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Coronavirus coverage for Spokane County, April 8

Find developments on the coronavirus outbreak in Washington state and Spokane County and we work together to separate facts from fear.

SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. — Key Facts: 

  • 421 coronavirus deaths among 9,097cases in Washington
  • 87,902 people in Washington have tested for coronavirus. That means 8.6% of the cases tested positive.  
  • 13 coronavirus deaths among 239 cases in Spokane County 
  • Gov. Jay Inslee announced the cancellation of all in-person K-12 classes statewide for the remainder of the school year

Read previous daily coronavirus updates from April 7 here

Wednesday, April 8

Coronavirus deaths increase in Washington 

The Washington State Department of Health confirmed Wednesday there have been 421 deaths from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) among 9,097 cases statewide. 

King County alone has reported 242 deaths from coronavirus among 3,668 cases. The county with the second-highest number of deaths is Snohomish County at 162 deaths among 1,651 total cases. 

3:34 p.m. 

A resident at the Spokane Veterans Home has died of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

This marks the first veteran to die from the virus in the Spokane area.

As of Wednesday morning, there have been 13 deaths among 239 positive cases of coronavirus in Spokane County. More than 40 people have been hospitalized and 15 are still receiving care.

According to the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs, one of two resident that tested positive for the virus this week died on Wednesday. The resident who died "had been on end-of-life care for some time and had underlying medical conditions", according to the WSDVA.

The symptoms of the resident's roommate, who also tested positive, have lessened, according to the department. 

The Spokane Veterans Home announced on March 31 that an employee had tested positive for coronavirus. That employee was tested on March 23 before returning to work on March 27 due to not showing symptoms. 

16,000 apply for food stamps

A total of 16,017 people submitted applications for food assistance during the week of March 30 across Washington state.

That's an increase of 2,419 over the previous week, when 13,598 applications were submitted - a decrease of 956 over the previous week.

The number of applications for food stamps has more than doubled since the beginning of March. There were a total of 7,777 applications submitted in the first week of the month.

10 a.m.

As of Wednesday morning, there have been 13 deaths among 239 positive cases of coronavirus in Spokane County. More than 40 people have been hospitalized and 15 are still receiving care.

5:30 a.m.

There are 13 coronavirus deaths and 227 coronavirus cases in Spokane County.

CDC may change guidelines for those exposed to the virus

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering changing its guidelines for self-isolation to make it easier for those who have been exposed to someone with the coronavirus to return to work if they are asymptomatic.

The public health agency, in conjunction with the White House coronavirus task force, is considering an announcement as soon as Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence said on Tuesday.

Under the proposed guidance, people who are exposed to someone infected would be allowed back on the job if they are asymptomatic, test their temperature twice a day and wear a face mask, said a person familiar with the proposal under consideration. The person described the proposal on the condition of anonymity because the draft had not been finalized.

UW Medicine seeks volunteers for virus outbreak prediction app 

As the U.S. deals with the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteers are being sought nationwide to test a smartphone app with the hopes of turning it into a personal screener that could predict viral outbreaks. 

UW Medicine in Seattle is recruiting 25,000 people across the country to download and use the Health and Injury Prediction and Prevention Using Complex Reasoning and Analytic Techniques Integrated on a Cellphone (HIPPOCRATIC) App. A three-year study into the app was initially started to track the outbreak of the flu.

The app will collect information from four groups of participants over two years. UW Medicine says people will be recruited for 12 weeks at a time and asked to record their symptoms daily. The study says questions may include:

  • How difficult was it to fall and stay asleep last night?
  • What best describes your activity level yesterday?
  • Do you have a sore throat?

Those who are interested can enroll here.

The latest COVID-19 numbers

The U.S. will likely reach 400,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 Wednesday. The total confirmed cases as of 6:30 a.m. ET Wednesday morning was 399,929, according to Johns Hopkins University. There were 12,911 deaths, an increase of more than 1,900 than JHU reported a day earlier. There have been 22,539 recoveries.

For perspective, the first case of COVID-19 in the U.S. was confirmed on Jan. 20 in Snohomish County. It took 67 days to reach 100,000 cases on March 27. Five days later, the U.S. had 200,000 cases on April 1. It took three more days to reach 300,000 on April 4. Four days later, it's expected to reach 400,000.

Worldwide, JHU reports 1.44 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 82,992 deaths and 307,819 recoveries.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including death.

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