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caption: Lauren Alexander is vaccinated against Covid-19 on Thursday, April 15, 2021, at Lumen Field Event Center in Seattle. As of Thursday, anyone 16 years of age and older is eligible.
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Lauren Alexander is vaccinated against Covid-19 on Thursday, April 15, 2021, at Lumen Field Event Center in Seattle. As of Thursday, anyone 16 years of age and older is eligible.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Blog: Pandemic updates for Washington (April 12-16)

This post is archived. Read the latest here.

Need a vaccine?

As of Friday, April 16, the Washington State Department of Health reports:

  • 5,380 Covid-19 related deaths; 357,122 confirmed cases; 26,772 probable cases; and a 1.4% death rate among positive cases.
  • Compared to white people and Asian people, the rate of Covid cases is nearly three times higher for Black people, and nearly seven times higher for Latino/x people and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders.
  • So far, 4,431,804 doses (not total number of people) of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered to Washingtonians.
  • Pre-register for a vaccine in Seattle.

FRIDAY, APRIL 16

Don't forget: You can still catch Covid in-between vaccine shots

12:30 p.m. — You can catch Covid after your first vaccine dose. It's important to wait until the full vaccine process is over before taking any risks.

University of Washington infectious disease expert Paul Pottinger was recently quoted in the Huffington Post about the potential of infection between vaccine doses.

“It definitely can and does happen,” Pottinger said. “Remember, we even see Covid-19 infections in patients who’ve been fully immunized, meaning a solid two to five weeks after their second dose of either of or mRNA immunizations.”

After getting the first Pfizer shot, people need to wait about three weeks before getting the second shot. People who get the Moderna shot need to wait four weeks between their first and second shots. Then, everyone has to wait two weeks after the second show before they are considered fully immunized.

It's something that public figure and radio host Gee Scott recently learned. He has publicly told of his experience coming down with Covid after receiving his first vaccine shot.

It's important to be aware of the timeline as Washington monitors more and more breakthrough cases — people who are infected with Covid-19 after being fully vaccinated (read more about that below in Wednesday's blog posts). Washington has recently reported 217 breakthrough cases, which adds up to .01% of everyone vaccinated in the state.

— Dyer Oxley

King County reaches vaccination milestone

Noon — King County Public Health Director Patty Hayes says to date, 50% of the adult population has received at least one dose of the Covid vaccine.

“A cheer is in order here, this is a great milestone," Hayes said.

But she adds there’s still more work ahead. Hayes points out that racial disparities persist among vaccine rates. Black and Latinx communities lag behind when it comes to vaccination.

Also, the county continues to see rising Covid cases.

Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin says that a King County resident is hospitalized for Covid every hour and 45 minutes. And many them are younger adults.

“There were more 20-39 year olds hospitalized than there were 70 and older," Duchin said.

Duchin notes that the hospitalization surge is due to a combination of factors: increased activities when the county reopened under Phase 3, and rising variant cases.

— Ruby de Luna

Rollback to Phase 2 begins for three counties; King County on the brink

11 a.m. — Today, businesses and people who live in Pierce , Whitman, and Cowlitz Counties will have to follow Phase 2 pandemic restrictions.

The governor announced earlier this week they had to fall back from Phase 3 of the state's reopening plan because their case and hospitalization rates exceeded the state's thresholds.

Under Phase 2, restaurants and other businesses in those three counties can operate with a maximum 25% capacity.

The latest data from Pierce County shows it now has a two-week average of 210 new infections for every 100,000 people. That number must be less than 200 in order for a county to remain in Phase 3.

Republicans are criticizing the governor for the decision. They argue that case counts are no longer the best metric to decide phases, now that many of the state’s most vulnerable residents are vaccinated.

And while King and Snohomish Counties are currently allowed stay in Phase 3, health officials warn they're on the brink of being forced to fall back as well.

Public Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin says King County is now reporting 197.8 new cases for every 100,000 people.

The next evaluation for Washington's counties will occur on May 3.

— Angela King

No vaccines for King County jails, for now

10 a.m. — People being held in King County jails will not receive their Covid vaccinations while there, at least, for now.

That's because the jails were relying on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine which the state (and the nation) has temporarily stopped using. But officials are looking to make a switch in the meantime.

