Kate Walters is a reporter covering Covid-19 and the many ways the pandemic has impacted our lives. She's covered personal experiences of community members, state and local policies, affects on the healthcare system, and more. In the past, Kate has reported on homelessness for KUOW, as well as general assignment stories ranging from city hall politics to sea stars. Originally from Australia, Kate studied journalism at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). She started her career in public radio at WXXI in Rochester, NY.
Washington state crowns its first Civics Bee champion
Washington state has its first ever Civics Bee champion. Twelve-year-old Benjamin Wu from Narrows View Intermediate near Tacoma took the title at the state finals.
Fentanyl death toll continues to surge in King County
King County continues to face an alarming number of drug-related fatalities, many related to the potent synthetic opioid, fentanyl. According to county data, there were 3 fentanyl-involved deaths in 2015. In recent years, such deaths have risen dramatically, totaling 712 last year.
New state dashboard shows rising drug-related deaths
A new state dashboard gives further insight into the number of drug-related deaths and hospitalizations occurring in Washington. The dashboard shows there were 7,598 fatal overdoses from 2017 through 2021, the majority related to opioids. Deaths have been climbing sharply for the past few years.
Washington's final mask mandate ends Monday. But guidance has been fuzzy
Effective Monday, April 3, masks will no longer be mandated statewide in health care, long-term care, and correctional settings, although individual institutions can still choose to require face coverings moving forward.
Washington hospitals continue to report financial losses
Hospitals across Washington state continue to see steep financial losses, according to the Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA). Last year it amounted to a $2.1 billion operating loss across the board, following hundreds of millions in losses in 2021.
Can those who need it rely on King County's in-home vaccination program moving forward?
The Covid-19 pandemic has had painful and devastating impacts, including lost lives, lost health, lost jobs, and disproportionate burdens in communities of color. But the past few years have also brought about changes that filled previously unmet needs and offered solutions. One such change is a push to make sure some of King County’s most vulnerable residents have access to vaccines.
3 years in, Covid still present, but King County has more tools to fight it
Three years into the Covid-19 pandemic, the landscape has changed in King County. Back in 2020, this was the first epicenter of cases and outbreaks in nursing homes in the U.S. There were no vaccines, and health officials had not yet worked out the best precautions.
Proposed downtown Seattle makeover, mental health levy, and more: King County Executive's annual address
In his annual address Tuesday, King County Executive Dow Constantine told council members the state of the county is strong. He struck an optimistic tone about the possibilities of the future. But he also acknowledged the continuing challenges facing the county.
WA legislators weigh mandating nurse-to-patient ratios in hospitals
Nurses across Washington state are experiencing the stress of short staffing in hospitals. One solution currently being proposed in the state legislature is the creation of nurse-to-patient ratios, requiring a cap on the number of patients a hospital nurse can care for at any given time.
Can AI help increase expression of empathy?
These days, someone seeking mental health support can find a variety of online communities to talk through what they’re feeling. In these communities, peers are usually responding, and empathy is key. A team led by University of Washington researchers studied whether AI can help peer supporters interacting on text-based online platforms respond with more empathy.