SEDRO-WOOLLEY, Wash. (AP) — It’s been over a year since a choir practice in Washington state sickened 53 people and killed two, becoming one of the first known COVID-19 superspreader events in the United States. But from that tragic toll emerged one of the most pivotal transmission episodes in understanding the virus. Experts say the public health investigation that followed was key in concluding that the virus was spreading through the air. The children of one of the women who died gathered recently to honor her. They say they’re comforted to know that knowledge gained from the event has helped advance preventative measures and save lives.
SEATTLE (AP) — Prosecutors say a suburban Seattle woman accused of threatening her Vietnamese American neighbor has been arrested and charged with a hate crime. The Seattle Times reports the neighbor of Jan Myers in Shoreline said Myers had acted erratically and yelled racial slurs at her for years. Prosecutors say on April 5, “these anti-Asian racial slurs escalated to threatening behavior.” The charges say Myers referred to the neighbor as “slant eye,” and yelled “Hey Miss Vietnam … You’re not going to live very long.” Police say the neighbor recorded video that documented the confrontation. Court records do not show which attorney is representing Myers.
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Gov. Jay Inslee will announce Monday whether some counties in Washington state will have to roll back to Phase 2 of the state’s COVID-19 reopening plan because of rising cases. At a news conference Thursday Inslee said “we’ve let our guard down to some degree.” All of Washington’s 39 counties are currently in Phase 3 of Inslee’s reopening plan, meaning all indoor spaces — including indoor dining at restaurants, indoor fitness centers, and retail — have been able to increase capacity from 25% to 50%. Larger events like concerts and graduation ceremonies are OK since up to 400 people will be allowed to gather for indoor and outdoor activities as long as physical distancing and masking are enforced.
SEATTLE (AP) — The Biden administration has halted the sale of the federal archives building in Seattle, following months of opposition from people across the Pacific Northwest and a lawsuit by the Washington Attorney General’s Office. Sen. Patty Murray said in a news release Thursday that the federal Office of Management and Budget had withdrawn its approval for the sale, which would have forced the transfer of millions of records to facilities in Kansas City, Missouri, and Riverside, California. A federal judge had already blocked the sale. Among the records at the center are tribal, military, land, court, tax and census documents.