King County’s jail health unit just launched its effort to vaccinate all inmates with the J&J vaccine last week. So far, about 300 inmates have been vaccinated, out of a population of 1,300. Now a spokesperson for the Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention says the jails in Seattle and Kent are switching to the two-dose Moderna vaccine and hope to resume shots in the next week and a half.

The department is not requiring vaccinations for its 900 staff members, although director John Diaz said they are discussing that as a possibility. So far, 38 employees voluntarily reported that they have the vaccine, and another 20 have appointments to do so.

— Amy Radil

State GOP aims to limit governor's emergency powers

9 a.m. — Washington state's Republican lawmakers will try to limit Governor Jay Inslee’s emergency powers today with a new bill aimed at modifying such powers.

"Many states, even blue states like New York, have revised their emergency powers in the last couple months," said Washington's GOP Chair Caleb Heimlich.

Republicans say Inslee should have consulted state lawmakers before he recently moved three counties back to Phase 2. But Inslee says it was done in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

If the GOP bill passes the governor will have to check in with the state Legislature every 60 days to renew any emergency order.

In a statement, the governor’s office called the effort a “misguided partisan attempt to blame the governor for the damage inflicted by the pandemic.”

— David Hyde

Fearing a 4th wave, Gov. Inslee urges people to socialize outdoors

8 a.m. — Washington Governor Jay Inslee is urging people to move their socializing outside as the weather gets warmer. He says that’s the best way to head off a possible fourth wave of Covid-19.

Inslee made his pitch at his first formal, in-person news conference in more than a year. It was held outside the governor’s residence in Olympia. Behind him was a banner that read “Take it outside.”

“We have had the weapon of the mask, it’s helped. We now have the weapon of the vaccine, it has helped," Inslee said. "But today we want to ask Washingtonians to use a third weapon against the fight against Covid.”

That third weapon, Inslee says, is gathering outdoors, not indoors to socialize. He warned that Covid case counts are rising and that the state could be headed for a fourth wave of the virus. He’s also urging people to get vaccinated as soon as they can. All residents 16 and up are now eligible.

Meanwhile Republicans criticize the governor for moving three counties back to Phase 2. They argue that case counts are no longer the best metric given that many of the state’s most vulnerable residents are vaccinated.

— Austin Jenkins

THURSDAY, APRIL 15

King County jails plan switch from J&J vaccine to Moderna

4:45 p.m. -- The pause on use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine against Covid-19 has also meant a pause on vaccinating people incarcerated in King County jails.

King County’s Jail Health unit just launched its efforts to vaccinate all inmates with the single-dose J&J vaccine last week. So far about 300 inmates have received the vaccine including people over age 65, out of an average population of 1300. Noah Haglund, the spokesperson for the Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention, said now the jails in Seattle and Kent are preparing to switch to the two-dose Moderna vaccine and hoping to resume shots before the week of April 26.

The department is not requiring vaccinations for its 900 staff members (700 uniformed) although director John Diaz said they are discussing that as a possibility. So far 38 employees have voluntarily reported that they have the vaccine, and another 20 have appointments to receive it. King County jail had a significant Covid-19 outbreak last month.

-- Amy Radil

King County reaches vaccination milestone

caption: Volunteer Janet Welle administers a Covid-19 vaccine for Shreya Magesh, 23, on Thursday, April 15, 2021, at Lumen Field Event Center in Seattle. As of Thursday, anyone 16 years of age and older is eligible.
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Volunteer Janet Welle administers a Covid-19 vaccine for Shreya Magesh, 23, on Thursday, April 15, 2021, at Lumen Field Event Center in Seattle. As of Thursday, anyone 16 years of age and older is eligible.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

3:49 p.m.-- Public Health Director Patty Hayes told a King County Board of Health meeting that to date, 50 percent of the adult population has received at least one dose of the Covid vaccine.

“A cheer is in order here,” she said. “This is a great milestone.”

But there’s still more work ahead, she added. Racial disparities persist. Black and Latinx communities lag behind when it comes to vaccination.

Also, the county continues to see rising Covid cases.

Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin says every hour and 45 minutes a King County resident is hospitalized. And many them are younger adults.

“There were more 20-39 year olds hospitalized than there were 70 and older.”

