Coronavirus daily news updates, July 14: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the world – Seattle Times

14July 2020

As coronavirus cases continue to spike in the United States, President Donald Trump is pushing to reopen the economy and the White House is working to undercut its most trusted coronavirus expert.

In Washington state on Monday, health officials released two unusual numbers related to the pandemic, reporting 39 fewer deaths and a record-high 1,101 additional cases.

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

(Jennifer Luxton / The Seattle Times)

(Jennifer Luxton / The Seattle Times)

Live updates:

10:33 am

NIH gives Seattle’s Benaroya Research Institute more than $5.8 million for COVID-19 research

The Benaroya Research Institute (BRI) at Virginia Mason has received more than $5.8 million from the National Institutes of Health to fund its research of the immune system response to COVID-19.

BRI is studying the severity of coronavirus infections and different immune responses to the virus. The work being funded by the grants includes:

  • Examining the immune response in people hospitalized with COVID-19 to find markers that could predict a more severe infection, and in those recovering to get insights into an effective immune response;
  • Looking at the site of infection in lung tissue to find ways to interrupt, slow or stop the infection;
  • Studying an overactive, inflammatory immune response that occurs in some severe cases; and
  • Studying two strains of the virus that are circulating in Seattle, learning how each may lead to different immune responses and disease severity.

A dozen other COVID-19 research efforts are happening at BRI, which is dedicated to studying the immune system and diseases that affect it.

“I am proud of BRI’s rapid response to researching COVID-19,” BRI President Dr. Jane Buckner said in a news release about the grant funding. “Our vision is for a healthy immune system for every individual. As part of that work, we lend our immunology expertise and tools to help uncover answers to the COVID-19 puzzle — why some people experience a more severe infection, to what underlying factors may dictate a worse infection.”

—Gina Cole
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8:38 am

Global vaccine plan may allow rich countries to buy more

Politicians and public health leaders have publicly committed to equitably sharing any coronavirus vaccine that works, but the top global initiative to make that happen may allow rich countries to reinforce their own stockpiles while making fewer doses available for poor ones.

Activists warn that without stronger attempts to hold political, pharmaceutical and health leaders accountable, vaccines will be hoarded by rich countries in an unseemly race to inoculate their populations first. After the recent uproar over the United States purchasing a large amount of a new COVID-19 drug, some predict an even more disturbing scenario if a successful vaccine is developed.

A volunteer receives a COVID-19 test vaccine in June at a hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa. (AP Photo/Siphiwe Sibeko, FIle)

A volunteer receives a COVID-19 test vaccine in June at a hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa. (AP Photo/Siphiwe Sibeko, FIle)

A volunteer receives a COVID-19 test vaccine in June at a hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa. (AP Photo/Siphiwe Sibeko, FIle)

Dozens of vaccines are being researched, and some countries — including Britain, France, Germany and the U.S. — already have ordered hundreds of millions of doses before the vaccines are even proven to work.

While no country can afford to buy doses of every potential vaccine candidate, many poor nations can’t afford to place such speculative bets at all.

The key initiative to help them is led by Gavi, a public-private partnership started by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that buys vaccines for about 60% of the world’s children.

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press
8:32 am

White House signals openness to unemployment compromise as crucial deadline looms for 30 million Americans

Senior Trump administration officials have begun signaling their willingness to approve a narrow extension of the enhanced unemployment benefits helping tens of millions of jobless Americans hurt by the coronavirus pandemic.

In less than two weeks, the federal program that provides a $600-per-week increase to unemployment benefits will expire. Many economists warn the disappearance of this enormous federal stimulus, created in March, could hinder the economic recovery and deprive millions of Americans of a vital financial lifeline.

More than 30 million people are collecting what many recipients say is a crucial pillar of financial support right now.

Larry Kudlow, left, director of the National Economic Council, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in early July. (Washington Post photo by Jonathan Newton)

Larry Kudlow, left, director of the National Economic Council, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in early July. (Washington Post photo by Jonathan Newton)

Larry Kudlow, left, director of the National Economic Council, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in early July. (Washington Post photo by Jonathan Newton)

“We’d basically have to choose between paying bills and eating,” Erin Walker, 48, who was furloughed from her job as a dining manager at a college campus near Summerville, S.C., at the end of April, said about the looming expiration of the benefits. “I honestly don’t know what I would do.”

For months, President Donald Trump and White House officials have argued the $600-per-week unemployment bonus provides a disincentive to work and should be scrapped so that more Americans return to work as part of the economic recovery. But with the benefits soon set to expire and the economy showing new signs of strain, Trump administration officials have begun opening the door to accepting a narrower version of what Congress previously approved.

