NATION: Chinese scientists have found evidence that COVID-19 may be transmissible by air. They identified genetic markers of the virus in airborne droplets in hospitals in Wuhan.
FILM: Local movie theaters are streaming films online and the Spokane Public Library is launching a virtual film club. Learn about the latest virtual cinema offerings.
U.S. death toll
Slightly over 58,000 people nationwide have died from COVID-19, according to one estimate. (Johns Hopkins University)
The U.S. death toll is far higher than reported, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (New York Times)
U.S. gross domestic product, a measure of goods and services produced by the economy, fell by 4.8 percent in the first quarter of the year, the U.S. Department of Commerce said on Wednesday. This is the worst quarterly contraction since the 2008 recession. And there is worse news on the way. Economists expect the numbers from the current quarter to show a decline of 30 percent or more — a contraction not seen since the Great Depression. (New York Times)
Stay home longer
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee could announce an extension of his stay-home order later this week, his staff say. His current order is slated to expire on May 4. (Seattle Times)
The hospital industry is calling on Inslee to allow more elective surgeries to continue, citing empty beds and a decline in new COVID-19 patients. (Seattle Times)
IN OTHER NEWS...
Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich is starting a new task force to address a spike in property crime, blaming the trend on the recent release of inmates in response to the pandemic. (Spokesman-Review)
Economists are urging Congress to spend more in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. But Republican lawmakers are hesitant, citing a familiar but neglected concern: the federal budget deficit. (Politico)