Duchin notes the surge is due to a combination of factors: Increased activities when the county reopened under Phase 3, and rising variant cases.

~Ruby de Luna

UW planning for mostly in-person classes in fall

2:45 p.m. — The University of Washington has sent an email to students at its Seattle campus notifying them that it plans on mostly in-person classes in the fall.

The messages states: "We are very optimistic about what our University experience will be like this fall, particularly given that vaccinations are outpacing infections. Of course, we must all continue to be on guard, such as by masking up and avoiding gatherings with not-yet-vaccinated people, as the pandemic is not over yet."

The email further states that the university expects "everyone in the UW community who is able to get vaccinated against Covid-19 to do so." Any decisions on university vaccine requirements will be made no later than June 1. UW is also planning to organize pop-up vaccination sites on campus when supplies are available.

UW will post its fall course schedule on Friday.

— Dyer Oxley

Beer to-go will last longer than pandemic

10 a.m. — One aspect of pandemic life that will last beyond the pandemic will be cocktails to-go and curbside pickup from breweries.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has signed a bill into law that keeps pandemic-era alcohol laws in place until July 2023.

Businesses with liquor licenses can sell alcohol to-go as long as it's sealed and, in some cases, comes with a meal.

Annie McGrath directs the Washington Brewer's Guild, representing hundreds of small breweries.

"Specifically curbside sales and expanded off-premise beer sales for our restaurant partners have become critical sales channels," McGrath said. "And then, I know while this is really minor in the scheme of things, I can't help but point out that this bill also establishes a definition for 'growler,' so we're also excited about that."

Growlers are large containers that customers bring in to get filled up with beer.

Washington's Liquor and Cannabis Board requested this legislation.

To be clear: this law does not allow for drinking in vehicles or in public spaces.

The law will be studied over the next couple years to see how it impacts alcohol sales and community safety. Opponents have argued it will be easier for youth to access the drinks.

— Paige Browning

Expanded vaccine site hours

caption: Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, right, and Governor Jay Inslee, left, look out over the mass vaccination site at State Fair Park during the coronavirus pandemic Tuesday, April 6, 2021 in Yakima, Wash.
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Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, right, and Governor Jay Inslee, left, look out over the mass vaccination site at State Fair Park during the coronavirus pandemic Tuesday, April 6, 2021 in Yakima, Wash.
Credit: (Evan Abell/Yakima Herald-Republic via AP, Pool)

9 a.m. — While Washington is still having issues with vaccine supplies, it's changing some things up to accommodate the anticipated rush in demand as eligibility opens to all adults 16 and older.

The state’s vaccination sites will now be open until 8 p.m. at least twice a week.

Health Secretary Dr. Umair Shah says the state made these changes after members of the Latinx community said their work schedules make it difficult to get appointments.

Also, the FEMA-supported site in Yakima is now open until 7 p.m. every day. By April 25, those hours will be extended to 8 p.m.

Read more here.

— Ruby de Luna

One Seattle cruise company will require proof of vaccination

8 a.m. — Vaccine passports may be controversial to some. But if you want to take a cruise out of Seattle this year, you will probably need to prove you're vaccinated.

"Not only are guests vaccinated, but all the crew are vaccinated and then they're tested," said Captain Dan Blanchard.

Blanchard's Seattle-based company, UnCruise Adventures, runs small boat cruises.

"It's scheduled to sail in the next few weeks coming up, April 30, out of Seattle," he said.

Other small cruise companies in Seattle will also require proof of vaccination. But Blanchard says they're all still waiting for final approval from the state.

Most big ships don’t have anything planned this year for Seattle. Only Norwegian has a single sailing scheduled for October. And if it sails, you'll need proof of vaccination for that one, too.

*UnCruise is a financial supporter of KUOW

— David Hyde

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 14

Washington has .01% breakthrough case rate

1 p.m. — Washington state's Department of Health is reporting that it has documented 217 breakthrough cases in the state as of April 3. These are people who became infected with Covid-19 after being vaccinated.

That number is up from the 102 breakthrough cases reported on March 30.

"Finding evidence of vaccine breakthrough cases reminds us that, even if you have been vaccinated, you still need to wear a mask, practice social distancing, and wash your hands to prevent spreading COVID-19 to others who have not been vaccinated," said Washington Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah. "We encourage everyone to get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible, and encourage friends, loved ones, and co-workers to do the same."

