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Coronavirus each day information updates, January 8: What to know in the present day about COVID-19 within the Seattle space, Washington state and the world

Editor’s word: This can be a stay account of COVID-19 updates from Saturday, Jan. 8, because the day unfolded. It’s not being up to date. Click on right here to see all the newest information concerning the pandemic, and click on right here to search out further assets.

Final month, President Joe Biden introduced that the federal government would buy about half a billion COVID-19 fast take a look at kits for individuals to make use of at dwelling freed from cost. However as public demand for COVID-19 assessments continues to soar, it is going to doubtless take a number of weeks for the testing kits to be shipped, White Home officers stated.

Elsewhere in Washington, well being officers reported Friday that over 10,000 individuals have died from COVID-19 within the state for the reason that onset of the pandemic. The tragic milestone comes because the area continues to report record-breaking each day case counts.

In the meantime, federal regulators introduced Friday that individuals who obtained two doses of the Moderna vaccine want to attend 5 months to obtain a booster and never six.

We’re updating this web page with the newest information concerning the COVID-19 pandemic and its results on the Seattle space, the U.S. and the world. Click on right here to see earlier days’ stay updates and all our different coronavirus protection, and right here to see how we observe the each day unfold throughout Washington.

Symphony cancels live performance over COVID-19

The Seattle Symphony canceled a Saturday evening efficiency led by conductor and composer John Adams, calling the choice a precaution in opposition to COVID-19.

The 8 p.m. present was to incorporate music impressed by mid-Twentieth century cinema. On-line statements by the Symphony did not point out any particular outbreak, and additional particulars had been unavailable late Saturday. Ticket-holders might be allowed to acquire exchanges or refunds. Learn the story right here.

—Mike Lindblom

Hospitals face tight labor market as employees flees omicron

U.S. hospitals are struggling to get the employees they should deal with sufferers by means of the winter’s COVID-19 surge because the virus collides with a traditionally tight labor market.

Excessive demand for labor all through the financial system is making it tougher to search out replacements for medical doctors, nurses and assist employees who’ve been sidelined by the omicron variant. It’s particularly robust in small cities and rural areas with ageing populations and fewer individuals getting into the workforce.

Discovering ample employees is a each day problem that business veterans say is tougher than any time they’ll keep in mind. Job openings in well being care and social help are greater than double their pandemic lows, and a file variety of persons are quitting.

Learn the entire story right here.

—John Tozzi, Bloomberg

Naked rooms, rotten fruit and tedium: Quarantine life on contaminated cruises

Though cruise ship passengers should comply with strict guidelines to cruise – with the overwhelming majority of individuals onboard vaccinated and everybody required to check adverse – infections have slipped by means of. As constructive circumstances mount, passengers and crew have coped with less-than-ideal lodging. Many interviewed by The Washington Submit reported lengthy waits for service, hours with out water, bare-bones meals and confusion over when and whom to check — at the same time as most ships keep their course.

Learn the entire story right here.

—Hannah Sampson and Meryl Kornfield, The Washington Submit

As extra academics’ unions push for distant education, dad and mom fear. So do Democrats.

Few U.S. cities have labor politics as fraught as Chicago’s, the place the nation’s third-largest faculty system shut down this previous week after academics’ union members refused to work in particular person, arguing that school rooms had been unsafe amid the omicron surge.

However in a variety of different locations, the tenuous labor peace that has allowed most colleges to function usually this 12 months is at risk of collapsing.

Whereas not but threatening to stroll off the job, unions are again at negotiating tables, pushing in some circumstances for a return to distant studying. They regularly cite understaffing due to sickness, and shortages of fast assessments and medical-grade masks. Some academics, in a rear-guard motion, have staged sickouts.

Learn the entire story right here.

—NOAM SCHEIBER and DANA GOLDSTEIN, The New York Occasions

28,000 canceled flights later, airways nonetheless on the lookout for higher hand in opposition to omicron, climate

Laura Leonard was thrilled to get day without work work to go to her mom in Connecticut over the vacations.

The journey was imagined to be fast, simply 4 days throughout New 12 months’s weekend, however after months on the entrance traces of the pandemic as a case employee at a Chicago-area hospital, she was anticipating a break. Then, 90 minutes earlier than her scheduled Jan. 3 departure again dwelling, Southwest Airways canceled the flight.

