COVID updates: State still short of goal needed for early reopening
The state Department of Health says there have been over 413,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in Washington, and 5,902 people have died from the virus statewide. The state says 7,721,076 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 27
6:52pm – Public Health — Seattle & King County says Covid testing at several sites will remain closed through Monday due to extreme heat. Check here for a list of sites that will remain open.
8:06am – With Washington scheduled to reopen on Wednesday, June 30, the state is still inching slowly toward the benchmark needed to reopen early.
In order to reopen prior to June 30, Washington would need to have 70% of people ages 16 and up receive at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. The latest data indicates that the state is hovering around 68.2%, with modest daily increases.
Saturday, June 26
4:01pm – Health officials say there have been 413,794 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Washington state, and 5,902 deaths since the outbreak began last month. The state says there have been 7,721,076 doses of vaccine administered across Washington.
12:26pm – The Delta variant has continued to raise alarms across the globe, viewed by many health experts as the most infectious strain of COVID-19 yet. Here’s what you need to know to stay safe.
8:14am – With Washington scheduled to reopen on June 30, King County health officials issued words of warning for those who remain unvaccinated.
“COVID-19 is still here, and more contagious variants are spreading locally in King County and nationally,” Seattle-King County Public Health said in a recent blog post. “Some of these newer variants are also more likely to lead to hospitalization if you are unvaccinated.”
That means understanding that there are still people with underlying health conditions that put them at increased risk of hospitalization, continuing to be vigilant, “understand[ing] your level of personal risk.”
Friday, June 25
4:29pm – Health officials say there have been 413,453 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Washington state, and 5,902 deaths since the outbreak began last month. The state says there have been 7,721,076 doses of vaccine administered across Washington.
11:27am – Hawaii’s governor has announced the state will drop its testing and quarantine rules for fully vaccinated travelers.
The restrictions that apply to travelers from the mainland will end on July 8th. Visitors will have to upload their vaccination cards to a state website — and also bring a hard copy while traveling.
People who are not vaccinated will still to be required to get a negative coronavirus test before travel to Hawaii.
10:13am – As Washington approaches its scheduled June 30 reopening, it’s looking more and more unlikely that the state will hit the threshold needs to reopen prior to that date. Read more.
8:49am – Clark County is offering vaccinations between 8:30 am. and 4:30 p.m. Friday at the Tower Mall in Vancouver, Washington.
Anyone who gets a vaccine today at the Tower Mall clinic will also receive a $50 gift card, courtesy of the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce.
6:54am – Cities and counties across the Puget Sound region are balancing ongoing COVID-19 concerns with this weekend’s impending heatwave, as cooling centers and public pools reopen, and Seattle looks to reactivate dozens of water fountains that had been damaged or shut off to reduce the spread of the virus early on in the pandemic. Read more.
5:23am – The Seattle Sounders will return to hosting full capacity at Lumen Field starting on July 7 for its home tilt against the Houston Dynamo.
Fans will no longer be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test before entering the stadium.
This comes after the Seahawks announced earlier in the week that they had received approval to also host a full complement of fans for the start of the NFL season this September.
Thursday, June 24
5:20pm – Health officials say there have been 413,046 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Washington state, and 5,898 deaths since the outbreak began last year. The state confirms there have been 7,681,944 doses of vaccine administered across Washington so far.
1:48pm – A medical professional in training is the winner of this week’s $250,000 dollar state vaccine lottery. Marisa P from Spokane is the first lottery winner to appear publicly. She joined Gov. Inslee at this morning’s press conference.
“Stay healthy, stay safe, and go get vaccinated,” Marisa said while at the podium with the governor.
Next week’s drawing for $250,000 is on Tuesday.
11:18am – Gov. Jay Inslee announced Thursday that rather than extending Washington’s eviction moratorium, he would be establishing a “bridge” period for renters and landlords spanning through September 30. Read more.
9:04am – Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan unveiled a new plan to revive the city’s downtown core on Wednesday, investing $9 million in post-pandemic recovery efforts. Read more.
7:12am – The owner of Point Roberts’ only grocery store says she will be forced to close next month if Canada and the U.S. don’t ease pandemic-driven border restrictions. Read more.
