COVID updates: 437 new confirmed cases
The state Department of Health says there have been over 411,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in Washington, and 5,820 people have died from the virus statewide. The state says 7,586,602 doses of vaccine have been administered. Check below for more updates.
As of May 12, everyone in Washington state age 12 or older is now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Anyone who was eligible in an earlier phase or tier remains eligible.
Find a vaccine location near you or call 800-525-0127 to get help finding an appointment.
Sunday, June 20
8:51am – Public sentiment in Japan has been generally opposed to holding the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, partly based on fears the coronavirus will spike as almost 100,000 people — athletes and others — enter for both events.
The Japanese medical community is largely against it. The government’s main medical adviser Dr. Shigeru Omi has said it’s “abnormal” to hold the Olympics during a pandemic. So far, only 5% of Japanese are fully vaccinated.
The medical journal The Lancet has raised questions about the health risks and criticized the World Health Organization and other health bodies for not taking a clear stand. The New England Journal of Medicine has said the IOC’s decision to proceed “is not informed by the best scientific evidence.” Read more about the Olympics from the Associated Press.
Saturday, June 19
4:39pm – Health officials say there have been 411,096 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 5,820 deaths since the outbreak began last year. The state says there have been 7,586,602 doses of vaccine administered across Washington.
9:20am – President Biden marked a milestone on Friday of 300 million doses of vaccine administered across the country. CNN reports that as of Friday, 44.7% of Americans have initiated vaccination, with 53.1% fully vaccinated.
Biden had set a goal of 70% of Americans partially vaccinated by July 4.
The pace of new vaccinations in the U.S. has dropped significantly from a high of nearly 2 million per day about two months ago, jeopardizing Biden’s ability to hit the 70% mark. Read more from AP.
Friday, June 18
6:16pm – As the number of COVID-19 cases fall across King County, health officials are keeping a close eye on variants, particularly Delta.
Dr. Jeff Duchin with Public Health — Seattle & King County said it’s possible we’ll see outbreaks of Delta over the summer, but he can’t predict to what extent. Read more.
4:51pm – Health officials say there have been 410,659 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Washington state, and 5820 deaths since the outbreak began last year. The state says there have been 7,586,602 doses of vaccine administered across Washington.
4:04pm – The second big winner in the Covid vaccine lottery, Dillon T of Yakima, said in a news release on Friday that he didn’t really know about the lottery. Dillon T won $250,000.
“I’m not really on social media, so I honestly didn’t even know that this COVID lottery was going on here in Washington, but it’s a nice thing that it’s happening and drawing attention to getting vaccinated. For me, getting this prize is a big stress reliever, especially given all that’s been happening in life and the world these past few years.”
As of Friday afternoon, 151 of the 251 prizes available to adults in this week’s “Shot of a Lifetime” drawing have been claimed, and nine of the 15 prizes available to people ages 12-17 have been claimed. Those prizes include 100 Washington Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) Units, which is about the same as one year of resident, undergraduate tuition at Washington state universities.
2:19pm – Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Friday that she is extending the city’s COVID-19 eviction moratorium until Sept. 30.
The eviction moratorium was first put into place in March 2020, in hopes of helping those who lost their jobs because of the pandemic and were unable to pay rent. Read more.
12:17pm – COVID case rates are now 80% lower than the peak of the fourth wave in King County. But County Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin says certain groups are still being hit hard, especially in southern areas of the county.
“Twenty-seven percent of all new cases last week were in Black and African American residents — the highest proportion since Covid hit King County,” Duchin said. “And especially disproportionate given Blacks and African Americans only represent only 6% of the King County population.”
Right now, the county has about double the daily cases of a year ago at this time — before the second wave hit.
10:10am – While they’re keeping a close eye on it, state health officials are not too concerned about the new Delta variant at the moment. But that could change if the numbers start to resemble what is being seen in other parts of the world. Read more.
9:14am – All state Capitol buildings will reopen to the public on July 1. That does not mean that all offices will be back to full service, and no date has been announced for public tours to resume.
Many state Capitol buildings have been off limits to all but essential workers for the past 15 months.
8:07am – The U.S./Canadian border won’t be opening this month, as reported by the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair on Twitter.
“In coordination with the U.S., we are extending restrictions on non-essential international travel and with the United States until July 21st, 2021,” Blair wrote.
He adds that the government is planning measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents, and others who are currently permitted to enter Canada and will announce more on June 21.
7:36am – The Ballard Alliance has created an online job board where candidates looking for work in Ballard can find open positions in one convenient location. Businesses across all industry sectors are hiring in Ballard, with the greatest need felt in the restaurant and retail industry. View the jobs here.
