Coronavirus daily news updates, September 29: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the world – Seattle Times

29September 2020

The world surpassed 1 million coronavirus deaths on Monday, a bleak milestone that comes nine months into the pandemic — and even then, it’s almost certainly a vast undercount. Despite the need for an accurate reporting of data, scientific experts are saying the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been blundering for months, leading to serious questions about the agency’s credibility.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump announced Monday that the federal government will begin distributing millions of rapid coronavirus tests to states this week, and is urging governors to use them to reopen schools for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

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

(Jennifer Luxton / The Seattle Times)

(Jennifer Luxton / The Seattle Times)

8:02 pm

Orthodox Jewish areas in NYC may see city-issued mask fines

NEW YORK — Alarmed by a spike in coronavirus infections in a few Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods, New York City officials will start issuing fines in those areas to people who refuse to wear masks, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.

De Blasio said he was sending teams of hundreds of outreach workers and contact tracers to nine Brooklyn and Queens ZIP codes that have seen an upswing in positive COVID-19 tests in hopes of avoiding harsher enforcement measures.

Those workers will be handing out masks, but also insisting that people put them on if they are in a place where they could be within 6 feet of other people.

“Anyone who refuses to wear a face covering will be told that if they don’t put one on they will be fined, and anyone who still refuses will be fined. That will happen aggressively,” de Blasio said. 

The maximum fine for refusing to wear a mask is $1,000. “We don’t want to fine people. If we have to, we will,” de Blasio said.

—Associated Press
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7:33 pm

Durkan’s 2021 budget would use cuts, reserves and big-business tax to close revenue hole and invest in communities of color

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s 2021 budget plan, unveiled Tuesday and sent to the City Council for review, would use cuts across departments, money from emergency reserves and the City Council’s new tax on big businesses to close a revenue gap, continue COVID-19 relief programs and allocate $100 million for communities of color.

Durkan’s plan calls for $6.5 billion in total spending next year, including $1.5 billion in general-fund spending. Those are the same record amounts City Hall budgeted to spend this year, before the pandemic hit. Under the mayor’s plan, Seattle’s budget would remain flat for the first time in quite a while, after growing by leaps and bounds during the city’s tech-powered boom. The plan could entail up to 40 layoffs.

“This has been a brutal year for everyone in Seattle,” Durkan said in a video speech that aired Tuesday, mentioning COVID-19, unemployment and the Black lives uprising against police brutality and racism. “Our work and community needs have grown, but our revenue is shrinking.”

In her budget speech, prerecorded at multiple locations around the city and interspersed with images of Seattle residents pushing through the pandemic, the mayor touted her administration’s work to stand up testing sites, distribute personal protective equipment and provide childcare.

Read the full story here.

—Daniel Beekman
7:02 pm

North Korea on virus threat: ‘Under safe and stable control’

North Korea on Tuesday called on the world’s governments to “display effective leadership” in the fight against COVID-19 and said its own measures against the pandemic, which it called “preemptive, timely and strong,” ensured it had the threat “under safe and stable control.”

Kim Song, the country’s U.N. ambassador, said a tightly administered anti-pandemic effort in his nation had been working. North Korea strictly regulates foreign visitors — even more so during the pandemic that’s killed more than 1 million people worldwide — and filters all information through its state propaganda apparatus, with details about its approach to the coronavirus relatively scant.

“(The) anti-epidemic situation in our country is now under safe and stable control,” the ambassador said in a rare live address at the U.N. General Assembly. 

“A series of state measures are now being taken to block the virus inflow into the country, and all people adhere strictly to anti-epidemic regulations while maintaining the highest alert,” he said.

—Associated Press
7:01 pm

Disney to lay off 28,000 at its parks in California, Florida

ORLANDO, Fla. — Squeezed by limits on attendance at its theme parks and other restrictions due to the pandemic, The Walt Disney Co. said Tuesday it planned to lay off 28,000 workers in its parks division in California and Florida.

Two-thirds of the planned layoffs involve part-time workers but they ranged from salaried employees to hourly workers, Disney officials said.

Disney’s parks closed last spring as the pandemic started spreading in the U.S. The Florida parks reopened this summer, but the California parks have yet to reopen as the company awaits guidance from the state of California.

In a letter to employees, Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experience and Product, said California’s “unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen” exacerbated the situation for the company.

D’Amaro said his management team had worked hard to try to avoid layoffs. They had cut expenses, suspended projects and modified operations but it wasn’t enough given limits on the number of people allowed into the park because of social distancing restrictions and other pandemic-related measures, he said.

