Some updates to catch you up on all things COVID-19 heading into a new week

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The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Grant County has grown to 50, according to numbers released Saturday.

The Grant County Health District said Quincy accounts for 28 of those positive tests, followed by Moses Lake and Mattawa with eight each.

Numbers for Chelan and Douglas counties were not updated over the weekend, so those figures remain Chelan County with 13 cases and Douglas County five.

Okanogan County had three confirmed cases, as of Friday.

The state’s confirmed cases, meanwhile, have reached 4,310, with 189 deaths. King County has by far the most cases at 2,077 and 136 deaths, according to figures released Saturday.


Getting the word out on still-operating restaurants

Many restaurants throughout North Central Washington continue to offer pick-up and delivery, despite having their seating facilities closed last week by Gov. Jay Inslee.

A couple Facebook groups are supporting these local restaurants with lists, menus and more.

The most popular is Wenatchee Area Curbside, Takeout & Delivery Restaurants.

Users of that site regularly provide photos of their takeout and delivery meals and share stories of their experiences.

Another Facebook group, Together Wenatchee, also shares information on restaurants, as well as updates on what other businesses are doing in these challenging times.

Okanogan-Wenatchee Forest closes recreation sites

Recreational facilities in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest have been closed until at least April 8, the Forest Service announced Friday.

The closure includes trailheads, campgrounds, snow parks, restroom facilities, day use areas, and rental facilities like cabins and fire outlooks.

The Forest Service says the closures are necessary to address social distancing guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Gov. Jay Inslee’s Stay at Home order.

“When everyone heads to their favorite recreation area, suddenly people are parking together, sharing facilities, passing on the trail,” the Forest Service said in a statement. “Closing access is a significant step, but it’s necessary and temporary.”

The closure is not nationwide, with the Forest Service altering or suspending some services but not closing all its forests.

The move is similar to actions taken by the state in closing all its campgrounds and access to its lands.

All escaped inmates now safely back in Yakima jail


Miguel Chavez Amezqua, 27, formerly of Moses Lake, was captured Thursday on Interstate 90 outside Moses Lake. He was one of 14 inmates who escaped from the Yakima County Jail.

All 14 inmates who escaped from the Yakima County Jail last Monday have now been recaptured.

How is this a coronavirus-related story?

All but six of the inmates were caught within 15 minutes of the breakout, with several telling jail authorities they feared contracting the virus in the jail.

Their escape came shortly after Gov. Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order.

The inmates tore heavy metal tables from their bolted bases and used some to block guards from getting into their unit, then used another table to break down a fire door. They then scampered over a wall.

The last of the inmates was recaptured Friday in Wapato.

North Cascades Highway clearing halted

The State Department of Transportation has suspended most maintenance work in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

That includes work on reopening the North Cascades Highway, something that has become a rite of spring for some.