5/7: Thursday Update

By sam No comments

It’s Thursday, which means…lots of news?  Yes!  Becky briefs listeners on lots of items as our state begins to open in a phased approach.  No interview today. 


  • The State Health Department has issued strong guidance urging Washingtonians to absolutely avoid engaging in social gatherings or parties, because uninfected people mingle with COVID-19 positive individuals and transmit the virus.
    • The department did rescind claims that individuals were intentionally gathering in so-called “COVID Parties,” after contact-tracing revealed that viral transmission was linked to unintentional, incidental person-to-person interactions.
    • Health officials note that the long-term health issues related to COVID-19 infection are still unknown, but may include diminished respiratory capacity, neurological effects, and liver issues.
    • Separately, as COVID-19 antibody tests become commercially available, state officials caution that there is not enough evidence to determine whether a positive test indicates that one is no longer contagious or has immunity from coronavirus.


  • Despite more than one-third of unemployment applicants still waiting to receive payments, Washington’s Employment Security Department stresses that those who have not been paid will receive benefits retroactive to the date they filed.
    • The department has received more initial claims in the past two months than in the previous three and a half years, contributing to the slowdown
    • People should continue to file claims weekly during their period of unemployment, even if you haven’t been paid yet


  • The Washington State Broadband Office is launching hundreds of new wifi hotspots across the state that will be available for free use by the public
    • All users must practice social distancing and hygiene precautions, including staying in one’s vehicle or keeping a 6-foot distance from others.
    • Some hotspots will be open and others will have Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) safe security installed.
    • Locations are listed at driveinwifi.wa.gov
    • Those without internet access may call the Department of Commerce at 360-725-4000 for more info
  • Washingtonians 21 and older may now order beer, wine and premixed cocktails to-go or for delivery from local restaurants or bars during the stay-at-home order.
    • Customers must order a full meal with their drink, and the drink must come in a container with a secure lid that doesn’t have any sipping holes.
    • Customers have to place the drink in the trunk or rear area of their car vehicle.


  • The Department of Fish and Wildlife is reminding Washingtonians that while many outdoor recreation opportunities are beginning to open, all coastal recreational saltwater fishing and shellfish harvest remains closed.
    • Puget Sound Marine areas 5 through 13 are open for sportfishing according to the 2019-2020 rules, with the exception of halibut, clams, oysters, mussels, and shrimp.
    • Anglers also may not use fishing guides or charters, as these businesses have not been granted permission to reopen.
  • Drive-in spiritual services may begin this week under the following guidelines:
    • All attendees must remain in their enclosed vehicle during the entire service
    • Windows, sunroofs, and convertible tops must stay closed unless the vehicle is parked more than 6 feet from other vehicles.
    • Each vehicle may have only members of the same household, with a maximum of 10 individuals per vehicle.
    • Physical offerings may only be collected via a drop-box upon leaving or entering the parking area
    • No food, beverages, or other materials may be distributed or collected before, after, or as part of the service, including communion wafers, bread, wine, or juice.
  • Vessel and Auto Sales may begin this week under COVID-19 Safety guidelines:
    • Most browsing, selection, communication, and financing applications must be done remotely
    • All vehicle and vessel surfaces must be sanitized after any employee or customer enters, and prior to a vehicle being released to the purchaser
    • Dealerships must provide PPE to employees if necessitated by the nature of their job, with all employees wearing a minimum of cloth face coverings while at job sites.
  • Full guidelines for spiritual services and vehicle sales can be found online at coronavirus.wa.gov in the “News” section.