubbles are actually caused by methane squeezed out of seafloor sediment and rising up through the water.

These bubble plumes are clustered in a north-south band about 30 miles (50 kilometers) from the coast. The gas and fluid are associated with geological faults generated by the motion of geologic plates that produce major offshore earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest.

In order to map their distribution, researchers analyzed data from multiple research cruises over the past decade, using sonar technology to map the seafloor and generate images of gas bubbles within the overlying water. The locations where they emerge provide important clues to what will happen during a major offshore earthquake. Seismic surveys used for oil exploration in the 70s and 80s which are now publicly available were also used in the survey.

“We found the first methane vents on the Washington margin in 2009, and we thought we were lucky to find them, but since then, the number has just grown exponentially,” said lead author Paul Johnson, a UW professor of oceanography.

These aren’t exactly strong volcanic-type methane vents — more like champagne bubbles. They’re also a bit unpredictable.

“These vents are a little ephemeral,” Johnson added. “Sometimes they turn off-and-on with the tides, and they can move around a little bit on the seafloor. But they tend to occur in clusters within a radius of about three football fields. Sometimes you’ll go out there and you’ll see one active vent and you’ll go back to the same location and it’s gone. They’re not reliable, like the geysers at Yellowstone.”

However, there’s so many of them that if you’re in the area, you’re never too far from one.

“If you were able to walk on the seafloor from Vancouver Island to the Columbia River, you would never be out of sight of a bubble plume,” Johnson said.

These gas emissions actually have a beneficial effect to the local community: they provide important nutrients for local bacteria, which in turn end up feeding and supporting the ecosystem, meaning that these sites are productive fishing grounds.

These vents could also help researchers better assess the earthquake hazard from the Cascadia Subduction Zone, which last ruptured more than 300 years ago.

Journal Reference: Johnson at al. Anomalous Concentration of Methane Emissions at the Continental Shelf Edge of the Northern Cascadia Margin. Journal of Geophysical Research. DOI: 10.1029/2018JB016453

Treasure trove of stone tools found in Puget Sound

Is there anything you can’t buy in today’s shopping malls? The list must be pretty short already, but now we can cut artifacts off it. Archaeologists in Redmond US., working on a routine survey to get the green light for a construction site near a mall in the area, found thousands of stone tools estimated to be at least 10,000 years old, “The Seattle Times” reported.

It started off as a routine dig, but it quicky became one of the most important finds in the area when the archaeologists dug deeper.
Image via seattletimes

The lot is situated on the shores of Bear Creek, a tributary to the Sammamish River, near Redmond Town Center in Redmond, Washington. It was already surveyed back in 2009, during a project to restore salmon habitat in the creek (they were confined in a rock-lined channel decades before). The findings then were an unremarkable assortment of artifacts, reported archaeologist Robert Kopperl of SWCA Environmental Consultants, who led the field investigations.

This time however, the team dug deeper, and found a foot-thick layer of peat. Preserved in the remnants of this ancient marsh, the team found more than 4,000 stone flakes, scrapers, awls and spear points crafted by the ancient inhabitants of the region.

“We were pretty amazed,” said Robert Kopperl.“This is the oldest archaeological site in the Puget Sound lowland with stone tools.”

Carbon dating showed that the peat was at least 10,000 years old, making the tools some of the oldest found in Puget Sound. The site appears to have been occupied by small groups of people who were making and repairing stone tools, said Kopperl.

Preliminary chemical analysis of one of the tools showed traces of the food the stone age people of Puget Sound were eating, including bison, deer, bear, sheep and salmon.

Archaeologists are very excited about the find, and it’s easy to see why: this treasure trove of artifacts is already offering fresh insight into a time when the last ice age was drawing to a close and humans shared the land with prehistoric bison and mammoths, that roamed freely and in large numbers in Western Washington, and it promises to reveal much more until all the artifacts are analyzed.

“We knew right away that it was a pretty significant find,” said Washington State Historic Preservation Officer Allyson Brooks.

Kopperl and his colleagues published their initial analysis earlier this year in the journal PaleoAmerica. He’ll discuss the findings Saturday morning in a presentation sponsored by the Redmond Historical Society.

Office workers gather on the sidewalk in downtown Washington, Tuesday, moments after a 5.9 magnitude tremor shook the nation's capitol. (c) J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press

5.9 earthquake hits the US East Coast

A small, yet frightening earthquake, registered at 5.9 magnitude, sent shivers down people’s spines all the way from Ottawa, Canada to North Carolina as it hit the North American east coast.

Office workers gather on the sidewalk in downtown Washington, Tuesday, moments after a 5.9 magnitude tremor shook the nation's capitol. (c) J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press

Office workers gather on the sidewalk in downtown Washington, Tuesday, moments after a 5.9 magnitude tremor shook the nation's capitol. (c) J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press

The earthquake first caused ground shacking at 1:51 p.m. ET, when it measured 5.9 in magnitude and lasted only 45 seconds, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Now, although the earthquake was fairly weak and, luckily, uneventful damage-wise it produced a lot of panic, mostly because of the more powerful shacking, despite the low magnitude. The epicenter was registered 4 miles southwest of Mineral, Va., near Richmond, Va., just about 80 miles south of Washington, D.C., however the depth of the quake was only 0.6 miles which explains the afformentioned shacking.

No injuries or damages have been reported thus far, despite this the east coast quake managed to unleash a mass hysteria. Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Sprint say their networks were congested as the quake sent people scrambling for the phones. Nevermind twitter, which was simply flooded with millions of quake reports in mere seconds as people quickly turned to their mobile phones. A lot of buildings throughout major metropolitan centers in the northeast were evacuated after the quake, in sight of a possible upcoming after-shock, and nuclear reactors at the North Anna Power Station in Louisa County, Virginia, were automatically taken off line by safety systems around the time of the earthquake.

US citizens are generally prepared for quakes, in the west coast that is. Earthquakes are so rare on the left side of the Atlantic that the whole event caught everybody off guard, which just goes to say how unpredictable quakes really are.

“It’s very unusual for an earthquake of this size on the East Coast,” said Thomas Hillman Jordan, director of the Southern California Earthquake Center at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, in a telephone interview. “It’s a moderate size earthquake, and on the East Coast they tend to be felt over a much larger area.”

“This is a good reminder that even on the East Coast you want to be prepared,” he said.

People stand on the streets of Washington, Aug. 23, 2011, after evacuating from buildings following a 5.9 earthquake that hit northwest of Richmond, Va., shaking much of Washington, D.C., and felt as far north as Rhode Island and New York City. (c) Charles Dharapak/AP

People stand on the streets of Washington, Aug. 23, 2011, after evacuating from buildings following a 5.9 earthquake that hit northwest of Richmond, Va., shaking much of Washington, D.C., and felt as far north as Rhode Island and New York City. (c) Charles Dharapak/AP

The epicenter is located right in the middle of the North American continental crustal plat. The area around it, however, bears the scars left over from 200-300 million years ago when it used to be an active earthquake zone, at a time when the Atlantic Ocean rifted apart from Europe.

“Central Virginia does get its share of minor earthquakes, but an earthquake of this size on the East Coast is certainly very unusual,” says seismologist Karen Fischer of Brown University.

“We are just seeing pressure build up and release on those scars,” Fischer says. “There is a lot of debate on exactly what is going on down there and exactly how quakes this big happen in this kind of crustal zone.”

As important follow-up news of the event occur, this page will be updated to reflect them. Stay tuned for coverage.