Tuesday, May 26, 2020
May 26, 2020

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First DOC inmate tests positive for virus in Washington


SEATTLE — Authorities say an incarcerated man at Monroe Correctional Complex-Minimum Security prison tested positive for COVID-19, making his the first confirmed case contracted within Washington’s correctional facilities.

The Seattle Times reports that the Department of Corrections said Monday the sick man at Monroe had symptoms and was taken on Sunday to a community hospital center for examination.

The housing unit where the individual was previously housed was placed on quarantine and health care staff will be evaluating the approximately 119 other inmates for symptoms. There are a total of 420 individuals in the minimum security prison.

Money For Food Workers

A new fund in Seattle is aimed at helping restaurant and food-service workers who have lost jobs and income due to the pandemic.

The Schultz Family Foundation, launched by Starbucks founder Howard Schultz, announced the effort in partnership with the Seattle Foundation and other organizations Monday. It’s called The Plate Fund and it’s starting with $4 million, with additional contributions welcome.

It will provide one-time payments of $500 to restaurant workers in King County, hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis, to help them immediately pay for essentials such as rent, food and medicine. It’s also intended to support workers who don’t qualify for unemployment or federal stimulus support because of their immigration status or other issues. To qualify, workers need to confirm that they’ve lost hours or been laid off and demonstrate that they make less than $62,000 a year.

Laptops For Students

Seattle Public Schools and Amazon say the company is donating 8,200 laptops to families of elementary-school students who don’t have access to a device needed for remote learning while schools are closed due to the coronavirus. Amazon will work with Seattle Public Schools (SPS) to ship the laptops directly to students, who will keep them.

Tribal Casinos Closing

Numerous Indian tribes around the state are temporarily closing their casinos because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Kalispel Tribe of Indians announced this week that it’s Northern Quest casino in the Spokane suburb of Airway Heights will be closed for two weeks. The Spokane Tribe also closed its casino in Airway Heights.

Meanwhile, The Seattle Times is reporting that the Suquamish, Puyallup, Tulalip, Muckleshoot, Lummi, and Jamestown S’Klallam tribes are temporarily shutting down their casinos.

The Yakama Nation is also closing its casino in Toppenish.

The Cowlitz tribe’s ilani casino on Clark County announced March 18 that it would close. The website states the casino will stay closed through May 4.

As sovereign nations, the tribes are not bound by the orders of Gov. Jay Inslee, who has shut down schools, bars and restaurants in the state and limited the size of public gatherings. Closing the tribal casinos is significant because they fund many tribal government operations, and have thousands of employees.