“Technical challenges” prevented the Washington Department of Health (DOH) from updating the number of coronavirus cases on Saturday, so the latest state of the pandemic in Washington has stagnated since 11:59 pm Thursday.
Meanwhile, scientists have confirmed that three COVID-19 infections diagnosed in Washington in October were caused by viruses with a mutation that could improve the airways’ ability to evade immune defenses.
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.
Fauci said the federal government’s approval of Johnson & Johnson’s AstraZeneca vaccines is “weeks away”.
President-elect Joe Biden’s goal of vaccinating 100 million Americans during his first 100 days in office was awarded a seal of approval on Sunday by the country’s best infectious disease expert.
“The feasibility of his goal is absolutely clear, there is no doubt about it,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, on NBC’s Meet the Press.
He also agreed to the steps that Biden outlined. The US has been using Pfizer and Moderna vaccines since last month. Fauci said he expected Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca drugs to get federal approval soon.
“We’re weeks away, not months away,” he said.
Read the whole story here.
HaShant Shahrigian, New York Daily News
The Seattle Public Library has reading suggestions ahead of this year’s Indoor MLK Day
Tomorrow is Martin Luther King Jr. Day – and with COVID-19 cases still high across Washington state, many will likely spend them indoors.
The Seattle Public Library has some ideas on how you and the teenagers in your life can spend this time: You can read books on social justice and activism to honor the life of the legend.
SPL recommends several titles at different grade levels, including. Here are a few that catch our eye: Amani Al-Khatahtbeh’s “Muslim Girl” reports on the author’s experience when he grew up Muslim-American after September. 11 world.
Carol Anderon’s “We Are Not Equal yet” examines social justice movements throughout history, “each of which has encountered a corresponding backlash from white society”.
“Black Enough” is a collection of youth stories about the experience of being young and black in America.
You can find the full list here.
– Jo Resmovits
The sculpture garden of the Rodin Museum in Paris is reopened to the public
PARIS (AP) – There is a ray of light for Parisians who, like the rest of the French nation, are watching a tightened coronavirus curfew this weekend: the Rodin Museum’s famous sculpture garden is open to visitors again.
Although the Rococo Museum, which houses the world’s largest collection of Rodin sculptures, remains closed, visitors can now enter the sculpture-filled surrounding gardens that overlook the golden dome of the Les Invalides monument. They had been closed since November and reopened on Saturday.
Now the pink viburnum is blooming, and forsythia buds protrude from between the bronze forms.
Read more about it here.
-The Associated Press
How Much Learning Have Students Missed In Washington? The state doesn’t know
In the middle of this unprecedented school year, it is clear that many children have problems. Little information is available in Washington, however, on how students are doing academically or how this great experiment in online learning disrupted the classroom that the tests had been following up to that point. This is important for public schools as districts could lose millions in funding after a decline in enrollment this year. And more parents are considering whether to return.
To get a feel for how students are doing academically, the Seattle Times recently requested academic screeners and diagnostic tests from 18 districts, which make up about a third of the state’s K-12 enrollment.
While the evidence is sparse, subtle evidence suggests that low-income children – who are less likely to have adequate storage space, devices, or connectivity – are losing out. Some districts spend more Fs, often on students who spend less time online. And in Tacoma, students who had the worst academic performance before the pandemic may have been the least connected to school this fall.
Are you reading the beginning of our “Losing Ground?” Series here.
– Jo Resmovits
A worrisome coronavirus mutation is discovered in Washington state – but has not spread
Three COVID-19 infections diagnosed in Washington in October were caused by viruses with a mutation that could improve the ability of the airways to evade immune defenses.
The mutation known as E484K is also present in two of the worrying new variants of the virus that are spreading around the world – those that originated in South Africa and Brazil. However, the virus discovered in Washington did not have any of the other mutations that characterize these variants, according to researchers at the UW Medicine Virology Lab.
No other infections with the mutation have been found since October, although surveillance in the state is limited.
Read the whole story here.
– Sandi Doughton
Even in health care facilities, employers and employees are at odds over coronavirus vaccines
Many front-line workers in hospitals and nursing homes are concerned about the use of a new vaccine and suffer from abuse. They shy away from getting vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Hospitals and nursing homes are concerned about the health of their patients and have suffered many thousands of deaths in the past year. They really want their employees to be vaccinated.
These opposing forces have created an unusual situation: in addition to educating their workers about the benefits of coronavirus vaccines, more and more employers are using incentives such as cash, extra time off, and even waffle house gift cards for those who are vaccinated in at least some cases, they say that they will fire those who refuse.
Read more here.
– Sabrina Tavernise, Sharon Otterman, and Rebecca Robbins, The New York Times
Find out about the last 24 hours
A new mutation is herewrites Sandi Doughton. Three COVID-19 infections in Washington were caused by a virus with a mutation that is present in variants that originated in South Africa and Brazil. However, the virus detected here did not have any of the other mutations that characterize these variants. It didn’t spread.
Also in health facilities, Some workers are concerned about the use of a new vaccine and “drawn from a history of abuse,” reports the New York Times.
The pandemic means you can no longer go to museums like you used to. But thanks to Pacific NW Magazine this weekend, the museum is coming to you. Kind of like that. The University of Washington’s Burke Museum has artifacts that represent the beginning of things on this planet, and you can read about them here.
How is school going this year? The coronavirus has turned the state’s K-12 public education system on its head, and the state has not yet gathered much information on academics. The Seattle Times requested academic results from diagnostic tests and academic screeners from 18 school districts, which make up one-third of state enrollment. The parents also had a lot to say.
– Jo Resmovits
In the factory halls a chime and a flashing light to keep your distance
BERLIN – The 2019-20 season of the National Basketball Association was suspended for more than 140 days after a player tested positive for the coronavirus. But when the game resumed in late July, no other players tested positive.
The league was able to evade the virus by asking teams to live and play their games in a remote area called the Bubble in the closed Disney World Resort in Florida.
But a small piece of technology also played a role: a bracelet that players, coaches and coaches could wear off the field and that was required for reporters covering the teams. A tiny digital chip in the band increases social distancing by issuing a warning – through light and sound – if wearers have been too close together for too long. The bands have been picked up by the National Football League, Pacific-12 College Conference, and other sports leagues around the world.
The Munich startup behind the bracelets of the NBA, Kinexon, is delighted with the advertising, which helps ensure that top athletes do not become infected with the virus, even if such devices raise privacy concerns. Now it is about broader areas: factory production lines, warehouses and logistics centers where millions of people continue to work despite the pandemic.
Read the whole story here.
– Christopher F. Schuetze, The New York Times