Read the story here.

—The Washington Post
8:21 am

UK, France move to extend rules on face coverings in public

Britain and France moved Tuesday to make face coverings compulsory in more places as both countries try to get their economies going while at the same time seeking to prevent further coronavirus outbreaks.

Following days of procrastination and mixed messages, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the wearing of face coverings will be mandatory in shops and supermarkets in England from July 24.

A pedestrian wearing a protective face mask passes sales promotion signs on display in the windows of a clothing fashion store store on Oxford Street in London, U.K., on Thursday, July 9, 2020. British shops aren’t getting much of a boost from newly reopened bars, cafes and restaurants as customers prefer to stay away. (Bloomberg)

A pedestrian wearing a protective face mask passes sales promotion signs on display in the windows of a clothing fashion store store on Oxford Street in London, U.K., on Thursday, July 9, 2020. British shops aren’t getting much of a boost from newly reopened bars, cafes and restaurants as customers prefer to stay away. (Bloomberg)

A pedestrian wearing a protective face mask passes sales promotion signs on display in the windows of a clothing fashion store store on Oxford Street in London, U.K., on Thursday, July 9, 2020. British shops aren’t getting much of a boost from newly reopened bars, cafes and restaurants as customers prefer to stay away. (Bloomberg)

On the other side of the English Channel, amid signs of a slight virus resurgence in France, President Emmanuel Macron said he also wants to require masks inside all indoor public spaces by Aug. 1.

Britain and France previously took a more relaxed attitude to face coverings than many other European nations, recommending masks but not requiring them. Germany, Spain, Italy and Greece already require masks to be worn in enclosed spaces.

But with their economies reeling after months-long lockdowns, French and U.K. government leaders were anxious to try to persuade people to spend again — hopefully without spreading the virus. Weeks of indecision made way for new rules that came into view virtually overnight.

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press
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7:48 am

Pence heads to Louisiana amid renewed surge in virus cases

Vice President Mike Pence travels Tuesday to Louisiana, which has reemerged as one of the nation’s hot spots for the coronavirus only months after seeming to contain its outbreak.

The vice president was scheduled to meet with Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and others to discuss Louisiana’s response to COVID-19 as well as college reopening plans and the future of university sports programs in the pandemic.

Pence’s visit comes as Louisiana’s confirmed virus cases, percentage of positive tests and COVID-19 patient hospitalization rates surge — worrying public health experts in a state that previously appeared successful in combating the virus outbreak.

Vice President Mike Pence gives a thumbs-up before departing on Air Force Two last week from Philadelphia. On Tuesday, July 14, he’s flying to Louisiana to discuss the coronavirus outbreak. (Tim Tai/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool)

Vice President Mike Pence gives a thumbs-up before departing on Air Force Two last week from Philadelphia. On Tuesday, July 14, he’s flying to Louisiana to discuss the coronavirus outbreak. (Tim Tai/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool)

Vice President Mike Pence gives a thumbs-up before departing on Air Force Two last week from Philadelphia. On Tuesday, July 14, he’s flying to Louisiana to discuss the coronavirus outbreak. (Tim Tai/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool)

“Louisiana has been on the radar, literally front and center, of the White House Coronavirus Task Force since the very beginning. We’ve never come off of that radar,” Edwards said. “I think that’s a big reason why the vice president chose to come to Baton Rouge and to Louisiana.”

In response to the surge, the Democratic governor enacted a statewide mask mandate for people 8 and older that took effect Monday. He also returned bars to takeout and delivery only. Restaurants, casinos, gyms, salons and other businesses remain open, with occupancy restrictions.

Louisiana has had nearly 80,000 confirmed cases since its first positive test in March.

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press
7:44 am

Quarantine restrictions tightened around the world as new infections rise

An Australian state is toughening its punishments for anyone caught violating coronavirus quarantines, including jailing rule breakers for up to six months — a warning that follows rising virus cases worldwide and violations of restrictions that are now being further tightened.

The current set of fines for breaking a mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine for some visitors or lying about their whereabouts “appears not to be enough” in some cases, Queensland state Deputy Premier Steven Miles said.

With higher fines and a threat of six months’ imprisonment, “I hope that will demonstrate to the public just how serious we are about enforcing these measures,” Miles said.

The measure is one of many around the world being taken by leaders to quell the spread of the virus that occurred when restrictions were lifted.

