5 things you need to know this weekend

Seattle hospitals brace for more COVID patients; Spike in catalytic converter thefts; Ski resorts open;

Seattle hospitals brace for more COVID patients; Spike in catalytic converter thefts; Ski resorts open; Seattle hotels struggling; Millions of masks for children.

Around 54% of all American adults know someone who has been hospitalized or someone who has died from coronavirus, according to a new Pew Research Poll. That’s a sharp increase from the 20% who knew someone impacted back in May.

Dr. Elizabeth Wako, Chief Operating Officer at Swedish First Hill, says about one in every eight patients at the hospital has COVID-19. 

“Our beds at baseline are already almost at capacity, so this is putting us over the edge,” said Wako, who added that, at the moment, the hospital is able to manage the caseload.

If your car suddenly makes a loud, rumbling noise when it starts, someone may have stolen your catalytic converter.

Several police departments in western Washington are reporting a spike in catalytic converter thefts. While thieves often walk away with around $100, replacing the converter can cost a car owner upwards of $3,000. 

Stevens Pass and The Summit at Snoqualmie opened for the season on Friday, with new COVID-19 restrictions in place.

Wanting to hit the slopes? Plan ahead. Visitors have to make a reservation online, face masks are required and no cash is accepted. Some facilities and lodges are also closed.

Read more about the changes here

In a normal year, the Silver Cloud Stadium’s occupancy rate would be at least 70% in December, according to General Manager Bill Weise. But with COVID-19 cases climbing and so many events canceled, that figure recently has been around 10-15%. 

Hotel owners say Seattle has been hit especially hard by the pandemic, and the latest figures released by Visit Seattle and Smith Travel Research back that up. The data shows Seattle with an occupancy rate at 20%, the lowest on the West Coast.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, an effort started in Edmonds this week to provide ‘Millions of Masks for Children’ across the country. 

The masks are being distributed this week in Washington state to child care and youth assistance programs for free. The initiative also serves children in migrant, refugee and tribal communities.

Also see: Seattle local forecast

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