5:29am – The state’s Liquor and Cannabis Board updated the rules for the “joints for jabs” program so that pot shop owners can use their parking lots to hold a vaccine clinic.
Some retailers had previously expressed that they would not be able to participate in the vaccine incentive program because their stores weren’t big enough for a pop-up vaccination clinic. This allowance, LCB says, “does not supersede any lease agreements with your property owner.” Stores have until July 12 to participate in the promotion.
Thursday, June 17
4:56pm – Health officials say there have been 410,195 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Washington state, and 5,810 death since the outbreak began last year. The state says there have been 7,528,340 doses of vaccine administered across the state.
2:26pm – Dillon T. from Yakima is the winner of this week’s state vaccine lottery grand prize. He picked up his $250,000 prize at a Lottery office today. Dillon is not doing interviews. He is considering releasing a written statement.
Not quite half of the 251 prizes in this week’s “Shot of a Lifetime” drawing for adults are spoken for as of early this afternoon.
12:14pm – The Seattle Mariners have received permission from the state and King County to return to full seating capacity at T-Mobile Park beginning July 2.
This means there will be no social distancing or vaccine-only sections, no required proof of vaccination or negative COVID tests at the gates, all kids areas will reopen, and all areas of the ballpark (including The ‘Pen and Trident Deck) will reopen to all fans. The Mariners say masks are not required for fully vaccinated individuals, but should be worn by unvaccinated fans.
11:02am – After being unable to include veterans and active military duty personnel in Washington’s vaccine lottery, Gov. Inslee announced a new program Thursday that will be offered only to the military population. Read more.
10:09am – There’s a perfect storm happening now with the return of near-normal behavior, the leveling off in people getting vaccinated, and the new Delta variant. But Dr. Nathan Schlicher — a Tacoma ER doctor and president of the Washington State Medical Association — says the good news is that COVID-19 vaccines are showing to be about 85% effective at preventing disease against the Delta variant, and about 95% against hospitalization. Read more.
7:17am – Opened in 1968, Johnny’s at Fife has announced that it will not reopen. The restaurant right along I-5 shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic. Johnny Meaker, founder of Johnny’s Seasoning Salt, started the business and it has been owned by his family ever since.
5:31am – It looks like the vaccine lottery may be working its magic. Michele Roberts with the state Department of Health says while it’s too early yet to really tell, there are promising signs that the lottery is inspiring more people to get their shots.
“Before the lottery announcement, we were seeing a decline in vaccinations. I can tell you that vaccinations were up last week for the first time in more than a month, which is great,” Roberts said.
Another 140,000 people need to get their first dose for the state to hit the 70% vaccinated mark.
Wednesday, June 16
5:07pm – Health officials say there have been 409,820 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Washington state, and 5,801 deaths since the outbreak began last spring.
3:22pm – State health experts say the vaccine appears to be working pretty well against the new Delta variant.
If the vaccine wasn’t as effective, state epidemiologist Dr. Scott Lindquist says there would be more breakthrough cases. He went on to note during a Wednesday briefing that we’re also not seeing noticeably more hospitalizations or deaths from this variant.
The best thing everyone can do to halt the variants is get vaccinated, he advised.
1:13pm – Nearly 30,000 fewer people are working in Washington state right now than at this time last year. Every region — except the Seattle, Bellevue, Everett area — has lost jobs. Even so, the state’s employment rate is better than the national average.
The new report says Washington’s public and private sectors did add 8,000 jobs in May, but more than twice that many people were added to our unemployment rolls.
11:39am – Keep a close eye on your phone today as calls are being made to notify vaccinated residents if they’re a winner in this week’s state lottery. The top prize is $250,000 and you’ll have 72 hours to claim it. About 40% of last week’s prizes went unclaimed.
Any unclaimed prizes are added to the final drawing on July 13.
8:44am – While Washington continues to inch toward the vaccine threshold needed to reopen ahead of schedule, Gov. Inslee reiterated that he does not plan to rush that process in the interim. Read more.
7:31am – Summer concerts at the Chateau Ste. Michelle winery in Woodinville are returning this year, with Fitz and the Tantrums, Josh Groban, Chicago, and Train among the coming acts. Tickets are available for all dates, except for John Legend, who is sold out.
There will be new COVID safety requirements, including proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 48 hours before the concert.
5:45am – The Central Library in downtown Seattle and nine additional library branches will reopen next week. Seattle Public Library will have 17 of 27 libraries reopened in June with more libraries reopening in early July. Find a complete list of locations and services currently available online here.
Masks remain a requirement for all patrons and staff in library spaces, regardless of vaccination status.
