Washington state eviction moratorium extended through Dec. 31

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday extended the state’s eviction moratorium through the end of the year, expressing concerns about housing insecurity during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The moratorium — in place since March and extended a few times — was scheduled to expire next week.

It prohibits, with limited exceptions, residential evictions and late fees on unpaid rent. It also requires landlords to offer residents a repayment plan on unpaid rent.

The state’s unemployment rate for August was 8.5%, down from a record 16.3% in April after businesses closed or reduced operations under a stay-at-home order that expired at the end of May. Unemployment numbers for September will be released next week.

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As of this week, there have been nearly 92,000 confirmed cases in Washington since the pandemic began, and 2,183 people have died. For most, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks, although long-term effects are unknown. But for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.