Health workers screen people for COVID-19 symptoms at a slum in Mumbai, India, Tuesday, July 14, 2020. Several Indian states imposed weekend curfews and locked down high-risk areas as the number of coronavirus cases surged past 900,000 on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

Health workers screen people for COVID-19 symptoms at a slum in Mumbai, India, Tuesday, July 14, 2020. Several Indian states imposed weekend curfews and locked down high-risk areas as the number of coronavirus cases surged past 900,000 on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

Health workers screen people for COVID-19 symptoms at a slum in Mumbai, India, Tuesday, July 14, 2020. Several Indian states imposed weekend curfews and locked down high-risk areas as the number of coronavirus cases surged past 900,000 on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

Queensland shut its state borders to successfully contain the coronavirus outbreak, but reopened to all but residents of Victoria, Australia’s worst affected region, two weeks ago.

Disney officials announced that Hong Kong Disneyland Park is closing Wednesday following the announcement of new coronavirus restrictions by city leaders.

South Africa imposed tighter restrictions including a ban on alcohol sales, mandatory face masks in public places and an overnight curfew, as a surge in new infections pushed it into the 10 worst-affected countries with nearly 300,000 confirmed cases, according to the Johns Hopkins tally.

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press
7:25 am

Almost 30 new cases tied to July Fourth parties

About 30 new COVID-19 cases in Cowlitz County are connected to two separate Independence Day gatherings, and more cases related to those gatherings likely will emerge in the next few days, the county’s top health official reported Monday.

Dr. Steve Krager, county deputy health officer, said 20 reported cases are associated with one July Fourth party and 10 others are linked to a family get-together that weekend.

Cowlitz County Monday reported 13 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend, bringing the county’s total to 286. The county recorded 28 cases Friday, its biggest one-day report since the pandemic began.

So far this month, Cowlitz County’s caseload has jumped 52 percent with 98 new cases. Infections among people 39 and younger increased in July, 60 percent of the total cases.

Read the story here.

—The Daily News, Longview
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6:38 am

Catch up on the past 24 hours

Washington state yesterday reported a record daily high of 1,101 new cases. As the coronavirus re-invades our state and others that already beat it back once, experts say the resurgences share common causes: “Nobody likes being told what to do.” California’s governor did just that, shutting down much of society yesterday as the state’s biggest school districts said they won’t bring students back soon.

“Don’t tell me my kid has to wear a mask”: Anger and fear are colliding as schools slam into the politics of reopening. The Trump administration has cited the American Academy of Pediatrics to make its case — but the pediatricians are pointing out they never called for the kind of reopening Trump wants. Here’s what the AAP did say.

The White House is turning on Dr. Anthony Fauci as he publicly contradicts the president and sounds alarms over the virus. Could he get fired? He and Trump appear to be stuck with each other.

More than 5 million Americans lost their health insurance in just four months, according to a new analysis coming out today.

A nearly deserted terminal on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend at San Francisco International Airport. (Jim Wilson / The New York Times, file)

A nearly deserted terminal on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend at San Francisco International Airport. (Jim Wilson / The New York Times, file)

A nearly deserted terminal on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend at San Francisco International Airport. (Jim Wilson / The New York Times, file)

Business travel evaporated in a flash when the virus hit. When will it recover? That could take several years, say analysts who are describing what would have to happen for businesses to send workers out into the world again.

The coronavirus came to light in Wuhan, China, but how did it start? Why did it spread so fast? A disease detective says we can fight it better if we know, and he wants the answers to eight key questions.

Can your dog or cat catch COVID-19 from a human? Yes, says the CDC, but it’s rare. Here are tips on keeping your pets safe.

Mary Daniel used to visit her husband at his assisted living facility for hours each evening, until March, when visitors suddenly weren’t allowed. More than 100 days passed — then she hired on as a dishwasher to see him, and the tears started streaming.

Mary Daniel, 57, took a job as a dishwasher at the assisted-living facility in Jacksonville, Fla., where her husband is a resident so she could see him during the pandemic. (Mary Daniel via The Washington Post).

Mary Daniel, 57, took a job as a dishwasher at the assisted-living facility in Jacksonville, Fla., where her husband is a resident so she could see him during the pandemic. (Mary Daniel via The Washington Post).

Mary Daniel, 57, took a job as a dishwasher at the assisted-living facility in Jacksonville, Fla., where her husband is a resident so she could see him during the pandemic. (Mary Daniel via The Washington Post).
—Kris Higginson
12:00 am

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Source: seattletimes.com

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