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March 17: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state, and the nation

This is a live account of updates from Tuesday, March 17, as the events unfolded. Click here to see updates for Wednesday, March 18. And click here to find the latest extended coverage of the outbreak of the coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2; the illness it causes, COVID-19; and its effects on the Seattle area, the Pacific Northwest and the world.

Life is different in the Puget Sound region as most people — by choice or by order — practice “social distancing” to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the new type Seattle News of coronavirus that causes a disease called COVID-19. Gov. Jay Inslee said late Sunday he would further restrict public gatherings and temporarily close places of entertainment and recreation statewide. He made the order official Monday morning.

As Washington gains the capacity to test more people for the virus, more COVID-19 diagnoses are made each day. The state Department of Health announced 108 new cases Tuesday, bringing the state total to 1,012 cases, including 55 deaths. The bulk of cases remain in King County, which has seen 518 people fall ill and 46 of them die, according to the county’s public health department. A Seattle-based expert estimates the U.S. could have 10 times as many Press Release Distribution Service In Seattle cases as having been confirmed.

Throughout today, on this page, we’ll be posting Seattle Times journalists’ updates on the outbreak and its effects on the Seattle area, the Pacific Northwest and the world. Updates from Monday can be found here, and all our coronavirus coverage can be found here.

The following graphic includes the most recent numbers from the Washington State Department of Health, released Tuesday afternoon. 

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