Coronavirus daily news updates, March 21: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the world

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Coronavirus daily news updates, March 21: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the world

As efforts continue to vaccinate Americans against the coronavirus, more than a dozen states have now confirmed at least one case of a variant first found in Brazil.

In Washington, the Puyallup School District plans to divide students into larger cohorts even as the district handles more COVID-19 cases. And Seattowners are saying goodbye to the popular Remo Borracchini Bakery & Mediterranean Market on Rainier Avenue South, which is closing after nearly 100 years of doing business as weddings and other special events slowed down during the pandemic.

We update this page with the latest news about the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the Seattle area, the US and the world. Click here to see the past few days’ live updates and all of our coronavirus coverage, and here to see how we are following the daily spread in Washington and the world.

A traveler’s worst nightmare: If your COVID-19 test is positive

Late last year, U.S. Navy veteran Jose Arellano and his wife Gloria traveled 2,000 miles from home to the resort of Oaxaca, Mexico, to spend about $ 400 on airline tickets they bought at the start of the pandemic. The couple used masks, face shields, and disinfectants, but less than a week after the start of the trip, Jose Arellano, 56, who had asthma, and then Gloria Arellano, 54, developed a headache and fever.

They had both contracted the coronavirus and were fighting it in a place where they had no doctors or health insurance, and no close family members or friends to offer support.

There’s no way of knowing how many people were infected with the virus in one trip, but an insurer, Seven Corners, has filed 2,000 related disease claims since June, company president Jeremy Murchland said. A medical evacuation company said it has operated an average of three flights a month for those with the coronavirus since the pandemic began.

Read the whole story here.

– Karen Schwartz, New York Times

10:30 am

The city of Redmond is trying a new approach to tourism: giving money to visitors

The city of Redmond wants you to visit. So bad that the tourism officials there pay $ 100 for it.

Do you have your shots and are itching for a “vaxication”? Or, after our long winter of COVID-19, just can’t stand being trapped anymore? If you book two nights at a participating hotel in the Microsoft-known city starting Sunday, you can use the $ 100 travel bonus to pay for meals, spa visits, clothing, or other items at more than three dozen eligible local businesses.

“Businesses hurt in the Redmond area, just like any other small community in our country and in our world,” said Peter Klauser, tourism manager for Experience Redmond, the visitor development program for the 75,000-resident city. “The pandemic has definitely had an impact on business, and we had some stores closed, and we have certainly had a lot of companies that have come in far in numbers. That’s why we’re doing everything we can to support the small businesses here. With the rising tide, all ships will lift. “

Read the whole story here.

– Chris Talbott

9:15 a.m.

A year after the pandemic, the veteran’s halls are hardly attached to it

Craig DeOld, Commander of Veterans of Foreign War Post No. 1018, poses with chairs on the wall of her hall space on Monday, March 15, 2021 in Boston at the empty bar rail in the post office rental room.  Local bars and halls operated by the posts of the VFW and the American Legion have had tough times during the coronavirus pandemic.  Organizers say many run the risk of permanent closings after states, like other bars and halls, ordered them to close last spring.  (AP Photo / Charles Krupa)

Craig DeOld, Commander of Veterans of Foreign War Post No. 1018, poses with chairs on the wall of her hall space on Monday, March 15, 2021 in Boston at the empty bar rail in the post office rental room. Local bars and halls operated by the posts of the VFW and the American Legion have had tough times during the coronavirus pandemic. Organizers say many run the risk of permanent closings after states, like other bars and halls, ordered them to close last spring. (AP Photo / Charles Krupa)

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. – Paul Guilbeault knew the writing for the final Veterans of Foreign Wars post was on the wall in that town south of Boston when businesses across Massachusetts had to shut down when the coronavirus pandemic hit last March.

Within six months, the 90-year-old Korean War veterinarian was right. VFW Post 3260 in New Bedford, a chapter of the National Brotherhood of Veterinarians founded in 1935, had given up its charter and sold the hall to a church.