It price almost $500 to get again to Chicago – two days later and on one other airline. Through the mad scramble to return dwelling, she thought-about renting a automotive and driving 900 miles. The $680 price ticket was simply an excessive amount of.

Like 1000’s of passengers who deliberate vacation journeys, Leonard turned caught in an epic journey meltdown in its third week that has pressured the cancellation of greater than 28,000 flights for the reason that first indicators of hassle on Christmas Eve, in response to flight-tracking web site FlightAware. What started as a pandemic-related problem shortly snowballed right into a multitiered take a look at – coupling the uncertainties of omicron with the extra acquainted headache of winter climate.

Learn the entire story right here.

—Lori Aratani and Ian Duncan, The Washington Submit

Washington state Sen. John Lovick assessments constructive for COVID

Washington state Sen. John Lovick, D-Mill Creek, has examined constructive for COVID-19, he stated in an announcement Friday. Lovick described his signs as delicate.

“I’m high-quality, I’ve a little bit of a chilly, however aside from that I really feel OK,” stated Lovick, 70. “One factor is for certain – I’m relieved that I’m each vaccinated and boosted.”

Lovick was just lately appointed to the Senate to exchange Sen. Steve Hobbs, who left his place to develop into Washington’s secretary of state. Earlier than his appointment, Lovick was a member of the Washington state Home of Representatives, the place he’d served since 2016. Lovick had beforehand served within the Home from 1999 to 2007. A longtime law- enforcement officer, Lovick was additionally beforehand a member of the Mill Creek Metropolis Council, in addition to Snohomish County’s sheriff and govt.

Learn the entire story right here.

—David Kroman

Rural hospitals in northeast Washington battle to switch sufferers for care

The Spokane Regional Well being District reported 852 new COVID-19 circumstances and 5 deaths Friday. That is the very best each day case rely reported for Spokane County throughout the complete pandemic.

The numbers underscore struggles throughout the state as increasingly more persons are sick.

Rural hospitals within the Inland Northwest, for instance, at the moment are struggling to switch sufferers to bigger hospitals, together with these in Spokane, the place emergency departments are full.

Many hospitals within the Inland Northwest are having to board sufferers, look after them or preserve them within the emergency division, till a mattress opens up of their hospital to deal with them.

Learn the entire story right here.

—Arielle Dreher, The Spokesman-Evaluation

Lots of in Lebanon protest measures focusing on unvaccinated

BEIRUT (AP) — Lots of of individuals rallied in Beirut on Saturday to protest measures imposed in opposition to the unvaccinated, saying people ought to have the fitting to resolve whether or not to be inoculated or not.

Vaccination will not be obligatory in Lebanon, however in current days authorities have cracked down on people who find themselves not inoculated or don’t carry a adverse PCR take a look at.

Saturday’s protest by almost 300 individuals in downtown Beirut got here a day after the each day variety of new coronavirus circumstances hit a file 7,974.

The protest got here days after authorities imposed recent restrictions — together with the requirement of a vaccination certificates or adverse PCR take a look at for entry into eating places, motels and related venues.

—The Related Press

Omicron explosion spurs nationwide breakdown of providers

The present explosion of omicron-fueled coronavirus infections within the U.S. is inflicting a breakdown in fundamental features and providers — the newest illustration of how COVID-19 retains upending life greater than two years into the pandemic.

First responders, hospitals, faculties and authorities businesses have employed an all-hands-on-deck strategy to maintain the general public secure, however they’re frightened how for much longer they’ll stick with it.

—Jennifer Sinco Kelleher and Terry Tang, The Related Press

About 1 million fast assessments expired in Florida

 About 1 million fast coronavirus assessments that Florida had amassed throughout the pandemic expired final month, the state acknowledged this week, blaming low demand earlier than the omicron variant prompted a surge in infections.

“We had a stockpile, however nobody actually wished them for a lot of, many months,” Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, stated Friday as he confronted a second day of questions concerning the expired assessments, which aren’t to be used at dwelling.

The state requested the federal authorities if the expiration date may very well be prolonged however has not heard again, Kevin Guthrie, the director of the Florida Division of Emergency Administration, stated Thursday. The batch had been set to run out within the fall, he added, however their shelf life was prolonged till late December.

Learn the complete story right here.

