Washington Gov. Jay Inslee to give televised statewide speech


OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Gov. Jay Inslee plans to give a statewide address Monday night on the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, which continues to spread in Washington state.

On Monday, Boeing announced it was shutting down its Seattle-area production facilities for two weeks. Health officials reported Sunday there have been at least 95 coronavirus deaths in Washington state and nearly 2,000 confirmed cases.

In a statement Monday, Inslee said he applauded Boeing’s decision “to implement an orderly shutdown and continue to pay its workers during this difficult time.”

“Now is a time for bold actions like these, and we will continue to look at what can be done statewide,” Inslee wrote.

Inslee’s statewide address is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. PDT and will be carried live on TV stations and other digital platforms across the state.

Shuksan Healthcare Center, a skilled nursing center in Bellingham, had 29 new cases confirmed on Sunday, according to the Whatcom County Health Department. The Bellingham Herald reports 23 of the new cases were residents while six were Shuksan employees.

The new cases bring the total number of ill Shuksan residents and employees to 32 when added to the three confirmed cases — all residents — announced by the health department on Saturday.

“The Whatcom County Health Department recognizes the significance and impact of this situation. We are working with Shuksan Healthcare Center to do everything possible for all patients, their families and staff,” said Mark Raaka, emergency preparedness specialist for the health department said in a release on Sunday night.

The ill residents were being cared for at Shuksan.

The state has already closed schools through late April, banned events and large gatherings and ordered bars to close and restaurants to serve only take out or delivery options and state and local leaders continue to urge people to stay at home and practice social distancing, but not everyone is following the advice. People have hit the trails, parks and beaches despite warnings.

King County Search and Rescue is now asking people to avoid hiking so that its volunteers don’t have to respond and use their valued personal protective equipment if called.


AP reporter Martha Bellisle contributed from Seattle.