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An empty Westlake Park light rail station during rush hour in Seattle, March 12, 2020. (Matt M. McKnight/Crosscut)
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As the coronavirus spreads, Seattle and its suburbs have become America’s laboratory and guinea pig.

The response now touches every part of daily life. From restaurant closures to bans on gatherings to the total reorientation in the area's research centers, sweeping changes arrive at a pace unimaginable two weeks ago.

Across the region, hospital and laboratory disaster plans have been rewritten in the face of shortages of supplies and staff. The capacity for testing, hamstrung early in the outbreak by federal missteps, is expanding and drive-thru testing has arrived at UW Medicine's Medical Center Northwest and is in the works elsewhere. Researchers who just weeks ago targeted tropical diseases now hunt drugs that can knock down COVID-19.

Washingtonians are living history.

Read the entire story at Crosscut. Wes Van Voorhis, an Adjunct Professor of Global Health, is quoted.