—Associated Press
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6:59 pm

Appalachian State student dies following COVID complications

RALEIGH, N.C. — The University of North Carolina system reported its first coronavirus-related student death on Tuesday since several campuses reopened with at least partial in-person learning last month.

Chad Dorrill, a 19-year student at Appalachian State University who lived off campus in Boone and took all of his classes online, died on Monday due to coronavirus complications, officials said.

“Any loss of life is a tragedy, but the grief cuts especially deep as we mourn a young man who had so much life ahead,” said a statement from Peter Hans, chancellor of the system overseeing the state’s 16 public colleges and universities. “I ache for the profound sadness that Chad Dorrill’s family is enduring right now. My heart goes out to the entire Appalachian State community.”

The university reported a new high of 159 current COVID-19 cases among students on Tuesday. Nearly 550 students have tested positive for the virus since in-person classes resumed last month. Appalachian State remains open for in-person instruction.

—Associated Press
3:10 pm

State confirms 404 new COVID-19 cases and 24 new deaths

State health officials reported 404 new COVID-19 cases in Washington as of Monday night, and 24 new deaths.

The update brings the state’s totals to 87,042 cases and 2,124 deaths, meaning that 2.4% of people diagnosed in Washington have died, according to the state Department of Health (DOH). The data is as of 11:59 p.m. Monday.

The DOH also reported that 7,483 people have been hospitalized in the state due to the virus. 

Statewide, 1,854,399 COVID-19 tests have been administered as of Monday night.

In King County, the state’s most populous, state health officials have confirmed 22,237 diagnoses and 761 deaths — seven fewer than reported on Monday.

The state Department of Health removes deaths from the statewide total when the primary cause of death is determined not to have been COVID-19.

—Nicole Brodeur
1:13 pm

Photos from Sept. 29, 2020, as world marks 1M COVID deaths, cases rise

In Paris, a lone spectator watches Italy’s Matteo Berrettini and Canada’s Vasek Pospisil in the first round match of the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros stadium on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. (Christophe Ena / The Associated Press)

In Paris, a lone spectator watches Italy’s Matteo Berrettini and Canada’s Vasek Pospisil in the first round match of the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros stadium on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. (Christophe Ena / The Associated Press)

In Paris, a lone spectator watches Italy’s Matteo Berrettini and Canada’s Vasek Pospisil in the first round match of the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros stadium on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. (Christophe Ena / The Associated Press)
In Tokyo’s Asakusa district, people wearing protective masks walk at a shopping arcade on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. The Japanese capital confirmed more than 200 coronavirus cases on Tuesday. (Eugene Hoshiko / The Associated Press)

In Tokyo’s Asakusa district, people wearing protective masks walk at a shopping arcade on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. The Japanese capital confirmed more than 200 coronavirus cases on Tuesday. (Eugene Hoshiko / The Associated Press)

In Tokyo’s Asakusa district, people wearing protective masks walk at a shopping arcade on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. The Japanese capital confirmed more than 200 coronavirus cases on Tuesday. (Eugene Hoshiko / The Associated Press)
In London, workers from the event industry protest at Parliament Square on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, demanding help for their industry because of the shutdown in the COVID-19 pandemic. (Frank Augstein / The Associated Press)

In London, workers from the event industry protest at Parliament Square on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, demanding help for their industry because of the shutdown in the COVID-19 pandemic. (Frank Augstein / The Associated Press)

In London, workers from the event industry protest at Parliament Square on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, demanding help for their industry because of the shutdown in the COVID-19 pandemic. (Frank Augstein / The Associated Press)
Passengers of the Mein Schiff 6 cruise ship stand outside their cabins as the ship docks at Piraeus port, near Athens, on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. Greek authorities say 12 crew members on the Maltese-flagged cruise ship carrying more than 1,500 people on a Greek islands tour have tested positive for coronavirus and have been isolated onboard. (Petros Giannakouris / The Associated Press)

Passengers of the Mein Schiff 6 cruise ship stand outside their cabins as the ship docks at Piraeus port, near Athens, on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. Greek authorities say 12 crew members on the Maltese-flagged cruise ship carrying more than 1,500 people on a Greek islands tour have tested positive for coronavirus and have been isolated onboard. (Petros Giannakouris / The Associated Press)

Passengers of the Mein Schiff 6 cruise ship stand outside their cabins as the ship docks at Piraeus port, near Athens, on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. Greek authorities say 12 crew members on the Maltese-flagged cruise ship carrying more than 1,500 people on a Greek islands tour have tested positive for coronavirus and have been isolated onboard. (Petros Giannakouris / The Associated Press)
Secretaries from the Pennsylvania Departments of Agriculture and Human Services join volunteers at the Weinberg Northeast Regional Food Bank in Pittston Pa., on Tuesday Sept. 29, 2020, to assist with packing food that will be distributed to individuals and families in need across Northeast Pennsylvania. September is Hunger Action Month, which recognizes the prevalence of hunger and effects of food insecurity across Pennsylvania. (Mark Moran / The Citizens’ Voice via The Associated Press)

