Amazon, Microsoft each donate $1M to Washington coronavirus response fund

Amazon and Microsoft on March 9 each pledged $1 million to a new COVID-19 Response Fund in Washington's Puget Sound region.

Hosted by the Seattle Foundation, the COVID-19 Response Fund will provide financial support to nonprofits and community-based organizations addressing the coronavirus outbreak in Washington. As of March 9, the statewide total of COVID-19 cases was at least 162, with 22 deaths reported, according to local news affiliate KIRO 7.

Aimed at tackling the emerging community-based needs of COVID-19, the fund will offer financial support in the form of rental assistance to keep people housed and help ensure children, seniors and families have access to food, among other resources. Initial grants will be given to organizations working with priority groups, such as people without sick leave or health insurance, medically fragile populations and healthcare workers.

In addition to Amazon, Microsoft and the Seattle Foundation, other entities supporting the fund include Starbucks and the United Way of King County. 

Earlier this month, Microsoft confirmed that two employees in Puget Sound, where Microsoft's Redmond headquarters is based, were diagnosed with COVID-19. The technology giant also began rolling out remote work-enabling digital tools for free to employees this month to try and limit the spread of the virus.

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