Live: Coronavirus daily news updates, February 28: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the world

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Live: Coronavirus daily news updates, February 28: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the world

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 live updates from the past few days and all other coronavirus reports. Here’s how we are tracking the daily spread in Washington and the world.

Experts concerned about papal trip to Iraq

VATICAN CITY (AP) – Infectious disease experts express concern about Pope Francis’ upcoming trip to Iraq amid the surge in coronavirus infections there, a fragile health system and the inevitable chance that Iraqis will gather to see him.

Nobody wants to tell Francis to cancel, and the Iraqi government has every interest in demonstrating its relative stability by welcoming the first Pope to the birthplace of Abraham. The trip from March 5th to 8th will bring a much-needed spiritual boost to the beleaguered Christians in Iraq, while at the same time promoting the Vatican’s efforts to build bridges with the Muslim world.

But from a purely epidemiological point of view, and because of the public health message it contains, a papal trip to Iraq in the midst of a global pandemic is not advisable, health experts say.

Read the whole story here.

-The Associated Press

10:25 am

Fraud overwhelms pandemic unemployment programs

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – As the floodgates open for another round of unemployment benefits, a new wave of fraud sweeps states as they attempt to update security systems and block fraudsters who already have billions of dollars in the Pandemic have withdrawn. related unemployment programs.

The fraud harms taxpayers, delays legitimate payments, and turns thousands of Americans into ignorant victims of identity theft. Many states have failed to adequately protect their systems, and a review by The Associated Press found that some will not even publicly acknowledge the scale of the problem.

The massive deception can be traced back to past identity theft from banks, rating agencies, healthcare systems and retailers. Fraudsters, sometimes in China, Nigeria or Russia, buy stolen personal information on the dark internet and use it to flood government unemployment systems with false claims.

The US Department of Justice is investigating unemployment fraud by “transnational criminal organizations, sophisticated domestic actors and individuals in the United States,” said Joshua Stueve, a spokesman for the department’s crime department.

Read the whole story here.

-The Associated Press

10:00 a.m

Germany restricts travel from the French region via the virus variant

BERLIN (AP) – Germany announced on Sunday that travelers from the northeastern Moselle region of France will face additional restrictions due to the high rate of cases of coronavirus variants.

The German disease control agency, the Robert Koch Institute, said it would add the Moselle to the list of areas with “variants of concern”, which already includes countries like the Czech Republic, Portugal and the United Kingdom.

Travelers from these areas must present a recent negative coronavirus test before entering Germany.

Read the whole story here.

-The Associated Press

9:37 a.m.

Some GOP lawmakers help spread COVID-19 misinformation

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Many Republican lawmakers have criticized governors’ emergency restrictions since the coronavirus outbreak began. Now that most legislations are back in session, a new type of pushback is striking: misinformation.

In their own comments or by inviting skeptics to testify at legislative hearings, some GOP state lawmakers are using their platform to find out false information about the virus, steps to limit its spread, and the vaccines that will keep the nation out of the pandemic pull out, promote.

In some cases, the false information received a quick backlash and was even censored online. This raises difficult questions about how aggressively potentially dangerous misinformation can be tackled by elected officials or during legislative hearings, while protecting freedom of expression and people’s access to government.

Read the whole story here.

-The Associated Press

9:05 a.m.

The Philippines will receive the COVID-19 vaccine after delays

MANILA, Philippines (AP) – The Philippines received their first batch of COVID-19 vaccine, one of the last in Southeast Asia, on Sunday to secure the critical doses despite the second highest number of coronavirus infections and deaths in the hardest hit region.

A Chinese military transport plane carrying 600,000 doses of vaccine donated by China arrived at an air force base in the capital. President Rodrigo Duterte and senior cabinet officials expressed relief and thanked Beijing for the vaccine from China-based Sinovac Biotech Ltd. in a television ceremony.

“COVID-19 vaccines should be treated as a global public good and made available to everyone, poor or rich,” Duterte said, warning, “no one is safe until everyone is safe.”

Read the whole story here.

-The Associated Press

8:21 am

The Seattle company is starting screening to detect previous coronavirus infections

Adaptive Biotechnologies has launched a test that uses Microsoft’s machine learning technology to detect previous coronavirus infections to fill an important gap left by standard antibody screening.

The screening, called T-Detect COVID, looks for T-cell responses against the disease and not for immune proteins that have been detected by conventional tests. According to Seattle-based Adaptive, the product may help people who believe they may be infected but have not tested positive with the analysis currently available. This includes long distance drivers – patients who often suffer from persistent COVID symptoms for months.

“Some of these people were never diagnosed,” Adaptive chief medical officer Lance Baldo said in an interview. “Sometimes their doctors are surprised, and – to be honest, this is where it gets ugly – sometimes their insurers are surprised.”

Read the whole story here.

– Bloomberg

8:14 am

The wave of COVID-19 bankruptcies has begun

A music school in New Albany, Ohio that offers piano, guitar, and violin lessons has taken out nearly $ 1 million in loans and $ 35,000 in credit card debt. A fine-dining restaurant in Providence, Rhode Island received more than $ 450,000 in federal small business funding to help pay workers but was forced to close its doors.

A nonprofit that oversees the Kit Carson Home and Museum in Taos, New Mexico welcomes visitors to learn more about the famous frontier worker. However, she has listed a fortune of only $ 17,000, even after counting every bone-handled knife, buffalo skin apron, and flintlock musket.

Nearly a year since coronavirus-related shutdowns hit large swaths of the American economy, more and more companies are filing for bankruptcy as the number of applications filed in Chapter 11 rose nearly 20% year over year in 2020, such as Evidence from court records.

Read the whole story here.

-The Washington Post

7:59 a.m.

Find out about the last 24 hours

Grim milestone is approaching: Washington state is projected to exceed 5,000 deaths from the coronavirus, about a year since the first confirmed death in the state. Health officials reported an additional 967 coronavirus cases on Saturday. Deaths are not reported over the weekend.

The US is getting a third vaccine To prevent COVID-19, the Food and Drug Administration on Saturday released a Johnson & Johnson shot that works with just one dose instead of two. Here’s everything we know about the timing, dosage, and more of the new vaccine, and what it could mean for Washington.

The Swedish CEO Dr.  Guy Hudson gives Fuifui Suaava (70) the first of two Moderna vaccines.  Their son Isaac Suaava, 38, will be ready on February 4th at the Pacific Islander Vaccination Community Clinic in Federal Way.  Says Isaac Suaava.

The Swedish CEO Dr. Guy Hudson gives Fuifui Suaava (70) the first of two Moderna vaccines. Their son Isaac Suaava, 38, will be ready on February 4th at the Pacific Islander Vaccination Community Clinic in Federal Way. Says Isaac Suaava. “I’m happy to know that my mother got the vaccine and that he can protect her from this virus.” (Erika Schultz / The Seattle Times)

Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders were hit disproportionately by the pandemic, but vaccinations are not reaching them in similar numbers. A community association has come into action.

After a year of the coronavirusSeattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has no regrets, but a few things she would have liked to know. Read more from our interview with the mayor.

7:58 a.m.

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Seattle Times staff and news services