Considering that more than 1.7 million people have been fully vaccinated in Washington, breakthrough cases add up to .01% of people who have gotten a shot.

A total of 12% of breakthrough cases involved hospitalization; many people had minor or no symptoms. There have been five suspected deaths among breakthrough cases, all between the ages of 67-94; four deaths were in long-term care facilities.

DOH also notes: "In Washington state, the median age of those with confirmed vaccine breakthrough has shifted downward since the first cases were reported, with more people in the 40-59 year old demographic compared to previous weeks. Some breakthrough cases sent for sequencing showed evidence of variants."

— Dyer Oxley

Officials say people should keep their J&J appointments

11 a.m. — One day to go before everyone 16 and older in Washington state can sign up for their Covid vaccinations.

If they haven't rescheduled already, local health officials are recommending that people keep their appointments for Johnson & Johnson vaccines, even though officials have hit paus eon J&J. People should expect to get either the Pfizer or Modern vaccine instead.

The state health department announced Tuesday that it is following the CDC's and FDA's recommendation to pause distribution of the single-dose vaccine after six female recipients came down with a rare blood clotting condition.

— Angela King

Results of state audit into pandemic fraud

10 a.m. — We're now getting a better idea of how much money was doled in fraudulent unemployment claims filed at the Washington State Employment Security Department during the height of the pandemic.

A new report from the state auditor says the total losses could exceed $1 billion.

Although, the employment security department disputes that figure; it says about $647 million in benefits were paid to fraudsters. The state has recovered $370 million of that amount.

The audit also found some forms of fraud continue.

— Angela King

Pierce County approves $4 million in aid after Phase 2 rollback

9 a.m. — Pierce County has approved $4 million in emergency aid for businesses affected by the Phase 2 rollback this week.

Now small local businesses and non-profits can apply for grants up to $10, 000.

Pierce County, along with Cowlitz and Whitman counties, were pushed back to Phase 2 of the state reopening plan because of high Covid case and hospitalization rates.

— Angela King

King County executive responds to claim that county is getting more than its fair share of Covid vaccine

8 a.m. — King County Executive Dow Constantine is responding to claims that the county is getting more than its fair share of Covid vaccine.

A few Pierce County officials criticized what they see as a high number of vaccine doses going to King County, and not enough to their residents.

"King County has had a challenge because although vaccines have been distributed based on population, we have a lot more eligible people," County Executive Dow Constantine told KUOW.

Constantine said that the demand in King County will increase this week when all people over 16 become eligible for the vaccine.

"Thursday we will have 925,000 residents who are eligible and still in need of a vaccine," Constantine said.

As of Tuesday, King County Public Health reported nearly half of county residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine. And Pierce County is not far behind.

— Casey Martin

TUESDAY, APRIL 13

Washington health secretary weighs in on Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause

1 p.m. — CDC and FDA officials paused the Johnsons & Johnsons vaccine after six people (out of the nearly seven million who have received the vaccine) developed rare, but dangerous blood clots. That means people in Washington state slated to get the J&J vaccine may have to wait or switch to the Pfizer or Moderna options.

Washington Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah says that the particular complication with Johnsons & Johnsons is so rare that he still considers the vaccine safe and effective.

Dr. Shah adds that “People who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine over the last 2-3 weeks and who develop severe headache or abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath should absolutely contact their health care provider.”

To put the pause in context, Dr. Shah points to risks commonly associated with contraceptive pills.

“When it comes to oral contraceptive pills, the risk of blood clots is somewhere in the range of 500-1000 women out of a million women who are taking those. So, again, it’s a reminder that when we’re talking about one in a million (with the Johnsons & Johnson vaccine), that puts a scope and scale in the midst of this.”

Shah says the state wasn’t expecting many Johnson & Johnson doses over the next few weeks anyway, so they’ll still go ahead and offer Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to everyone 16 and older starting Thursday.

Washington state health officials say they only expect the pause to last a few days to a week, until experts can get information to providers about the best way to treat potential blood clots if they occur.

Read more details about the Johnsons & Johnsons vaccine pause below.

