Live: Coronavirus daily news updates, January 13: 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, January 13: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the world

The Trump administration on Tuesday urged governors across the country to cut out much of the work they had put into carefully devising plans for the next stages of coronavirus vaccination, and urged heads of state to be allowed to receive doses to expand rapidly. The move took governors by surprise, including Governor Jay Inslee, whose office said the sudden changes were “unacceptable”.

In Seattle, the fire department announced that they would be going door-to-door this week vaccinating residents of adult family homes that are not served by a federal partnership with CVS and Walgreens.

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.

US COVID-19 deaths hit another daily high of over 4,300

FILE - This Monday, December 7, 2020, an ICU nurse at North Memorial Health Hospital is leaning over to speak to a COVID-19 patient they care for in Robbinsdale, Minnesota.  Virtually every state reports spikes and deaths in certain cases.  (Aaron Lavinsky / Star Tribune via AP)

FILE – This Monday, December 7, 2020, an ICU nurse at North Memorial Health Hospital is leaning over to speak to a COVID-19 patient they care for in Robbinsdale, Minnesota. Virtually every state reports spikes and deaths in certain cases. (Aaron Lavinsky / Star Tribune via AP)

Coronavirus deaths in the US hit another daily high of over 4,300, with the country’s attention mainly focused on the aftermath of the deadly Capitol riot.

The total death toll from COVID-19 has exceeded 380,000, and is rapidly approaching the number of Americans killed in World War II, or about 407,000, according to Johns Hopkins University. Confirmed infections have exceeded 22.8 million.

With the country simultaneously facing a political crisis and past threats of more violence from right-wing extremists, the US recorded 4,327 deaths on Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins. Arizona and California are among the hardest hit states.

The daily number is being revised, but deaths have risen sharply in the past 2 1/2 months and the country is currently in the deadliest stage of the outbreak, even with the vaccine introduced. New cases run an average of almost a quarter of a million a day.

Read the story here.

-The Associated Press

7:00 am

Japan expands the virus emergency to 7 more areas as cases increase

Japan expanded the state of emergency of the coronavirus to seven more prefectures on Wednesday, affecting more than half of the population.

Prime Minister Yoshide Suga also said Japan would suspend exemptions for the rapid entry of business travelers or others with residence permits and completely ban foreign visitors during the state of emergency.

Suga’s announcement comes less than a week after declaring a state of emergency in Tokyo and three nearby prefectures.

Read the story here.

-The Associated Press

6:58 am

Vaccine skepticism helped bring her to power. Can you vaccinate Italy?

Over a decade ago, an activist for the Italian Five Star Movement wrote to rising party leaders that after years of searching for “vaccine damage”, his law firm had convinced a judge that a vaccine was a potential source of autism.

Today that lawyer, Alfonso Bonafede, is the Italian Minister of Justice, and his five-star populist movement leads the government.

The Five Star’s long history of sowing doubts about vaccines may have made its job much more difficult as it seeks to convince Italians that a mass vaccination program is needed to fight back a pandemic that killed nearly 2 million people worldwide and entire economies were closed.

The irony is not lost on Italians, who are not even the most skeptical people in Europe when it comes to the benefits of vaccines. While 62% of Italians said they had an available vaccine, only 40% said they did, according to the polling station Ipsos in France.

But it is Italy where a party that has been explicitly anti-vaccine skeptical is currently in power. With the rise of Five Star, anti-vaccination campaigns are no longer just a simple tool used by the political fringes to tear down established parties and gain power. They are a key factor that could determine the health and vitality of the nation at a critical point in the pandemic.

Read the story here.

– Jason Horowitz, New York Times

6:07 am

Gym doors open inches at a time, but maybe not for long

Bothell's 24-hour gym reopened this week after an eight-week shutdown as part of Washington State's efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.  (Greg Gilbert / The Seattle Times)

Bothell’s 24-hour gym reopened this week after an eight-week shutdown as part of Washington State’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19. (Greg Gilbert / The Seattle Times)

The Bothell 24-hour gym is one of the gyms that reopened this week after being closed for eight weeks. However, many gym owners say the state rules for the first stage of reopening will plunge them deeper into debt or force them to close for good. Here’s what you can and can’t do under the new rules, from training in the gym to gatherings and more.

– Kris Higginson

6:05 am

Find out about the last 24 hours

• • An abrupt federal shift would make up nearly a third of Americans Vaccines are currently approved, surprising Washington State after officials spent months planning different priorities. The urge to change who is entitled brings new challenges.

• • Who is at the door It’s your vaccine! Seattle firefighters will go door-to-door tomorrow with adult family home vaccines, and the city plans to convert school facilities into vaccination centers.

• • Anyone flying to the USA will soon need it to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test. This is how the new order works.

• • A glimmer of hope: A new study looks to the day when the coronavirus will only be annoying and no more threatening than the common cold. And it defines what has to happen to get there.

– Kris Higginson

Seattle Times staff and news services