SEATTLE, WA — According to the state Department of Health, lab tests have confirmed 13,521 cases of the new coronavirus, and 749 people have died since the outbreak began in Washington. The updated tally includes a combined 544 new cases and 26 deaths related to COVID-19 added to the count Saturday and Sunday.
The bulk of the state's illnesses and deaths have been in King, Snohomish, Pierce and Yakima counties.
More than 965,000 infections have been recorded nationwide, and nearly 55,000 Americans have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Catch up on some of the latest developments in Washington and across the nation:
Gov. Jay Inslee is expected to ease restrictions on some outdoor recreation Monday afternoon. The governor will be joined by leaders from the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Fish and Wildlife and Washington State Parks. According to the Seattle Times, Inslee's announcement will include the gradual return of recreational fishing and boating, along with updated guidance on hunting, golfing and hiking.
Colorado and Nevada have signed on to the Western States Pact, a regional partnership to coordinate the reopening of the economy across the region. The agreement was first announced April 13, signed by the governors of Washington, Oregon and California. The pact identifies three shared principles and four goals, establishing a shared framework for each state to implement their specific plans.
Deborah Birx, the Trump Administration's coronavirus task force coordinator, said Sunday that some degree of social distancing is likely to be in place through the summer months. Birx told NBC News that the nation would need a "breakthrough" to boost testing capability to a point where a much larger number of people can be quickly screened for the virus. Birx said she believes the number of new cases and deaths will be "dramatically decreased" in May.
New York's daily coronavirus death toll dropped below 400 for the first time in weeks as Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a plan to begin reopening some upstate businesses by mid-May. Cuomo did not indicate when restrictions could begin to lift in New York City, where nearly 17,000 people have died from COVID-19. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said a "roadmap" for reopening should be finalized by June 1.
In an interview with the Seattle Times published Sunday, Gov. Jay Inslee discussed balancing public health concerns with the considerable economic impact of his "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order. On Friday, Inslee relaxed restrictions on some construction projects — with precautions in place — and said it would serve as a template for how other industries could begin to reopen in the future. The governor is expected to announce the return of elective surgeries and some outdoor recreation in the days ahead.
Dozens of fishermen descended on Seattle's Lake Union Sunday, calling on the governor to lift a moratorium on recreational fishing, KIRO 7 reported. Non-commercial fishing is among several activities deemed non-essential under Inslee's order, which remains in place though May 4. The governor has not said if that order will be extended a second time, but last week acknowledged many restrictions were likely to continue beyond that date.
The state Employment Security Department said another weekend of historic traffic likely caused more delays for those seeking jobless benefits, despite increased bandwidth. State officials expected unemployment claims filed during the coronavirus crisis to pass the 1 million mark in Washington by Sunday. Learn more about applying for the expanded unemployment assistance here.