Coronavirus every day information updates, February 28: What to know in the present day about COVID-19 within the Seattle space, Washington state and the world

Editor’s be aware: It is a stay account of COVID-19 updates from Monday, February 28, 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 sources.

Two intensive research printed Saturday level to a market in Wuhan because the origin of the coronavirus pandemic, discovering no assist that the virus escaped from a lab.

One other research estimates at the least 5.2 million youngsters globally misplaced a father or mother or different caregiver to COVID-19 within the first 19 months of the pandemic.

In the meantime, a research from the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention of fast antigen checks has raised questions concerning the company’s steering that folks can cease isolating 5 days after testing optimistic.

Starting tomorrow, eating places, bars, theaters and gymnasiums in King County will not be required to verify the vaccination standing of their patrons. King County is ready to carry its indoor masks mandate on March 21 if COVID-19 circumstances proceed to say no.

We’re updating this web page with the most recent 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 the remainder of our coronavirus protection and right here to see how we monitor the every day unfold throughout Washington.

AOL founder on how pandemic is altering unfold of tech jobs

Most individuals questioned AOL co-founder Steve Case’s judgment when he helped begin the net firm then referred to as Quantum Laptop Companies in 1985 — a time when the World Broad Net didn’t even exist.

Case, now 63 and sitting on an estimated fortune of $1.5 billion, confronted extra skepticism and bewilderment almost a decade in the past when his funding agency, Revolution, launched an initiative dubbed “Rise of the Relaxation.” The aim: set up extra know-how hubs in missed and generally decaying cites removed from Silicon Valley, Seattle, New York and Boston — locations that had lengthy attracted nearly all of funding and expertise driving the digital transformation reshaping the U.S. economic system.

After protecting greater than 11,000 miles on bus journeys to greater than 40 U.S. cities, Case felt like he had already been making headway earlier than the pandemic struck almost two years in the past. Now he believes the distant working phenomenon spawned by the pandemic will additional diversify the know-how panorama and assist slim the financial divides contributing to social strife within the U.S.

Learn the complete story right here.

—Michael Liedtke, The Related Press

Fed up with Google, conspiracy theorists flip to DuckDuckGo

On an episode of Joe Rogan’s widespread podcast final yr, he turned to a subject that has gripped right-wing communities and different People who really feel skeptical concerning the pandemic: search engines like google and yahoo.

“If I needed to search out particular circumstances about individuals who died from vaccine-related accidents, I needed to go to DuckDuckGo,” Rogan mentioned, referring to the small, privacy-focused search engine. “I wasn’t discovering them on Google.”

Reward for DuckDuckGo has grow to be a preferred chorus through the pandemic amongst right-wing social media influencers and conspiracy theorists who query COVID-19 vaccines and push discredited coronavirus therapies. Some have posted screenshots displaying that DuckDuckGo seems to floor extra hyperlinks favorable to their views than Google does.

Along with Rogan, who has just lately been on the heart of an outcry about misinformation on his podcast, the search engine has acquired ringing endorsements from a few of the world’s most-downloaded conservative podcasters, together with Ben Shapiro and Dan Bongino.

Learn the complete story right here.

—Stuart A. Thompson, The New York Instances

In Seattle, college students are reclaiming promenade with free venues and home made clothes

Choosing out the proper gown or tux, taking footage of a corsage being positioned on a wrist, and awkward sluggish dancing on the finish of the evening are all issues the final two graduating courses didn’t expertise.

Bear in mind senior promenade?

“It’s an enormous occasion,” Lincoln Excessive College senior Sebastian Pallais-Aks mentioned. “Each grownup I discuss to in my life has fantastic issues to say about their promenade expertise.”

The 2022 graduating class would be the first to placed on a promenade since Seattle faculties have been pressured to go distant. Usually, college students would have been fundraising over the last couple of years however that wasn’t potential for many.

Learn the complete story right here. 

—Monica Velez

In Somaliland, COVID brings ‘cutters’ door to door for ladies

Safia Ibrahim’s enterprise was in bother. COVID-19 had taken maintain in Somaliland, within the Horn of Africa. The 50-year-old widow with 10 youngsters to assist set out door to door on the capital’s outskirts, a razor at hand, making the most of the lockdown to hunt work with a query: Have your daughters been reduce?

Her enterprise is feminine circumcision, discovered on the age of 15, carried out tons of of instances and now being handed alongside to her daughters. She congratulates younger ladies upon finishing the process: “Pray for me, I’ve made you a lady now.”

She believes her work retains ladies pure for marriage. “That is our Somali tradition. Our great-grandmothers, grandfathers — all of them used to observe,” she mentioned, although she now is aware of there’s no medical and even spiritual cause for the elimination of exterior genitalia, which might trigger extreme bleeding, issues with urination and childbirth, infections and even loss of life. But it surely stays authorized in Somaliland, so Ibrahim will proceed till authorities inform her to cease.

Her story echoes by means of Muslim and different communities in a broad strip throughout Africa south of the Sahara, in addition to some international locations in Asia. In lots of locations, COVID-19 introduced stark challenges to efforts by well being employees and activists to cease what they together with the United Nations and others name feminine genital mutilation.

