Relwende Guiguemde, right, has his temperature taken by Angie Webb, left, a nurse at Western State Hospital, on Thursday, March 19, 2020, as he arrives at a visitors’ entrance for a job interview in Lakewood. A patient and a worker at the facility, Washington state’s largest psychiatric hospital, have tested positive for the new coronavirus. (Ted S. Warren/The Associated Press)

Relwende Guiguemde, right, has his temperature taken by Angie Webb, left, a nurse at Western State Hospital, on Thursday, March 19, 2020, as he arrives at a visitors’ entrance for a job interview in Lakewood. A patient and a worker at the facility, Washington state’s largest psychiatric hospital, have tested positive for the new coronavirus. (Ted S. Warren/The Associated Press)

Trump issues virus disaster declaration for Washington state

OLYMPIA — President Donald Trump has issued a disaster declaration for Washington and ordered federal assistance for the state, tribal and local response to the coronavirus outbreak that has killed dozens.

The disaster declaration from Sunday will provide federal assistance for both emergency protective measures and crisis counseling, the White House said.

Gov. Jay Inslee said the federal declaration was appreciated but added it is a “first step” that doesn’t go far enough.

“[Sunday’s] declaration does not unlock many forms of federal assistance we have requested to help workers and families who are badly hurting,” Inslee said in a statement. “We will continue working with our federal partners to deliver the full suite of disaster assistance that is sorely needed in our state, such as expanded unemployment benefits for workers who lose their paychecks as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.”

Trump also said Sunday he’d ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency to ship mobile hospital centers to the hard-hit states of Washington, California and New York amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Health officials reported Sunday there have been at least 95 coronavirus deaths in Washington state and nearly 2,000 confirmed cases.

Also, Inslee named retired Navy Vice Admiral Raquel C. Bono as the director for the state’s COVID-19 Health System Response Management. She is currently a senior fellow with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.

As the former chief executive officer and director for the Defense Health Agency, Bono led a joint, integrated support agency that enabled all branches of the U.S. military medical services to provide health care to people in combat.

Inslee’s appointment was effective immediately.

“Vice Admiral Bono will help bolster our existing coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic across our state’s health care system,” Inslee said.

For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death. The vast majority of people recover.

Washington also announced that all state campgrounds would be closed until April 30.

More in News

Groups form fund to help local farmers

Donations through Monday; requests due Tuesday

Nerve toxin found in Discovery Bay shellfish

Recreational harvest not allowed on public tidelands

Clallam considers Phase 2 variance

Jefferson hears update on COVID-19

Rhonda Kromm named principal of Jefferson Elementary School

The Port Angeles School District has named Rhonda Kromm… Continue reading

Port Townsend student makes Spokane honor roll

Spokane Community College recently announced that Brittany Jones was named… Continue reading

Phi Kappa Phi inducts Port Angeles student

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi recently… Continue reading

Anderson makes Simpson University dean’s list

Simpson University has named Port Townsend resident Chelsea Anderson… Continue reading

No weekly flight operations scheduled

There will be no field carrier landing practice operations for… Continue reading

Captain Joseph House films Memorial Day ceremony for Facebook

Port Townsend, Forks, Sequim plan remembrances

Most Read