—Patricia Mazzei, The New York Occasions

U.Okay. gov’t advisers advocate in opposition to 4th vaccine dose

LONDON (AP) — U.Okay. authorities advisers have beneficial in opposition to giving a fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine to nursing dwelling residents and folks over 80 as a result of knowledge reveals {that a} third shot affords lasting safety in opposition to admission to the hospital.

For individuals over 65, safety in opposition to hospitalization stays at about 90% three months after the third dose, in response to knowledge compiled by the U.Okay. Well being Safety Company.

Because of this, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization on Friday suggested the federal government that there was no want to supply a fourth dose, or second booster, to weak individuals right now. As a substitute, the federal government ought to concentrate on giving a 3rd dose to as many individuals as doable to spice up safety in opposition to the extremely transmissible omicron variant.

Learn the complete story right here.

—Danica Kirka, The Related Press

Classes forgotten: Election rallies feed Indian virus surge

NEW DELHI (AP) — Coronavirus circumstances fueled by the extremely transmissible omicron variant are rocketing by means of India, prompting the federal authorities and states to swiftly reintroduce a string of restrictions.

Night time curfews are again. Eating places and bars are working at half their capability. Some states have closed faculties and film theaters. Massive gatherings are to be downsized.

However India’s political leaders are busy on the marketing campaign path forward of essential state polls, addressing packed rallies of tens of 1000’s of individuals, many with out masks.

Learn the complete story right here.

—Sheikh Saaliq, The Related Press

COVID stopped these Seattle seniors from exercising. Now they dance collectively on Zoom

Earlier than the pandemic, Asian Counseling and Referral Service, or ACRS, hosted an on-site “Membership Bamboo” program that gave older adults an upbeat place to talk, dance and eat lunches with Asian and Pacific Islander dishes each weekday, whereas steering them towards different ACRS choices, resembling housing help, psychological well being counseling and citizenship programs.

However many in-person applications within the Seattle space, together with Membership Bamboo, have been suspended since COVID-19 emerged virtually two years in the past, leaving seniors prone to turning into bodily inactive and socially remoted.

About eight months in the past, one thing thrilling occurred: Membership Bamboo moved on-line.

Primarily based in Seattle’s Rainier Valley, ACRS is one in every of 13 nonprofits that profit from reader donations to The Seattle Occasions Fund for These in Want.

Learn the complete story right here.

—Daniel Beekman

Court docket paperwork present Djokovic had COVID-19 final month

Novak Djokovic’s attorneys filed courtroom papers Saturday in his problem in opposition to deportation from Australia that present the tennis star examined constructive for COVID-19 final month and recovered, grounds he utilized in making use of for a medical exemption to the nation’s strict vaccination guidelines.

The No. 1-ranked Djokovic was denied entry on the Melbourne airport late Wednesday after border officers canceled his visa for failing to satisfy its entry requirement that every one non-citizens be totally vaccinated for COVID-19.

Djokovic was given a medical exemption backed by the Victoria state authorities and Australian Open organizers on Jan. 1, based mostly on data he equipped to 2 impartial medical panels, and he was accepted for a visa electronically.

Nevertheless it has since emerged that the Victoria state medical exemption, allowed for individuals who examined constructive for the coronavirus inside the final six months, was deemed invalid by the federal border authorities.

Learn the complete story right here.

—John Pye, The Related Press

Omicron might enhance immunity, some consultants say. However don’t wager on it

As omicron sickens thousands and thousands of Individuals, some illness consultants are peering into the long run, speculating that the large winter wave of infections from this new coronavirus variant may produce one thing useful in the long term.

They word that omicron, whereas stunningly contagious, seems much less prone to ship somebody to the hospital. The variant’s extraordinary transmissibility might enhance immunity because it rips by means of the inhabitants and — as soon as this tide of circumstances has ebbed — make the pandemic a much less harmful well being emergency.

The concept omicron has a silver lining will not be a totally shaped scientific concept. It’s conjecture, in some circumstances unspooled on Twitter threads and floated in tv interviews. At worst, it’s “arm-waving,” to make use of the time period that critical scientists make use of as a pejorative.

And even the consultants selling the thought concede that it’s an informed guess — and is contingent upon the virus itself, which has repeatedly stunned consultants and will generate new variants which are extra harmful than omicron.

Learn the complete story right here.

—Joel Achenbach and Carolyn Y. Johnson, The Washington Submit

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