5:31am – While COVID-19 cases in Snohomish County have continued to trend down, local leaders are voicing concerns over a resurgence in COVID-19 cases if more people don’t get vaccinated.
“We need to celebrate the progress we’ve made and try to avoid a fifth wave,” County Executive Dave Somers said in a written release.
Somers says that it’s “conceivable” cases tick back up without a continued rise in vaccination rates. Health Officer Dr. Chris Spitters further warns that the county’s current rate “is too low a percentage to thwart spread of the virus should unvaccinated people opt to stop wearing masks, engaging in social distancing and other COVID-fighting behaviors.”
Wednesday, June 23
4:41pm – Health officials say there have been 412,581 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Washington state, and 5,889 deaths since the outbreak began. The state reports 7,681,944 doses of vaccine have been administered across Washington.
3:14pm – This week’s state vaccine lottery winner has come forward and we will hear from them during Governor Inslee’s press conference Thursday morning.
The third “Shot of a Lifetime” grand prize winner gets $250,000 dollars, minus taxes.
Inslee is expected to announce an extension of the ban on evicting any renter who has not been able to pay because of the pandemic.
1:41pm – Husky Stadium is returning to full capacity. Tickets go on sale to the public starting July 23. The 2021 Husky season kicks of September 4 against Montana.
In Pullman, Washington State University football home games will also be at 100% capacity. Tickets go on sale July 26. The Cougars open their season on September 4 against Utah State University.
12:03pm – The state Department of Health said, in its weekly Covid response update, that it’s not anticipating Washington will get to a point where variants jeopardize the ability to start in-person school year in September, as kids are not getting infected at the rate of adults.
The DOH says most transmission is happening at bars, restaurants, and long-term care facilities. Masks will be part of any school setting and are the most effective measure aside from vaccines.
10:39am – If you have had even one coronavirus shot in our state, keep your eye on your phone.
Shot of a Lifetime vaccine lottery winners picked Tuesday are being notified today. A phone call from the 253 or 564 area code is the most likely way you will be contacted.
If you don’t respond, you may get a text or email. Winners have 72 hours to claim their prizes.
8:42am – Washington state now has 68% of residents ages 16+ who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, putting it just below the threshold needed to reopen before June 30.
With just a week to go until the state’s scheduled reopening date — and with vaccine rates slowing — it’s unclear whether it will reach the 70% mark it needs to start that process early.
7:04am – If you’re planning to travel this fourth of July, you’re not alone, with AAA predicting that more than one million people in our state will take a road trip.
That would make it the second busiest fourth of July travel weekend on record. Nationwide, nearly 48 million Americans are expected to travel for the holiday, bring the U.S. close to pre-pandemic levels.
5:12am – The Seattle Sounders announced Tuesday that all fans seated in the lower bowl of Lumen Field will have to show proof of full vaccination.
Any children between the ages of 5 and 15 who have not been vaccinated will still be permitted to sit in the lower bowl provided they show prove of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of kickoff.
This comes as part of a phased approach to getting the stadium back to full capacity. Given this new policy, the team says to expect slower entry to matches starting with Wednesday’s tilt against Real Salt Lake. Fans are encouraged to arrive early in anticipation of this.
Tuesday, June 22
6:02pm – Gov. Inslee’s office confirmed on Tuesday that the governor intends to provide a short-term bridge extension to the state’s eviction moratorium. The bridge is in an effort to give programs that the state Legislature has created time to get underway. Read more.
4:28pm – Health officials confirm there have been 411,858 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Washington state, and 5,843 deaths since the outbreak began last year. The state reports 7,658,911 doses of vaccine have been administered across Washington.
3:22pm – Burien joins the list of cities not waiting for Governor Inslee to decide about an extension of the statewide eviction ban, which expires on June 30.
Burien’s city council decided on Monday night that no renter facing a pandemic-related money hardship can be told to leave until the end of September. Seattle, Kenmore, and Kirkland have done the same. The extensions do not relieve the obligation to pay back rent.
Renters rights groups say more time is needed to distribute rent relief.
12:56pm – Washington’s Lottery drew new winners for the state’s vaccine lotto on Tuesday, selecting 256 names among fully vaccinated adults. Another 15 people between the ages of 12 and 17 were also chosen for a separate prize drawing.