“The economic shutdown killed us,” said Guilbeault, who has overseen the Post’s finances for years. “There is no way in the world that we can make it. Many of these contributions are barely attached. Most of them don’t make a big profit. “

Local bars and halls operated by VFW and American Legion posts – those community staples where vets drink beer and people celebrate weddings and other milestones – were already struggling when the pandemic broke out. After years of membership decline, restrictions designed to slow the spread of COVID-19 have become a death knell for many.

Read the whole story here.

– Philip Marcelo, Associated Press

8:45 a.m.

After the U.S. fired 100 million vaccine shots since Jan. 20, Biden sees a new target

A resident speaks with a health care worker before receiving the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccination at a West Virginia United Health System vaccination clinic in Morgantown, West Virginia, USA on Thursday, March 11, 2021.  Thanks to a quick turnaround, the West Virginia National Guard has long been in place to respond to frequent floods and other state emergencies, as well as long-established local pharmacies with strong community connections and a robust statewide hotline for vaccine phones quickly developed into one of the top-rated states per capita vaccinations, just behind Alaska.  Photographer: Justin Merriman / Bloomberg (Bloomberg)

A resident speaks with a health care worker before receiving the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccination at a West Virginia United Health System vaccination clinic in Morgantown, West Virginia, USA on Thursday, March 11, 2021. Thanks to a quick turnaround, the West Virginia National Guard has long been in place to respond to frequent floods and other state emergencies, as well as long-established local pharmacies with strong community connections and a robust statewide hotline for vaccine phones quickly developed into one of the top-rated states per capita vaccinations, just behind Alaska. Photographer: Justin Merriman / Bloomberg (Bloomberg)

WASHINGTON – The U.S. cleared President Joe Biden’s goal of injecting 100 million coronavirus shots more than a month before his 100th day target date on Friday as the president prepared to raise his targets in the nationwide vaccination effort put.

With the nation now administering roughly 2.5 million shots a day, Biden, who promised to set a new target for vaccinations next week, mocked the possibility of setting a target of 200 million doses by his 100th day in office.

Read the whole story here.

– Zeke Miller, Associated Press

8:15 o’clock

COVID-19 has fundamentally changed school education – in some ways for the better

There is no going back.

This is the consensus that emerges from education leaders across the country as the nation enters a sophomore year in a pandemic.

An Arizona public school district wants to become a service provider for parents who have taken their children to school. In Oklahoma, students have a say in where and when they study. And educators everywhere pay more attention to the spiritual well-being of students.

“Neither of us would have ever wanted to go through this,” said Deborah Gist, the headmistress in Tulsa, Oklahoma. “We now have the chance to make something out of it that will change teaching and learning for the better forever.”

Read the whole story here.

– Peggy Barmore, the Hechinger report

7:44 am

Grandparents in the pandemic: a lost year, but now some hope

Brilee Carter (left), 13, and Cobe Calhoun (17) laugh with their great-grandmother Doris Rolark in front of Rolark's daughter's home in Monroe, Ohio on March 7, 2021.  (Dan Sewell / Associated Press)

Brilee Carter (left), 13, and Cobe Calhoun (17) laugh with their great-grandmother Doris Rolark in front of Rolark’s daughter’s home in Monroe, Ohio on March 7, 2021. (Dan Sewell / Associated Press)

CINCINNATI – No nights with popcorn and Disney movies. No dance evenings or festivals, let alone a grandparents day for visiting the children’s classrooms.

No hugs.

The first 12 months of the pandemic are a lost year for many in the largest group of grandparents in US history. Most of the country’s 70 million or so grandparents are in the fourth quarter of their lives and the clock keeps ticking.

“When I work with older adults, I see a lot of depression, a lot of increased loneliness,” said Nick Nicholson, professor of nursing and aging researcher at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. “It was really difficult … the fear, the despair, the social isolation. There are so many adverse effects over time. The sooner we expand the bladder, the better so that people can heal together. “

Read the whole story here.

– Dan Sewell, Associated Press

Seattle Times staff and news services