Learn the complete story right here.

—Cara Anna, The Related Press

State well being officers verify new coronavirus circumstances, deaths

The state Division of Well being (DOH) reported 2,451 new coronavirus circumstances on Friday, 4,682 on Saturday and 754 circumstances on Sunday. It additionally reported 35 extra deaths over these days.

The replace brings the state’s totals to 1,423,990 circumstances and 11,866 deaths, that means that 0.8% of individuals recognized in Washington have died, in response to the DOH. The info is as of 11:59 p.m. Sunday. New state knowledge is reported on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

As well as, 57,834 folks have been hospitalized within the state as a result of virus — 204 new hospitalizations. In King County, the state’s most populous, state well being officers have confirmed a complete of 365,871 COVID-19 diagnoses and a pair of,530 deaths.

Since vaccinations started in late 2020, the state and well being care suppliers have administered 13,048,304 doses and 67% of Washingtonians have been totally vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19, in response to vaccination knowledge, which the state updates on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Suppliers are at the moment giving a mean of about 8,935 vaccine photographs per day.

The DOH says its every day case experiences may embrace duplicate check outcomes, outcomes assigned to the improper county, outcomes which can be reported for in the present day however are literally from a earlier day, occasional false optimistic checks and different knowledge discrepancies. Due to this, the day gone by’s complete variety of circumstances plus the variety of new every day circumstances doesn’t add as much as the brand new day’s complete variety of circumstances. State well being officers advocate reviewing the dashboard’s epidemiologic curves tab for probably the most correct illustration of the state’s COVID-19 unfold.

—Daisy Zavala

White Home: 40% of free COVID checks to low-income areas

The White Home says 40% of COVID-19 checks ordered by means of its program to distribute free at-home fast checks have gone to People in distressed areas.

That’s an upward revision from an estimate of round 20% of free checks ordered by folks in “excessive vulnerability Zip Codes” that White Home officers had earlier supplied to The Related Press.

Earlier this yr, President Joe Biden introduced that his administration would make obtainable 500 million free COVID checks to anybody who needed one. The U.S. Postal Service was tapped to ship the packages of 4 free checks per family. Officers positioned a particular concentrate on reaching low-income People.

Regardless of a crush of orders when this system launched in January, demand has fallen off as omicron circumstances plummet and folks really feel much less urgency to check.

Learn the complete story right here.

—Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, The Related Press

For a lot of who’re immunosuppressed, church buildings stopped being a protected place

For hundreds of years, Christians have met in sacred locations that additionally supplied security for these looking for asylum, together with runaway slaves and undocumented immigrants. However those self same sanctuaries the place many sing and embrace one another have grow to be anxiety-inducing, and probably harmful, for a lot of People who’re thought of greater threat for COVID-19.

Greater than 7 million People have weakened immune methods that make them extra susceptible to contracting the coronavirus and might make COVID-19 extra lethal. Many have chosen to remain house. Those that are immunocompromised embrace folks with medical circumstances that weaken their immune response, in addition to folks taking immune-suppressing medication due to most cancers, organ transplants or autoimmune ailments.

As states throughout the nation are lifting COVID-19 precautions similar to masks mandates and a few church buildings have dropped on-line providers, the immunocompromised are weighing their threat of potential publicity in worship providers. And a few are discovering their fellow parishioners and church leaders aren’t taking measures to guard them.

Learn the story right here.

—Sarah Pulliam Bailey, The Washington Submit

New analysis factors to Wuhan market as pandemic origin

Scientists launched two intensive research Saturday that time to a market in Wuhan, China, because the origin of the coronavirus pandemic. Analyzing knowledge from quite a lot of sources, they concluded that the coronavirus was very probably current in stay mammals offered within the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in late 2019 and recommended that the virus twice spilled over into folks working or procuring there. They mentioned they discovered no assist for an alternate concept that the coronavirus escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan.

“Whenever you take a look at all the proof collectively, it’s a very clear image that the pandemic began on the Huanan market,” mentioned Michael Worobey, an evolutionary biologist on the College of Arizona and a co-author of each research.

The 2 experiences haven’t but been printed in a scientific journal that will require present process peer assessment.

Learn the story right here.

—Carl Zimmer and Benjamin Mueller, The New York Instances

Pfizer’s COVID shot far much less efficient in ages 5-11 than in older children

The coronavirus vaccine made by Pfizer-BioNTech is way much less efficient in stopping an infection in youngsters ages 5-11 than in older adolescents or adults, in response to a big new set of knowledge collected by well being officers in New York state — a discovering that has deep ramifications for these youngsters and their dad and mom.

The Pfizer vaccine is the one COVID shot licensed for that age group in the US. It nonetheless prevents extreme sickness within the youngsters, however presents nearly no safety in opposition to an infection, even inside a month after full immunization, the information, which have been collected through the omicron surge, recommend.

The sharp drop within the vaccine’s efficiency in younger youngsters could stem from the truth that they obtain one-third the dose given to older youngsters and adults, researchers and federal officers who’ve reviewed the information mentioned.