— Eilis O'Neill

$20 million approved for Seattle rental assistance

11 a.m. — The Seattle City Council approved more than $20 million for rental assistance Monday.

The money comes from the latest round of federal pandemic relief approved by Congress in December.

A total of $8 million earmarked for United Way King County to help low-income tenants who owe back rent; $7 million will go to Seattle's Office of Housing for subsidized housing tenants to catch up on rent.

The rest will go to community organizations helping those disproportionately affected by the pandemic and to utilities for low-income renters who haven't been able to pay.

According to Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda who chairs the Budget Committee, the plan will serve up to 9,000 Seattle residents in need.

— Katie Campbell

Washington pausing J&J vaccine amid blood clot investigation

10:30 a.m. — Washington's Department of Health is suspending the administration of the Johnson and Johnson Covid vaccine following advice from the CDC and the FDA.

According to a statement from DOH Tuesday: "The Washington State Department of Health will pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson (J & J) vaccine statewide starting immediately, following the guidance of the FDA/CDC. Use of that vaccine will be put on hold until we receive further recommendations from our federal partners about how best to move forward ... This action is being taken out of an abundance of caution based on the appearance of a rare but serious side effect including serious brain blood clots (CVST) combined with low platelet counts in six patients, all women under 50."

There is no known cause behind the rare blood clots, however, DOH notes that one suspect is a rare immune response to the vaccine. A statement from Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC and Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research says: "In these cases, a type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) was seen in combination with low levels of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia). All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination."

To date, about 149,000 doses of the Johnsons & Johnson Covid vaccine have been administered in Washington state. About 6.8 million doses have been administered across the United States. Six cases of blood clots are being looked into.

Washington’s DOH says that the risk of complications is very low for people who received the J&J vaccine more than a month ago. DOH says that people who develop a severe headache, leg pain, abdominal pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks of getting the J&J vaccine should contact their doctor.

— Dyer Oxley

UW Medicine seeing Covid cases rise in younger people

10 a.m. — The University of Washington hospital system says its dealing with more Covid patients as cases continue to rise in King County.

"And what we're also noticing with a third of those patients who are in our intensive care unit, it's a younger population," said Dr. Tim Dellit, chief medical officer for UW Medicine. "The average age was in their 40s, we're seeing young people with severe disease."

Hospitalizations have been increasing across the state. Dr Dellit also says the majority of cases they're seeing now are from variants of concern, some of which tend to spread more rapidly and cause more severe illness.

Only a small portion of positive cases in the community are sequenced, but recently the majority of cases examined have been variants of concern according to Dellit. But they're seeing fewer patients 65 and older, which is likely a reflection of vaccination efforts for that group.

— Kate Walters

Umatilla Reservation providing vaccines to neighbors

9 a.m. — A Northwest tribe is opening its vaccine access to its neighbors, regardless of tribal affiliation.

“We have more than 1,700 first doses to provide but as of (Monday) morning only 600 appointments are filled,” Yellowhawk tribal health authority leader Lisa Guzman said in a press release. “We are eager to support our surrounding counties and get more people in the door.”

Northwest News Network's Anna King reports that the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation have opened its vaccination site to the 11 counties that surround its reservation. Those counties include: Benton, Walla Walla, Columbia, and Garfield counties in Washington; and Morrow, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Grant, Baker, and Malheur counties in Oregon.

The vaccination site is open to people ages 16 and older. Appointments are open April 13-14 at the Wildhorse Resort & Casino. If you live in one of the neighboring counties, you can check here for an appointment, or call 541-240-8733.

— Dyer Oxley

Pierce County executive criticizes move to Phase 2

8 a.m. — Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier is criticizing the state's decision to push his county back to Phase 2, limiting capacity at restaurants and businesses.

Dammeier told The Seattle Times that hospital capacity at the county's two major hospital systems is fine.

He also said the state has not done enough to get vaccines to Pierce County when you compare the population dose allocation to King County. When it comes to hospitalization rates, they need to be at five or fewer for every 100,000 people over a week's time for a county to remain in Phase 3. As of Monday, that number was at 6.4 for Pierce County.

Health officials blame small gatherings for the case increase which has been on the rise since mid-March.

