Washington

Across Washington's health care system, as the caseload of coronavirus patients grows, masks and other personal protective equipment are in short supply — and nurses are resorting to workarounds to try to stay safe.

Wendy Shaw, a charge nurse for an emergency room in Seattle, says her hospital and others have locked up critical equipment like masks and respirators to ensure they don't run out.

Employees of the University of Washington's UW Medicine system can now get tested for coronavirus without leaving their cars.

The system's medical center in northwest Seattle has turned a hospital garage lot into a drive-through clinic that can test a person every five minutes. They typically get results within a day or so.

But the idea involves more than convenience. It's also about safety.

Updated at 4:32 p.m. ET

The coronavirus death toll in Washington state now stands at nine, with a total of 27 confirmed cases of the virus that causes COVID-19.

The newly revised tally includes two people who died in the Seattle area last week and have since been found to have been infected with the novel coronavirus, the health department in King County, Wash., announced Tuesday.

Pueblo, Colo., home to famous chilies, a steel mill and strong union ties, is working to diversify its economy.

In Charlotte, N.C., NASCAR has taken a back seat to financial services as the population booms with immigrants and Northeastern transplants.

Wisconsin is deeply purple and up for grabs — and eyes are on its large cities like Milwaukee this election.

Many of America's communities are changing, and so is how voters decide what matters most to them and whom they want their leaders to be.

When the icy wind blows off the Spokane River, the temperature can routinely plunge below zero on this city's worn streets near downtown and the I-90 freeway. Trying to survive without shelter out here is almost impossible.

Just ask Mariah Hodges.

"The first night I came here I was almost frozen to the sidewalk," Hodges says.

On a recent morning, Matt Marshall sat at a back table in Jim Bob's Chuck Wagon, a café in an old timber town about a half-hour outside of Seattle.

It was the eve of a political rally that Marshall had spent months planning. He scribbled last-minute notes in a homemade booklet, a Christmas present from his daughter. On the front, in black marker, she had drawn the logo of the Washington Three Percent, the name of her dad's militia.

Although, that's not the word he uses.

"We're absolutely not a paramilitary," he said. "We're a nonprofit corporation."

Clearing skies were welcome news for residents in Oregon and Washington this weekend following days of heavy flooding that has forced evacuations and untold millions in damage.

This week's flooding followed a particularly wet month of January, even for the Pacific Northwest. In some parts of the region, rain fell on 28 out of the 31 days in January. Snowmelt compounded flooding, pushing several rivers in the region to crest their banks.

When the first U.S. case of a new coronavirus spreading throughout China was confirmed last week in Washington state, public health workers were well prepared to respond, building on lessons learned during the outbreak of measles that sickened 87 people in the state in 2019.

An enormous number of tumbleweeds blew onto a road in eastern Washington state on New Year's Eve, piling up into a mountain of tangled branches that blocked traffic and even buried some cars, trapping travelers inside.

"In the 20 years that I have worked here, I have never seen it as bad as this," says Washington State Patrol trooper Chris Thorson. "I've never seen six to eight cars, including a semi-truck, actually stopped and trapped on a highway because of tumbleweeds."

Six-term Washington state Rep. Matt Shea is accused of participating "in an act of domestic terrorism against the United States," according to a report released Thursday.

Independent investigators commissioned by the Washington State House of Representatives found that Shea, as a leader of the Patriot Movement, "planned, engaged in, and promoted a total of three armed conflicts of political violence against the United States government" between 2014 and 2016.

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