The findings, which have been posted on-line Monday, come on the heels of medical trial outcomes indicating that the vaccine fared poorly in youngsters ages 2-4, who acquired a fair smaller dose.

Learn the story right here.

—Noah Weiland and Apoorva Mandavilli The New York Instances

Gov. Inslee will carry Washington’s COVID-19 masks necessities on March 12 after change to federal tips

Gov. Jay Inslee has pushed up the timeline for lifting Washington’s COVID-19 masks necessities for faculties and companies to Saturday, March 12, after federal officers final week loosened public-health tips on face coverings.

The governor introduced earlier this month that the statewide mandates — which cowl grocery shops, baby care amenities, gyms, bars and different indoor institutions — would carry on March 21.

Monday’s announcement was made in a joint information launch with the governors of Oregon and California, who additionally adjusted their restrictions. Inslee is scheduled to carry a 1 p.m. information convention Monday to debate the masking restrictions.

The change comes after officers with the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) on Friday launched up to date steering on the brand new coronavirus.

Learn the story right here.

—Joseph O’Sullivan

Pandemic fears are fading together with omicron: AP-NORC ballot

Omicron is fading away, and so are People’ worries about COVID-19.

As coronavirus pandemic case numbers, hospitalizations and deaths proceed to plummet, fewer folks now than in January say they’re involved that they are going to be contaminated after the rise and fall of the wildly contagious virus variant, in response to a brand new ballot from The Related Press-NORC Heart for Public Affairs Analysis.

Simply 24% say they’re “extraordinarily” or “very” apprehensive about themselves or a member of the family contracting COVID-19, down from 36% in each December and January, when omicron brought on a large spike in infections and taxed public well being methods. One other 34% say they’re considerably apprehensive. Greater than 140,000 deaths within the U.S. have been attributed to COVID-19 since omicron turned the dominant pressure of the coronavirus in mid-December.

Learn the complete story right here.

—Michael Rubinkam and Hannah Fingerhut, The Related Press

Hong Kong considers lockdown as every day infections prime 34,000

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong reported a report 34,466 new coronavirus infections Monday as deaths continued to climb, with well being authorities saying a lockdown has not been dominated out although the town’s chief beforehand mentioned a citywide lockdown was unrealistic.

Hong Kong is grappling with a coronavirus surge pushed primarily by the omicron variant. Day by day circumstances have greater than quadrupled from every week in the past, when the town reported over 7,500 infections.

“As soon as each three days the case quantity will double,” mentioned Albert Au, principal medical and well being officer of the town’s Centre for Well being Safety throughout a every day virus briefing. “We expect that the quantity will proceed to climb.”

The town additionally reported 87 deaths Monday, together with 67 individuals who have been unvaccinated.

Learn the complete story right here.

—The Related Press

S. Korea drops proof of vaccine, check to assist virus response

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea will not require folks to indicate proof of vaccination or unfavourable checks to enter any indoor house beginning Tuesday, eradicating a key safety measure throughout a fast-developing omicron surge that’s elevating hospitalizations and deaths.

The Well being Ministry’s announcement on Monday got here because the nation set one other one-day report in COVID-19 deaths with 114, breaking the earlier excessive of 112 set on Saturday. Greater than 710 COVID-19 sufferers have been in vital or critical circumstances, up from 200-300 in mid-February, whereas almost half of the nation’s intensive care models designated for COVID-19 have been occupied.

Park Hyang, a senior well being ministry official, mentioned rescinding the “anti-epidemic cross” would free extra well being employees to assist monitor almost 800,000 virus sufferers with gentle or reasonable signs who’ve been requested to isolate at house to save lots of hospital house.

Learn the complete story right here.

—Kim Tong-Hyung, The Related Press

The best way to create a COVID plan B while you journey overseas | Journey Troubleshooter

Now greater than ever, you want a COVID-19 plan B while you journey overseas. In any other case, you may end up caught in quarantine, which can really feel like jail.

However how do you develop one? It takes some analysis on the nation’s guidelines and what would possibly occur to you for those who’re contaminated. You’ll additionally want insurance coverage and extra cash to outlive your quarantine.

“Sadly, a part of the brand new regular of journey includes planning forward,” says Rajeev Shrivastava, CEO of VisitorsCoverage, a journey insurance coverage market.

Learn the complete story right here.

—Christopher Elliott

Specialists Warn That Finish of Omicron Surge Is Not Finish of Pandemic

The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention shifted its tips Friday to say that fewer communities have been in want of coronavirus restrictions similar to masks and social distancing, a change that coincided with strikes by a number of states to drop such protections.

However the rush to return to normality in mild of an enhancing nationwide outlook for coronavirus circumstances has many public well being consultants involved that the top of the omicron surge is incorrectly being conflated with the top of the pandemic.

“Issues are enhancing, however we nonetheless aren’t at a degree the place we’re getting out in entrance of this,” mentioned Dr. Lynn R. Goldman, dean of the Milken Institute College of Public Well being at George Washington College.

Learn the complete story right here.

—Amanda Holpuch, The New York Instances

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