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caption: Nurses use hand sanitizer on Thursday, March 12, 2020, at UW Medicine's drive-through testing clinic in Seattle.
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Nurses use hand sanitizer on Thursday, March 12, 2020, at UW Medicine's drive-through testing clinic in Seattle.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

TGIF in the time of COVID-19: Self-quarantine edition

KUOW's Paige Browning recaps what happened today

What's the latest?

Buses are now free in Seattle. King County Metro says until further notice, they won't take payment on buses and water taxis, and able-bodied people need to load at the rear door. At the same time, bus service is being cut in big ways.

Metro says almost all routes will run less frequently starting Monday, and about 20 routes are completely stopping for now. This is because there are fewer riders.

Also today, the city of Seattle is allowing free rent for two months for non-profits, small businesses, and arts groups.

A lot of changes, after a week where we already saw restaurants and salons shut their doors. And now we're heading into the weekend, when a lot of faith organizations usually hold services. How are they doing?

Faith leaders held a joint press conference today in Seattle, with a pretty united message saying they want their communities to health message to not gather.

Imam Benjamin Shabazz, of Al-Islam Center of Seattle, spoke about how difficult this is:

"Limiting public functions, this has been an issue, especially in a Muslim community, because community activities are very special, especially the Friday prayer service, and a lot of people were reluctant to give this up."

He and other faith leaders said continue to pray at home and check in with loved ones.

What are people to do, who want social interaction?

Health officials say if you are religious or spiritual keep following those traditions.

Patty Hayes is with Public Health Seattle and King County:

“Social isolation can be such a lead to poor health. That is why in these times so many of us turn to our faith leaders and our communities as sources of support, encouragement."

So she says log onto those streaming-church services, choirs, or Seattle's micro-famous dance church.

And, it's nice out! It's okay to take a walk, a hike, a bike ride. Just stay at least 6 feet apart from the people you're meeting up with.

Listen to the interview by clicking the play button above.