Coronavirus daily news updates, August 7: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the world – Seattle Times

7August 2020

In many parts of the United States, so much viral material is circulating that infections cannot be easily traced and contained. Nearly every country has struggled against the coronavirus and made mistakes along the way, but how did the U.S. end up as the only affluent nation that’s been severely affected for so long? In many ways, “We know what to do, and we’re not doing it.”

Throughout Friday, on this page, we’ll post Seattle Times journalists’ updates on the outbreak and its effects on the Seattle area, the Pacific Northwest and the world. Updates from Thursday can be found here, and all our coronavirus coverage can be found here.

(Jennifer Luxton / The Seattle Times)

(Jennifer Luxton / The Seattle Times)

12:54 pm

11 Washington children have been diagnosed with a serious syndrome linked to coronavirus

A total of 11 children in Washington have been diagnosed with a rare, but serious, syndrome caused by the novel coronavirus since the start of the epidemic, state health officials said Friday.

Called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome, or MIS-C, the condition triggers symptoms including fever, inflammation and severe illness and requires hospitalization, says a press release from the Washington Department of Health.

The children are from across the state, including three in King County and three in Yakima County. Franklin and Snohomish counties have two cases each, and Skagit County has one.

“While MIS-C is very rare, parents should be aware it can happen and contact their health provider if their children develop new or unusual symptoms,” said Dr. Kathy Lofy, state health officer for the DOH. “We are tracking this issue closely and continue to ask health care providers to be on the lookout and report possible cases to local health.”

—Sandi Doughton
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10:43 am

Cuomo clears New York schools statewide to open, carefully

The state’s schools can bring children back to classrooms for the start of the school year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced. Above, students leave New York City’s Stuyvesant High on the last day of in-person classes on March 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

The state’s schools can bring children back to classrooms for the start of the school year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced. Above, students leave New York City’s Stuyvesant High on the last day of in-person classes on March 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

The state’s schools can bring children back to classrooms for the start of the school year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced. Above, students leave New York City’s Stuyvesant High on the last day of in-person classes on March 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

New York schools can bring children back to classrooms for the start of the school year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday, citing success in battling the coronavirus in the state that once was the U.S. heart of the pandemic.

The Democratic governor’s decision clears the way for schools to offer at least some days of in-person classes, alongside remote learning. Students will be required to wear masks throughout school day.

“Everywhere in the state, every region is below the threshold that we established,” Cuomo said during a conference call with reporters. “If there’s a spike in the infection rate, if there’s a matter of concern in the infection rate, then we can revisit.”

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press
8:43 am

Unclear virus data causes some U.S. states to undercount cases

After a spiraling coronavirus outbreak that pushed California to the most infections in the U.S., the trends appear to be brightening: Daily reported cases have plunged, as has the rate of tests that come back positive.

The trouble is, it’s unclear if those figures are accurate.

Covid-19 testing signage is displayed at a GUARDaHEART Foundation site in Los Angeles. (Bloomberg photo by Patrick T. Fallon)

Covid-19 testing signage is displayed at a GUARDaHEART Foundation site in Los Angeles. (Bloomberg photo by Patrick T. Fallon)

Covid-19 testing signage is displayed at a GUARDaHEART Foundation site in Los Angeles. (Bloomberg photo by Patrick T. Fallon)

California officials have uncovered a bug in their virus reporting effort — the nation’s largest, with more than 120,000 people tested each day. On Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom touted a 21% drop in the average daily rate of new cases from the prior week as a sign of stabilization.

The next day, his top public-health official warned that the numbers were likely too low — by how much he couldn’t say — and the state didn’t know when the problem would be fixed.

Read the story here.

—Bloomberg
8:33 am

Yakima County cases slow to under 100 for 12th straight day

The Yakima Health District reported 55 new cases of COVID-19 in Yakima County on Thursday, making it 12 consecutive days that new cases were below 100.

That followed just 29 new cases on Wednesday. The last time cases were that low was early May.

Triple-digit daily case reports were routine through May and June and into July. But an increase in the number of people wearing face masks has been credited with slowing the spread of the disease.

Read the story here.

—Yakima Herald-Republic, Wash.
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7:17 am

COVID-19 forces changes at Recompose, the human-composting firm

Like nearly everything else in the state, Recompose — Washington’s new human-composting option to traditional burial and cremation — had to do some fancy footwork when the pandemic hit.

The company had some dire weeks in March, and had to quit its mammoth Sodo warehouse where it had hoped to open its first, flagship space — but has since found a new, smaller location in Kent. Recompose hopes to open its doors and begin converting human bodies into clean, nutrient-rich soil (the legal name for the process is “natural organic reduction”) this November.

But for a while, Recompose founder Katrina Spade said it looked like the whole operation would have to close.

Katrina Spade, founder and CEO of Recompose, in 2019 at the Sodo warehouse that had been planned as the company’s first, flagship space. COVID economics and increased buildout costs led Recompose to move to a smaller space in Kent, with an accelerated timeline for opening. (Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times)

Katrina Spade, founder and CEO of Recompose, in 2019 at the Sodo warehouse that had been planned as the company’s first, flagship space. COVID economics and increased buildout costs led Recompose to move to a smaller space in Kent, with an accelerated timeline for opening. (Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times)

Katrina Spade, founder and CEO of Recompose, in 2019 at the Sodo warehouse that had been planned as the company’s first, flagship space. COVID economics and increased buildout costs led Recompose to move to a smaller space in Kent, with an accelerated timeline for opening. (Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times)

“I’m normally an optimistic person,” Spade said. “But I had a couple of weeks where I thought: ‘This just might be over.’ It felt awful. So many people have worked so hard for so many years to bring this to life.”

