Thu, Jun 30, 2022
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Statewide business requirement on face coverings

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Gov. Jay Inslee and Sec. of Health John Wiesman announced Thursday a statewide requirement for businesses to require face coverings of all employees and customers.

Under the proclamation, businesses may not serve any customer, services or goods, if they do not comply with the statewide face covering order. The extension comes in response to growing case counts in counties across the state.

"We're doing this because of a spike in cases of COVID-19 all over the state," Inslee said. "The better we can protect ourselves from the virus, the better we can avoid repeating some of the painful measures we had to take in the spring to shut down the economy."

Through Saturday, Washington reported 651 new coronavirus cases on and five additional deaths. The update brought the state's totals to 35,898 cases and 1,359 deaths, meaning about 3.8% of people diagnosed in Washington have died.

Friday state health officials confirmed 469 new cases and two additional deaths. Though cases have been accelerating recently in Washington, Saturday's numbers showed a lower volume of new cases from in the previous two days, which were 716 and 627.

As of Saturday (midnight) 612,706 tests for the novel coronavirus have been conducted in the state, per the Department of Health. Of those, 5.9% have come back positive since testing began.

The virus is surging the fastest in eastern Washington.

Pacific County has a total of 17 positive COVID-19 cases.

Nationally, 40 out of 50 states are experiencing rising caseloads.

Gov. Jay Inslee announced last Tuesday (June 30) the state has distributed nearly $365 million in federal funds to help with COVID-19 response and relief efforts across Washington. Distributed to seven state agencies and the University of Washington, the allocations include nearly $351 million in federal CARES Act funding and $13.5 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The state has distributed more than $950 million in federal COVID-19 relief and response funds.

This week's distributions include $163 million to the state Department of Commerce to provide aid to many of those hardest hit by the economic fallout from the worst pandemic in more than a century. Two of the distributions include $100 million to provide rent assistance to low-income renters at risk of homelessness, using an existing framework to send rent payments directly to landlords, and $20 million to provide grants to help small businesses, support for local economic development organizations providing assistance to businesses, and support for data-driven recovery plans by region and industry.

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