Jan. 21, 2020: Washington state man becomes the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the United States.
Feb. 29, 2020: First Washington COVID death is the first reported in the U.S. (Research later shows people likely died from the virus a month or more earlier.)
March 11, 2020: World Health Organization declares a global pandemic. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee limits gatherings of more than 250 in three Puget Sound counties.
March 13, 2020: Washington announces six-week statewide school closure. Idaho announces first COVID case.
March 14, 2020: Spokane Regional Health District confirms first three cases locally.
March 15, 2020: Inslee announces closure of bars/restaurants, entertainment venues and recreational facilities, as well as gatherings over 50.
March 16, 2020: Panhandle Health District confirms first case in North Idaho.
March 23, 2020: Inslee announces Stay Home, Stay Healthy order, mandating all to stay home for two weeks. All nonessential businesses close or shift to remote work, in-person gatherings of any size are banned, churches close, and weddings and funerals are not allowed. A year later, things still haven't fully reopened.
March 25, 2020: Idaho Gov. Brad Little announces 21-day stay home order.
March 26, 2020: Idaho announces first three COVID deaths. Congress passes CARES Act with $2 trillion in economic relief.
March 27, 2020: Spokane County reports its first COVID death.
May 20, 2020: Spokane Regional Health District directs all to wear masks in public.
May 27, 2020: U.S. surpasses 100,000 COVID deaths.
June 15, 2020: Panhandle Health reports first COVID death.
June 23, 2020: Inslee announces statewide mask mandate.
July 23, 2020: Panhandle Health District mandates masks in public in North Idaho counties.
Sept. 28, 2020: World hits more than 1 million COVID deaths.
Nov. 15, 2020: Inslee again closes bars and restaurants to in-person dining, after many had been able to reopen at 25 percent to 50 percent capacity. Gyms/indoor recreation close again; churches limited to smaller of 25 percent capacity or 200 people.
Dec. 11, 2020: U.S. approves first COVID vaccine with emergency use authorization.
Feb 22, 2021: U.S. hits 500,000 COVID deaths.
March 3, 2021: Washington hits 5,000 COVID deaths.
March 11, 2021: Inslee announces Washington will move to Phase 3 of reopening plan, with some outdoor events allowed again for the first time in a year with caps on capacity.
March 16, 2021: Reported global death toll stands at more than 2.6 million. ♦