Tuesday, June 15
4:46pm – Health officials say there have been 409,361 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Washington state, and 5,800 deaths. The state reports 7,466,229 doses of vaccine administered.
3:39pm – King County has officially reached a key vaccine milestone, with over 70% of residents ages 16 and up having now completed their vaccination series. Read more.
1:43pm – Officials will be drawing the latest round of names for the state’s vaccine lottery on Tuesday.
Winners will be notified on Wednesday, with prizes including $250,000, tickets to Reign, Storm, Sounders, and Mariners games, XBoxes, and more.
11:37am – Officials are tracking the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant in Washington state. Snohomish County’s Dr. Chris Spitters says nine cases of the variant have been detected in the county, though that number comes from a roughly 10% sample of the total positive test results.
Spitters says it is concerning, but that “it just doesn’t seem to be breaking away from the pack of other variants of concern.”
The Delta variant has led to a rise in cases in India, China, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
10:09am – After closing its doors in 2020 for “stay home, stay healthy” order, Scarecrow Video in Seattle is reopening for in-store browsing. It sells and loans film, VHS tapes, DVDs, and more modern formats of content from around the world. Masks are required in store.
9:21am – Seattle restaurants will soon be able to opt out of food delivery services, thanks to a newly-passed bill from city councilmembers.
The measure was sponsored by Council President Lorena Gonzalez, who touted it as a necessary step toward helping restaurants stay afloat at the tail-end of a year-long pandemic that’s seen a significant uptick in delivery and takeout. Read more.
7:13am – Today is Washington’s second vaccine lottery drawing of five. The biggest prize is another $250,000, but there are also airline and sport tickets, gift cards, and gaming systems up for grabs.
More than 100 prizes went unclaimed from last week’s drawing and will now be given out in the last drawing on July 13. That final drawing also includes the grand prize of $1 million.
5:48am – California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic.
At the stroke of midnight, California is lifting most of its COVID-19 restrictions and ushering in what has been billed as the state’s “Grand Reopening.” Read more from the Associated Press.
For neighbor Oregon, most restrictions will be lifted once 70% of residents age 18 and older receive a first dose of a COVID vaccine. In Washington, the goal for a full reopening is 70% of people age 16 and older with at least one shot, but the state will open on June 30 even if the 70% threshold is not reached.
Monday, June 14
5:01pm – Health officials say there have been 408,999 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Washington state, and 5,782 deaths. The state reports 7,466,229 doses of vaccine administered.
4:03pm – Snohomish County is reporting its lowest case rates since October 2020, having now dipped below 100 cases per 100,000 residents.
“Vaccination and good habits like staying home when sick and respecting others’ space can help us keep going,” Snohomish County Health said on Twitter.
2:27pm – Officials are warning Washingtonians to be aware of scammers claiming to be linked to the state’s “Shot of a Lifetime” vaccine lottery. Read more.
12:31pm – The Edmonds Chamber of Commerce may have to cancel next month’s Fourth of July Parade, not because of COVID-19 — like in 2020 — but because of a lack of participants.
The chamber tells the Herald that only 15 groups are set to march in the parade, which is far from the 40 needed to register by June 21 for the parade to take place.
11:40am – The COVID-19 pandemic has created ongoing problems for blood collection centers, and now there’s a risk of operations being postponed at local hospitals, even urgent ones, if more people don’t come forward to give. Read more.
9:03am – Starting Monday, anyone who gets a COVID-19 vaccination at participating providers in Kitsap County can get a voucher for one month of free Kitsap Transit bus and ferry rides.
The voucher can be redeemed in any month through next May. People who don’t need the voucher are allowed to give it to someone else.
8:09am – Another lucky person will win $250,000 in the state’s second vaccine lottery on Tuesday. There are also other prizes up for grabs, including sports tickets, free flights, and gift cards.
Anyone 18 or older who has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot in Washington is eligible. Winners have 72 hours to claim their prize, so be sure to check your voicemail.
6:58am – T-Mobile Park will increase capacity starting Monday, now able to sell over 26,000 tickets to fans have been vaccinated for COVID-19 with no social distancing in the stands. Hundreds of other tickets will be sold in socially distanced pods.
The total ballpark capacity under this new guidance is just under 31,000.
5:34am – COVID-19 vaccine trials are underway nationwide, including in Seattle, for children under the age of 12. KIRO 7 TV reports that Seattle Children’s is studying the Pfizer vaccine, first in 6-11 year-olds, and then down in age to kids just six months of age up to 5 years-old.
Pfizer says it expects to have initial trial results in September for the 6-11 year-olds.