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

This was a live account of updates from Tuesday, March 31, as events unfolded. 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.

It’s been about a month since Washington state’s first COVID-19 death turned the nation’s attention to a fast-moving outbreak. In a glimmer of hope, data is showing that social distancing — though resulting in massive economic disruptions — is making a significant difference in Seattle Daily News slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. But “the outbreak will come roaring back, big time” if we ease up on social distancing, health officials say. Gov. Jay Inslee said Monday that he’s prepared to get tougher when enforcing his stay-home order; cases could be referred to the state Attorney General’s Office for possible charges.

COVID-19 cases continue to climb in Washington, although not as quickly. The state Department of Health announced 586 new cases on Sunday, bringing the state total to 4,896. The state’s confirmed death toll rose to 195, up six from Saturday. The health department hasn’t updated Press Release Distribution Services In Seattle Daily these counts since Sunday, citing technological issues with a vendor, but it has started showing new graphs and charts on its COVID-19 information page to give the public a better understanding of the spread of the disease.

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