Recap of July 11 COVID-19 News and Updates

Statewide Response Updates

OLYMPIA - Newest numbers. The state of Washington reported a total of 40,656 cases as of July 11 at 11:59 p.m. The total number of deaths are at 1,438. For the most recent tally of cases by county, demographics, and more, visit the Department of Health's dashboard and the state’s COVID-19 risk assessment dashboard.

Inslee requests extension of National Guard mission for COVID-19 pandemic response. Gov. Jay Inslee sent a letter today to the Trump administration requesting an extension of federal authority and funding for Washington National Guard employment in support of COVID-19 pandemic emergency response operations through December 31, 2020. The Washington National Guard has supported missions to support food bank operations, COVID-19 mapping, assembling test kits and operating community based test sites. They’ve delivered more than 1.3 million meals, tested over 14,000 people and built more than 150,000 test kits. Read the full letter here.  

Two employees in state veterans homes test positive for COVID-19. The state Department of Veterans Affairs announced this weekend that an employee at the Washington Veterans Home in Port Orchard and an employee at the Washington Soldiers Home in Orting were diagnosed with COVID-19. The homes are taking additional precautions regarding screening, testing and cleaning. You can find the press release with more information as well as updated test numbers for staff and residents at all four DVA facilities on DVA’s COVID-19 web page.

DOH media briefing tomorrow on COVID-19 death data. Dr. Cathy Wasserman, DOH’s state epidemiologist for non-infectious conditions, and Dr. Katie Hutchinson, DOH’s health statistics manager, will provide an update on COVID-19 death data tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. TVW will livestream the briefing here

State continues efforts to expand broadband. Safe reopening and economic recovery will mean businesses, educators and students, health providers and more will need access to broadband. The Washington State Public Works Board is accepting applications for broadband infrastructure construction grants and loans through September 9, 2020. Approximately $9.1 million is available for low-interest loans and $8.6 million for grants.

Cities, towns, counties, public port districts, special purpose districts, quasi-municipal corporations, tribes, nonprofit organizations, cooperative associations, limited liability corporations organized for the purpose of expanding broadband access, and incorporated businesses or partnerships are eligible to apply. For more information and to apply, visit the Public Works Board’s Broadband Financing web page.

DOH says inadvertent COVID-19-related messages sent while training staff. On Friday, July 10, the Washington State Department of Health became aware that it may have sent COVID-19-related text messages and emails in error. While training staff on a new data-sharing platform, the agency neglected to disable the ability for texts and emails to leave the test environment. Randomly created phone numbers and emails, with no connection to public health data, may have received messages between late May and early July. The number of texts and emails sent in error is less than 50. DOH has followed up with individuals who may have received an erroneous message.

Resources

Washington 211 COVID-19 call center is a general information line related to COVID-19. If you need information or have a general question, call 1-800-525-0127 or text 211-211 for help. You can also text the word “Coronavirus” to 211-211 to receive information and updates on your phone 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.

Washington Listens helps people manage stress and anxiety they may be experiencing because of COVID-19. If you or anyone you know is having difficulties managing stress, call the Washington Listens support line at 1-833-681-0211. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. TTY and language access services are available by using 7-1-1 or their preferred method. Resources and self-help tips are available on walistens.org. NEW! Fact sheets are now available in multiple languages: Cambodian, Chinese, Korean, Laotian, Russian, Somali, Spanish and Vietnamese.

Want to help? Join the Washington Mask Challenge. The Lt. Governor’s office has partnered with the United Ways of the Pacific Northwest and Serve Washington to organize a statewide homemade mask-making initiative to encourage the general public to make, wear, and donate cloth masks. Visit www.wamaskchallenge.org for information.

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