Secretaries from the Pennsylvania Departments of Agriculture and Human Services join volunteers at the Weinberg Northeast Regional Food Bank in Pittston Pa., on Tuesday Sept. 29, 2020, to assist with packing food that will be distributed to individuals and families in need across Northeast Pennsylvania. September is Hunger Action Month, which recognizes the prevalence of hunger and effects of food insecurity across Pennsylvania. (Mark Moran / The Citizens’ Voice via The Associated Press)

Secretaries from the Pennsylvania Departments of Agriculture and Human Services join volunteers at the Weinberg Northeast Regional Food Bank in Pittston Pa., on Tuesday Sept. 29, 2020, to assist with packing food that will be distributed to individuals and families in need across Northeast Pennsylvania. September is Hunger Action Month, which recognizes the prevalence of hunger and effects of food insecurity across Pennsylvania. (Mark Moran / The Citizens’ Voice via The Associated Press)

See the whole gallery here.

—Courtney Riffkin
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12:43 pm

COVID-19 cases rising among US children as schools reopen

After preying heavily on the elderly in the spring, the coronavirus is increasingly infecting American children and teens in a trend authorities say appears driven by school reopenings and the resumption of sports, playdates and other activities.

Students arrive for in-person classes outside a school, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, in New York. The coronavirus is infecting a rising number of American children and teens in a trend authorities say appears driven by school reopenings and the resumption of sports, playdates and other activities. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Students arrive for in-person classes outside a school, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, in New York. The coronavirus is infecting a rising number of American children and teens in a trend authorities say appears driven by school reopenings and the resumption of sports, playdates and other activities. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Students arrive for in-person classes outside a school, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, in New York. The coronavirus is infecting a rising number of American children and teens in a trend authorities say appears driven by school reopenings and the resumption of sports, playdates and other activities. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Children of all ages now make up 10% of all U.S cases, up from 2% in April, the American Academy of Pediatrics reported Tuesday. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday that the incidence of COVID-19 in school-age children began rising in early September as many youngsters returned to their classrooms.

About two times more teens were infected than younger children, the CDC report said. Most infected children have mild cases; hospitalizations and death rates are much lower than in adults.

Read the story here.

—Lindsey Tanner, The Associated Press
11:21 am

Titans have NFL’s first COVID-19 outbreak, with 8 positives

The Tennessee Titans suspended in-person activities through Friday after the NFL says three Titans players and five personnel tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming the first COVID-19 outbreak of the NFL season in Week 4.

The outbreak threatens to jeopardize the Titans’ game this weekend against the Pittsburgh Steelers and poses the first significant in-season test to the league’s coronavirus protocols.

Members of the Tennessee Titans take part in the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Minneapolis. The NFL says the Tennessee Titans and Minnesota Vikings are suspending in-person activities after the Titans had three players test positive for the coronavirus, along with five other personnel. The league says both clubs are working closely with the NFL and the players’ union on tracing contacts, more testing and monitoring developments. The Titans are scheduled to host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.(AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Members of the Tennessee Titans take part in the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Minneapolis. The NFL says the Tennessee Titans and Minnesota Vikings are suspending in-person activities after the Titans had three players test positive for the coronavirus, along with five other personnel. The league says both clubs are working closely with the NFL and the players’ union on tracing contacts, more testing and monitoring developments. The Titans are scheduled to host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.(AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Members of the Tennessee Titans take part in the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Minneapolis. The NFL says the Tennessee Titans and Minnesota Vikings are suspending in-person activities after the Titans had three players test positive for the coronavirus, along with five other personnel. The league says both clubs are working closely with the NFL and the players’ union on tracing contacts, more testing and monitoring developments. The Titans are scheduled to host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.(AP Photo/Jim Mone)

The NFL issued a statement Tuesday saying both the Titans and Minnesota Vikings suspended in-person activities Tuesday following the Titans’ test results. The Titans beat the Vikings 31-30 in Minneapolis last weekend.

