Live: Coronavirus daily news updates, May 4: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the nation
Health

Live: Coronavirus daily news updates, May 4: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the nation

About two-thirds of Seattleites say they’re willing to keep up physical distancing for as long as required, according to a new survey. Many respondents here said they’d want one of two things to happen — both based on data — before distancing can be put to rest: Widespread antibody testing or a significant drop in coronavirus cases.

The survey also showed about one-third of Seattle residents have either lost their job or had their hours cut because of the COVID-19 crisis, 69% say they have cut back on food spending since the crisis began, and 23% have skipped a credit card or loan payment.

A few dates to know as you start the week: As of today, Costco customers are required to wear masks (meanwhile, Whole Foods is providing masks but not requiring them for shoppers). And tomorrow, more than 100 Washington state parks will reopen.

Throughout Monday, on this page, we’ll be posting updates from Seattle Times journalists and others on the pandemic and its effects on the Seattle area, the Pacific Northwest and the world. Updates from Sunday can be found here, and all our coronavirus coverage can be found here.

The following graphic includes the most recent numbers from the Washington State Department of Health, released Sunday afternoon.

Live updates:

Stimulus aid is on the way for college students, but some are getting left out

Some critics say stimulus money for college students in the federal CARES Act should have been allocated differently, and there needs to be more of it. (Alan Berner / The Seattle Times)
Some critics say stimulus money for college students in the federal CARES Act should have been allocated differently, and there needs to be more of it. (Alan Berner / The Seattle Times)

Washington colleges and universities are getting more than $220 million in stimulus money, and half of it is supposed to go to needy students whose educations were scrambled by the coronavirus. But many of those students are excluded. Here’s where the money is and isn’t going.

And, around the country, some college students who are unimpressed by online schooling are demanding refunds.

Quarantine Corner: Making it easier to be stuck at home

There are plenty of fun ways to stretch your kid’s brain (and your own) at home this week, whether you’re listening to sloth sounds or embracing the rain with a little science project. Here are five ideas.

Athena, a two-toed sloth, hangs at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., in December 2019. (National Zoo)
Athena, a two-toed sloth, hangs at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., in December 2019. (National Zoo)

—Kris Higginson

Here’s help

Can’t make your car payment? Take proactive steps to keep from ruining your credit.

Using all your credit cards now will protect your finances. Wait, what?! Strange times call for strange measures, and here’s the reasoning from columnist Chuck Jaffe, who isn’t advising you to spend more.

The pandemic is leaving a trail of depression and anxiety. Nutrition isn’t a cure, but studies have shown strong associations between diet and mental well-being, nutritionist Carrie Dennett writes. Here are resources for mental health support, as well as emergency food, child care and more.

Research has shown a correlation between eating a Mediterranean diet — high in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, legumes, fish and olive oil — and improved mental health. (Dreamstime / TNS)
Research has shown a correlation between eating a Mediterranean diet — high in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, legumes, fish and olive oil — and improved mental health. (Dreamstime / TNS)

—Kris Higginson

Catch up on the past 24 hours

Washington hospitals are facing a new crisis: They’re bleeding red ink as patients stay home in the wake of canceled appointments and surgeries. Community health centers are facing particularly daunting finances.

More than 100 Washington state parks’ gates swing open tomorrow. Here’s the list and a look at when other parts of Washington might reopen. The park access creates chances to heal your spirit through hiking; just know how to do it safely.

Many Seattleites plan to continue social distancing long after the stay-home order is lifted, FYI Guy writes. In Texas, though, they’re already going back to movie theaters.

If you get sick at work, is your company liable? Congress is revving up for a fight with huge implications for how millions of Americans will re-enter workplaces. Masked senators open a new session today, but the House is staying home.

When will casinos reopen? That’s up to tribes, major employers whose economic pain stretches beyond reservation borders. The first reopening is planned for next week.

The Lummi Nation’s first cluster of cases in weeks has been traced to children playing together.

Read this before your next grocery run: Whole Foods will provide face masks for shoppers, and Costco’s new mask requirement starts today for its customers. Are you wearing yours properly? Many people aren’t.

The coronavirus is worsening the racial wealth gap. Columnist Naomi Ishisaka looks at how federal loans are discriminating against some small businesses owned by people of color and women.

Will the Supreme Court justices be in pajamas when the session opens today? That may remain a mystery, but we can all listen to live arguments this morning, for the first time ever, as the justices conduct their work by phone.

If you work in a senior or long-term care facility in Washington, we’d like to hear from you. How have you navigated the challenges of your job both before and during the pandemic? What is the situation like now?

—Kris Higginson

How is this outbreak affecting you?

What has changed about your daily life? What kinds of discussions are you having with family members and friends? Are you a health care worker who’s on the front lines of the response? Are you a COVID-19 patient or do you know one? Whoever you are, we want to hear from you so our news coverage is as complete, accurate and useful as possible. If you’re using a mobile device and can’t see the form on this page, click here.

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