President Joe Biden has promised enough coronavirus vaccine doses by the end of May to immunize all of the country’s roughly 260 million adults. However, by the end of July, the government had made pledges from manufacturers to provide enough vaccines for 400 million people – about 70 million more than the country’s entire population, reports the New York Times. Whether these orders should be kept, changed, or diverted is a question with significant implications: of the vaccine doses administered worldwide, around three-quarters went to just 10 countries. At least 30 countries have not yet injected a single person. Global scarcity threatens to worsen as nations and regions restrict vaccine exports.
When Washington State sees its third surge in coronavirus cases, the daily case counts dropped to 654 per day as of March 11, which is worrying as that number is comparable to the state’s number in mid-October during the state’s second surge said Dr. Umair Shah, the state’s Minister of Health. Speaking at the Health Department’s weekly press conference, Shah said the state is making “incredible strides” in overcoming the surge, but warned that the flattening in the number of cases is “very worrying for all of us in the public health sector.”
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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.
The Washington House Democrats are proposing a state budget aimed at alleviating the housing crisis following the COVID-19 pandemic
OLYMPIA – The Washington House Democrats on Friday released a budget proposal aimed at preventing the state from sinking into an even deeper housing and homeless crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The roughly $ 58 billion proposed for the 2021-23 state budget, in some ways, mirrors the proposal published by the Senate Democrats the day before. It includes a proposed 7% tax on capital gains over $ 250,000 that was opposed by minority Republican minorities in legislation. The aim is to finance a tax credit for low-income families and childcare.
And the House’s Friday proposal calls for billions of dollars in federal COVID-19 supplies to help the state recover from the pandemic.
In their plan, however, the House Democrats emphasized a number of different programs to prevent foreclosures and evictions of tenants that could worsen Washington’s already grave homelessness crisis. Read the whole story here.
– Joseph O’Sullivan
When you go back to the office, will you realize it? How Seattle Area Companies Prepare to Bring Back Workers
As office workers drained the corporate storms and campuses of Seattle and Eastside last year, many left behind a fairly routine setup: assigned desks, conference rooms for large meetings, and the expectation that they will be in the office at least most work days.
When they return it could all be different.
“Gone are the days of having your own space and spreading out and having all of your tchotchkes and pictures at your desk,” said Dena Yamaguchi, associate director of the Seattle office of CallisonRTKL. “If you work from home part of the time, you cannot consume this valuable property.”
As a growing number of people in Seattle and across the country receive the coronavirus vaccination and consider returning to family gatherings and hugs with loved ones, a more mundane question arises: what about the office?
Employers, architects and commercial real estate experts are now considering what office work will look like after the pandemic, with implications far beyond the average cabin occupant. Read the whole story here.
– Heidi Groover
Seattle Times staff and news services