The call for “social distancing” has never been greater in the Puget Sound region as Washington’s Department of Health announces 108 new cases of COVID-19, raising to total to 1012.
In announcement made on Tuesday, the state said the death toll has risen to 52, with 49 of them located in King County, the region home to Seattle – one of North America’s biggest epicentres for the outbreak.
King County hosts over half of the Washington’s cases, with 569 people testing positive in the region.
On Wednesday the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department announced the first death in the County since the outbreak, a woman in her 50s has died of complications from COVID-19.
So far 13,117 people in the state have been tested negative.
$200 million in emergency funding was approved by Gov. Inslee to help handle the outbreak. This will aid in increasing hospital capacity, expanding testing and provide resources to health organizations.
The Victoria Clipper has cancelled all sailings until April 30th. The boat normally sails between the Capital Regional District and Seattle. For more details, read more here.
The Black Ball Ferry Line, which runs between Victoria and Port Angeles in Washington, has also docked all sailings from March 30th to April 3oth.
Until then the COHO is offering services only to those who are trying to get home, and will transport goods that need to be delivered between the two countries.
“Our vital supply chains are interdependent,” said a the company in a statement on their website.
“We all share a commitment to one another and our communities. Whether it’s a Canadian returning from their winter home or an American in a similar situation, we are being mindful that people need to return to their loved ones and homes.”
Black Ball says it will continue to follow the guidelines set out by health officials, and understands the borders are closed for travellers between Canada and the United States.
Washington State has shut down all bars and restaurants, and has prohibited any gatherings of 50 people or more, and is encouraging to practice social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19.