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press
10:44 am

Virus, strife prompt ‘resiliency’ funds in Black communities

Iguehi James, an Oakland, Calif., fashion entrepreneur, cuts fabric to make a face mask she sells through her apparel company Love Iguehi, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. She received a $5,000 grant from the Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce’s “Resiliency Fund,” which seeks to help Black-owned businesses stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Terry Chea)

Iguehi James, an Oakland, Calif., fashion entrepreneur, cuts fabric to make a face mask she sells through her apparel company Love Iguehi, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. She received a $5,000 grant from the Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce’s “Resiliency Fund,” which seeks to help Black-owned businesses stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Terry Chea)

Iguehi James, an Oakland, Calif., fashion entrepreneur, cuts fabric to make a face mask she sells through her apparel company Love Iguehi, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. She received a $5,000 grant from the Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce’s “Resiliency Fund,” which seeks to help Black-owned businesses stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Terry Chea)

The modest cash grant Iguehi James received from the Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce helped the clothing designer defray costs, including surge prices on elastic and fabric that jumped dramatically due to the pandemic.

The application process was simple and she qualified for a $5,000 “resiliency” grant, despite being a solo practitioner with no employees or storefront.

Along with the fiscal help, the grant reminded the 38-year-old novice entrepreneur that she is part of a community with a tradition of mobilizing to help members in times of distress.

Iguehi James, an Oakland fashion entrepreneur, shows a kimono duster she designed for her apparel company Love Iguehi, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, in Oaklnad, Calif. She received a $5,000 grant from the Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce’s “Resiliency Fund,” which seeks to help Black-owned businesses stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Terry Chea)

Iguehi James, an Oakland fashion entrepreneur, shows a kimono duster she designed for her apparel company Love Iguehi, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, in Oaklnad, Calif. She received a $5,000 grant from the Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce’s “Resiliency Fund,” which seeks to help Black-owned businesses stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Terry Chea)

Iguehi James, an Oakland fashion entrepreneur, shows a kimono duster she designed for her apparel company Love Iguehi, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, in Oaklnad, Calif. She received a $5,000 grant from the Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce’s “Resiliency Fund,” which seeks to help Black-owned businesses stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Terry Chea)

“We’ve been denied opportunities, we’ve had to work really hard to get to where we are,” said James, who lives in Oakland, California. “When you have other people who know the struggle, know the plight, know how hard it is to be valued … to be seen, you just feel like you have a community.”

The chamber announced this summer that it had raised $1 million for its fund to help Black-owned businesses. It’s one of several similar efforts launched in the U.S. since the pandemic began closing businesses and schools, and it’s a nod to the difficulty that Black businesses have in landing bank loans and the disproportionate impact the virus has on African American families.

In Washington, the Black Business Equity Fund began offering grants to Black-owned businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic — many of which have been left out of state and federal coronavirus relief programs.

Read the story here.

—Janie Har, The Associated Press
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7:27 am

Can I be part of a COVID-19 vaccine study?

Do you want to be COVID-19 vaccine study volunteer?

Governments and companies are setting up websites where people can sign up and, so far, interest is high: More than 400,000 people have signed a registry of possible volunteers that’s part of a vaccine network set up by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

But before raising your hand, it’s important to understand how the research works.

AP Illustration/Peter Hamlin;

AP Illustration/Peter Hamlin;

AP Illustration/Peter Hamlin;

Initial studies include only a few dozen young, healthy volunteers, since this is the first chance to see if a shot causes a risky reaction in people. Older adults, anyone with a serious underlying illness, and pregnant women are typically excluded from this testing stage.

Mid-stage studies of COVID-19 vaccines recruit a few hundred people, including some older adults. The focus is on comparing how people’s immune systems react to different doses, as well as getting more safety data.

In final-stage studies, scientists need tens of thousands of volunteers who reflect the diversity of the population, including those at high risk of severe illness from the virus.

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press
7:04 am

Chancellor Angela Merkel and the governors of Germany’s 16 states were conferring Tuesday on how to prevent the country’s coronavirus infection figures from accelerating to the levels being seen in other European countries, and new restrictions were possible.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel adjust her face mask during a budget debate as part of a meeting of the German federal parliament, Bundestag, at the Reichstag building in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel adjust her face mask during a budget debate as part of a meeting of the German federal parliament, Bundestag, at the Reichstag building in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel adjust her face mask during a budget debate as part of a meeting of the German federal parliament, Bundestag, at the Reichstag building in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

New infections in Germany have hit the highest levels since April in recent weeks, with more than 2,000 new cases per day on several occasions.

That’s far from the figures now being recorded in some other European countries — notably France and Spain.

But it has set alarm bells ringing in Germany and leaders are discussing what measures might be needed next.

Read the story here.

6:25 am

Quarantine corner

—Kris Higginson
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6:14 am

Catch up on the past 24 hours

—Kris Higginson
10:24 pm, Sep. 28, 2020

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Source: seattletimes.com

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