Read the story here.

—Brendan Kiley
6:36 am

Quarantine Corner: Things to do while keeping your distance

A woman is surrounded by blueberry bushes at Bybee Farms in North Bend on July 22, 2020. The farm is one of the many places close to Seattle where you can drive less than an hour and go pick berries this summer. Masks that cover one’s nose and mouth are recommended when doing any activity outside the home. (Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times)

A woman is surrounded by blueberry bushes at Bybee Farms in North Bend on July 22, 2020. The farm is one of the many places close to Seattle where you can drive less than an hour and go pick berries this summer. Masks that cover one’s nose and mouth are recommended when doing any activity outside the home. (Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times)

A woman is surrounded by blueberry bushes at Bybee Farms in North Bend on July 22, 2020. The farm is one of the many places close to Seattle where you can drive less than an hour and go pick berries this summer. Masks that cover one’s nose and mouth are recommended when doing any activity outside the home. (Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times)

What can you do this weekend? Peruse these takeout options, join our book club, chill out with cool chalk art … we’re here with ideas to save you from boredom.

“Break out the good stuff, y’all.” Seattle chefs and bartenders are sharing at-home recipes for the summery cocktails they’re drinking.

Trying to understand these bizarre times? Two new books frame a year defined by the twin pandemics of coronavirus and racism.

—Kris Higginson
6:33 am

FAQ Friday

Many small groups spaced apart at Seattle’s Golden Gardens Park made up the crowd there on July 15. (Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times)

Many small groups spaced apart at Seattle’s Golden Gardens Park made up the crowd there on July 15. (Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times)

Many small groups spaced apart at Seattle’s Golden Gardens Park made up the crowd there on July 15. (Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times)

Do young, healthy people need to worry about the virus? Yes. Here’s what public health experts say about why, and which social activities are riskiest.

Each week, we’re answering your most common questions about the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. ICYMI, here’s last week’s FAQ about testing.

—Ryan Blethen
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6:28 am

What’s up with schools

Seattle Public Schools’ plan for this fall has so many gaps that “I don’t even know where to begin,” one School Board member said as the board pushed for a new outdoor option, with just a week left to decide how to tackle remote learning.

Worried Georgia teens shared photos of their jam-packed school hallway, full of mostly maskless students. Now they’ve been suspended.

King County’s major high-school sports leagues are pushing fall sports back to spring. Here’s how this is expected to work.

The Class 3A girls runners make their way around the first turn during the 2016 Westside Classic District cross country meet at the American Lake Golf Course in Lakewood on Saturday, October 29, 2016. (Logan Riely / The Seattle Times, file)

The Class 3A girls runners make their way around the first turn during the 2016 Westside Classic District cross country meet at the American Lake Golf Course in Lakewood on Saturday, October 29, 2016. (Logan Riely / The Seattle Times, file)

The Class 3A girls runners make their way around the first turn during the 2016 Westside Classic District cross country meet at the American Lake Golf Course in Lakewood on Saturday, October 29, 2016. (Logan Riely / The Seattle Times, file)
—Kris Higginson
6:22 am

Catch up on the past 24 hours

Residents of some long-term care facilities like nursing homes will be able to have visitors and do certain social activities, starting next week, under a gradual plan described by Gov. Jay Inslee.

“We cannot stop people.” Amid virus warnings, about 250,000 people today will start roaring into small Sturgis, S.D., for one of the world’s biggest motorcycle rallies. In many parts of the nation, so much viral material is circulating that infections cannot be easily traced and contained. Nearly every country has struggled against the coronavirus and made mistakes along the way, but how did the U.S. end up as the only affluent nation that’s been severely affected for so long? In many ways, “We know what to do, and we’re not doing it.”

Health care workers wait to test people at a COVID-19 testing site in Orlando, Fla., on July 28, 2020. In recent weeks, many Americans have had to wait hours for coronavirus tests and then days for results. (Eve Edelheit / The New York Times)

Health care workers wait to test people at a COVID-19 testing site in Orlando, Fla., on July 28, 2020. In recent weeks, many Americans have had to wait hours for coronavirus tests and then days for results. (Eve Edelheit / The New York Times)

Health care workers wait to test people at a COVID-19 testing site in Orlando, Fla., on July 28, 2020. In recent weeks, many Americans have had to wait hours for coronavirus tests and then days for results. (Eve Edelheit / The New York Times)

In Congress, talks on COVID-19 rescue money are on the brink of collapse. At stake: more than $100 billion to help reopen schools, a fresh round of $1,200 payments to most people, and hundreds of billions of dollars for state and local governments.

Scientists worldwide are freaked about Russia’s boast that it’s about to become the first country to approve a COVID-19 vaccine.

The Trump Administration has rescinded the country’s global “do not travel” ban, saying pandemic conditions elsewhere in the world don’t warrant the restrictions.

Travelers at a security checkpoint at Denver International Airport on July 22. U.S. public health officials are revising their travel advisory information. (David Zalubowski / The Associated Press, file)

Travelers at a security checkpoint at Denver International Airport on July 22. U.S. public health officials are revising their travel advisory information. (David Zalubowski / The Associated Press, file)

Travelers at a security checkpoint at Denver International Airport on July 22. U.S. public health officials are revising their travel advisory information. (David Zalubowski / The Associated Press, file)
—Kris Higginson and Mike Carter
12:00 am

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Source: seattletimes.com

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