Winners will be contacted on Wednesday, June 23.
11:21am – The Seattle Seahawks have officially received approval for full capacity at Lumen Field to start the 2021 season. Read more.
9:58am – King County will be hosting more popup vaccination clinics this week.
Locations include Crossroads Park in Bellevue on Tuesday through 6 p.m. and Queer Bar in Seattle between 5 and 8 p.m., and on Thursday at Bellevue Downtown Park between 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. and Youth Source in Renton between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
You can see more details here.
8:29am – Gov. Jay Inslee announced Monday that he would be rolling back three pandemic-related proclamations ahead of the state’s scheduled reopening on June 30. Read more.
7:07am – Thanks to sunny weather and increases in vaccinations, tourists have finally returned to Seattle’s downtown core. Read more.
5:34am – Seattle City Council unanimously approved “Seattle Rescue Plan” legislation Monday, delivering a $128.4 million package in federal funds to put toward post-pandemic recovery across the city.
The money will be used to address a wide swathe of recovery efforts, including housing and homelessness, small businesses, the arts, neighborhood districts, childcare, and essential city services.
Following the package’s passage during Monday’s full council session, it garnered wide praise from the mayor’s office and councilmembers.
“The Seattle Rescue Plan centers policy over politics, community over conflicts, and reflects the diversity of our city’s needs,” Council Budget Chair Teresa Mosqueda said in a written release. “This package directs dollars to communities who were most harmed by COVID, both in health impacts and lost livelihoods.”
Monday, June 21
5:20pm – Health officials say there have been 411,542 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Washington state, and 5838 deaths since the outbreak began last year. The state says there have been 7,658,911 doses of vaccine administered.
3:35pm – Washington state Hospital Association CEO Cassie Sauer says an average of about 300 people a day are being treated for coronavirus in hospitals across our state. That average has declined since vaccinations began.
Nationwide, about 300 people a day are dying from COVID-19 complications.
1:26pm – Downtown Seattle’s glass library will reopen Tuesday after 15 months of closures due to the pandemic. Initially, only three of nine floors will be staffed for public use, and computers and Wi-Fi will be available.
Nine other Seattle Library branches are dusting off the books to welcome people back this week. Reopening dates for some branches are unknown because of staffing or spacing issues.
1:05pm – There are thousands of families across the country whose reunifications have been snarled in the foster care system as courts delayed cases, went virtual or temporarily shut down, according to an Associated Press analysis of child welfare data from 34 states.
“Everybody needed extra help, and nobody was getting extra help,” said Shawn Powell, a Parents for Parents advocacy program coordinator in King County. Read more from the Associated Press.
11:08am – Restaurants in Auburn could get sidewalk permit fees waived.
The city adopted an ordinance last year to help eateries hit by the pandemic with outdoor seating. Now, city leaders want to update the measure, according to the The Auburn Reporter.
Their proposed ordinance extends the temporary fee waiver 30 days beyond the date the governor ends the emergency proclamation, while leaders say the extension gives businesses flexibility.
9:11am – The CDC cited concerns on Monday involving the fact that vaccination rates have slowed considerably in recent weeks.
“Efforts are needed to improve vaccination coverage for all ages, especially groups with lower uptake, such as young adults,” it said on Twitter.
Roughly 45% of Americans across all age groups have been fully vaccinated, well below the level seen in major cities like San Francisco and Seattle, where rates have risen well above 70%.
6:57am – Washington is inching closer to being 70% vaccinated. But if you haven’t received your second vaccine shot, you may want to get another shot soon to be better protected against any COVID-19 variant. Read more.
5:10am – Despite COVID-19 cases trending downward in most states, modelers at UW’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation have expressed concerns that declining demand for vaccinations over the summer, decreases in mask wearing, and increases in mobility could lead to a potential surge in new cases and hospitalizations by late-fall or early winter of this year.
“Given that vaccination will likely run up against the limit of demand by early July, we expect there will be enough individuals who are susceptible to B.1.617.2 or P.1 [variant] infection to drive a late fall/winter surge which will slowly begin by late September,” the IHME’s Dr. Ali Mokdad said Sunday.
The IHME’s latest modeling indicates that daily infections could even begin to rise as soon as late August, with deaths increasing shortly after that.