— Angela King

MONDAY, APRIL 12

Three Washington counties to slide back to Phase 2

2 p.m. — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced that three counties will move back into Phase 2 due to high Covid case counts.

Cowlitz County, Pierce County, and Whitman County will move back to Phase 2. The rest of the state will remain in Phase 3.

three counties phase 2
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Credit: Washington Governor's Office

To move from Phase 3 to Phase 2, a county must fail both case rate and hospitalization metrics. Under Phase 2, indoor events cannot be larger than 25% capacity or 200 people. The same goes for most businesses (under Phase 3, businesses can operate at 50% capacity).

“These metric trends are driven by the virus and we must continue to do everything we can to sharpen our focus and keep Covid-19 activity down. We are so close to the end of the tunnel here — we have made tremendous progress and we must keep our focus,” Inslee said. “It’s like a football game; we have done 95 yards on a 99 yard-drive. We can’t let up now. These are not punitive actions; they are to save lives and protect public health.”

Read more details here.

— Dyer Oxley

Sounders tickets go on sale this week

1 p.m. — Seattle Sounders are getting ready for their season opener this Friday at Lumen Field.

They played a preseason match in front of 200 healthcare workers over the weekend and beat San Diego 1-0. It was the first time the team played in front of fans in more than a year.

Tickets for the upcoming season go on sale to the general public Wednesday with season ticket holders able to get theirs Tuesday.

The team has gotten permission to host 7,000 fans for the first five home matches.

— Angela King

Why some counties may slide back to Phase 2

Noon — All 39 of Washington's counties are in Phase 3 which allows for most businesses to operate at 50% capacity.

But those located in counties that fail to meet the Covid hospitalization and case rate reopening metrics will have to fall back to 25% capacity. If that happens, the changes go into effect this Friday. Gov. Jay Inslee is expected to announce if any counties are slated to slide back into Phase 2.

To stay in Phase 3, counties must have fewer than 200 cases per every 100,000 people over two weeks and no more than five new hospitalizations per 100,000 residents within a week.

The next county evaluation will happen on May 3.

Gov. Inslee updated the criteria last Friday, saying counties must now fail both the Covid case and hospitalization metrics to fall back (previously it was just one).

At least 14 counties are currently failing to meet at least one metric under the state's reopening metrics.

Larger events like concerts and graduation ceremonies are OK since up to 400 people will be allowed to gather for indoor and outdoor activities as long as physical distancing and masking are enforced.

— Angela King

Businesses urge Gov. Inslee to hold off deciding if counties will slide backward to Phase 2

11 a.m. — Nearly 70 business organizations in Washington state are urging Gov. Jay Inslee to delay Monday's decision over whether counties may slide back into Phase 2. They would like the governor to hold off by three weeks.

Inslee is expected to announce if any counties will go back to Phase 2 because of high Covid case counts.

They sent a letter to the governor Friday, saying that moving counties backwards would punish struggling businesses and do little to stop the spread of the virus.

Among those signing the letter: the Association of Washington Business; the Washington Hospitality Association; and several chambers of commerce across the state.

— Angela King

Vaccine eligibility to open up soon, but there will likely be a wait

10 a.m. — We're now just three days away from Covid vaccine eligibility opening up to everyone 16 and older in Washington state.

But health officials warn that people may still have to wait a few weeks after the April 15 sign up date before they can get a shot. That's because demand will outweigh vaccine supply and people will have to wait in line.

People who live or work in King County can pre-register to get their vaccinations at one of the four mass clinics run by the city of Seattle. You'll receive an email confirming your appointment.

Right now one and five Washingtonians is fully vaccinated.

— Angela King

Fewer doses than expected arriving in Washington state

8 a.m. — Washington state isn't getting as many doses of the Covid vaccine this April as it had anticipated. That's because of a Johnson & Johnson vaccine production problem.

That means, when everyone 16 and older becomes eligible on Thursday, supply won't meet demand.

"Overall, our vaccine supply is decreasing below what it has been for the past two weeks," said Dr. Jeff Duchin, King County's public health officer. "So, in all areas, there will be fewer first doses available."

More than half of the adults in King County have yet to receive their first dose of the Covid vaccine. That's more than a million people.

If the county gets the number of doses it now expects, only about one in five of them will get their first dose in the next three weeks.

— Eilis O'Neill


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