Coronavirus daily news updates, September 4: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the world – Seattle Times

4September 2020

While the growth of COVID-19 cases in Washington has slowed in recent days, it remains the sixth leading cause of death in King County, according to a new report.

Meanwhile, another recent report shows what could have been behind the recent coronavirus outbreak at a Bremerton hospital.

Throughout Friday, on this page, we’ll be posting 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 COVID-19 coverage can be found here.

The state Department of Health has changed how it reports testing totals, and testing data for the past few weeks is incomplete. Also: As of Aug. 28, the DOH is no longer publishing COVID-19 death counts on weekends. Instead, the number of weekend deaths will be added to death tallies reported on Mondays and Tuesdays.

The state Department of Health has changed how it reports testing totals, and testing data for the past few weeks is incomplete. Also: As of Aug. 28, the DOH is no longer publishing COVID-19 death counts on weekends. Instead, the number of weekend deaths will be added to death tallies reported on Mondays and Tuesdays.

The state Department of Health has changed how it reports testing totals, and testing data for the past few weeks is incomplete. Also: As of Aug. 28, the DOH is no longer publishing COVID-19 death counts on weekends. Instead, the number of weekend deaths will be added to death tallies reported on Mondays and Tuesdays.
(Jennifer Luxton / The Seattle Times)

(Jennifer Luxton / The Seattle Times)

3:27 pm

State DOH confirms 479 new COVID-19 cases in Washington

State health officials confirmed Friday afternoon 479 new COVID-19 cases in Washington, bringing the state’s total count to 76,335.

The state also confirmed eight new deaths, meaning 1,953 Washingtonians have died from COVID-19. According to the State Department of Health’s (DOH) data dashboard, 2.6% of people diagnosed in Washington have died. The data is as of 11:59 p.m. Thursday.

The dashboard reports that 6,848 people have been hospitalized due to the novel coronavirus in Washington, where in January the first case of COVID-19 in the United States was confirmed in Snohomish County.

Statewide, 1,534,090 COVID-19 tests have been administered as of Thursday night.

In King County, the state’s most populous, state health officials have confirmed 20,022 diagnoses and 735 deaths.

—Trevor Lenzmeier
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12:11 pm

Biden confirms he’s been tested for virus, says he’ll be tested regularly

Joe Biden said Friday that he’s been tested at least once for the COVID-19 virus and promised he will be tested regularly during his general election campaign against President Donald Trump.

The Democratic presidential nominee told reporters of his testing protocol during a wide-ranging news conference in which he blasted Trump.

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks in Wilmington, Del., on Friday. (Carolyn Kaster / The Associated Press)

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks in Wilmington, Del., on Friday. (Carolyn Kaster / The Associated Press)

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks in Wilmington, Del., on Friday. (Carolyn Kaster / The Associated Press)

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press
11:42 am

State Department says it’s a good time to get a passport

The State Department said this week that its backlog had been tackled and now is a good time to apply for a passport. (File)

The State Department said this week that its backlog had been tackled and now is a good time to apply for a passport. (File)

The State Department said this week that its backlog had been tackled and now is a good time to apply for a passport. (File)

State Department officials say now is a good time to renew an expired passport or apply for a new one, though dozens of countries still do not admit most American tourists because of coronavirus fears.

A large backlog of passport applications that was waiting to be processed when the Bureau of Consular Affairs, which also handles visas, went into lockdown in mid-March has been tackled.

Passport processors are now chipping away at applications that have arrived since then.

Read the story here.

—The Washington Post
11:36 am

Will Labor Day bring another spike?

Americans headed into Labor Day weekend — the unofficial end to the Lost Summer of 2020 — amid warnings from public health experts that backyard parties, crowded bars and other gatherings could cause the coronavirus to come surging back.

“I look upon the Labor Day weekend really as a critical point,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious-disease expert. “Are we going to go in the right direction and continue the momentum downward, or are we going to have to step back a bit as we start another surge?”

The rise in infections, deaths and hospitalizations over the summer was blamed in part on Americans behaving heedlessly over Memorial Day and July Fourth.

More beaches will be open on Labor Day than on Memorial Day, but Fauci said that is not cause in itself for concern, as long as people keep their distance.

“I would rather see someone on a beach, being physically separated enough, than someone crowded in an indoor bar,” he said.

A waiter in a face mask delivers food to tables outside a local restaurant during on Friday in Hoboken, N.J. Public health experts are concerned about a post-Labor Day coronavirus surge. (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez / The Associated Press)

A waiter in a face mask delivers food to tables outside a local restaurant during on Friday in Hoboken, N.J. Public health experts are concerned about a post-Labor Day coronavirus surge. (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez / The Associated Press)

A waiter in a face mask delivers food to tables outside a local restaurant during on Friday in Hoboken, N.J. Public health experts are concerned about a post-Labor Day coronavirus surge. (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez / The Associated Press)

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press
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11:23 am

UN: No vaccine to be endorsed before it’s safe and effective

The head of the World Health Organization said the U.N. health agency will not recommend any COVID-19 vaccine before it is proved safe and effective, even as Russia and China have started using their experimental vaccines before large studies have finished and other countries have proposed streamlining authorization procedures.

At a press briefing on Friday, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said vaccines have been used successfully for decades, and credited them with eradicating smallpox and bringing polio to the brink of being eliminated.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization, spoke Friday about the prospects for a coronavirus vaccine.(Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP, file)

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization, spoke Friday about the prospects for a coronavirus vaccine.(Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP, file)

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization, spoke Friday about the prospects for a coronavirus vaccine.(Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP, file)

“I would like to assure the public that WHO will not endorse a vaccine that’s not effective and safe,” Tedros said.

He said newly developed Ebola vaccines helped end the recent Ebola outbreak in Congo and urged people opposed to vaccination to do their own research.

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press
8:50 am

India adds another 83K COVID-19 cases, nears 2nd most in world

The number of people confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus in India rose by another 80,000 and is near Brazil’s total, the second-highest in the world.

The 83,341 cases added in the past 24 hours pushed India’s total past 3.9 million, according to the Health Ministry. Brazil has confirmed more than 4 million infections while the U.S. has more 6.1 million people infected, according to Johns Hopkins University.

A worker sanitizes a metro station in New Delhi, India, on Thursday. Only places with the highest COVID case rates remain under lockdown in India. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

A worker sanitizes a metro station in New Delhi, India, on Thursday. Only places with the highest COVID case rates remain under lockdown in India. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

A worker sanitizes a metro station in New Delhi, India, on Thursday. Only places with the highest COVID case rates remain under lockdown in India. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

India’s Health Ministry on Friday also reported 1,096 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking total fatalities up to 68,472.

In a country of 1.4 billion people, only those places most affected by the virus remain under lockdown. 

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press
8:46 am

Russia publishes virus vaccine results, claims success

Russian scientists have belatedly published first results from early trials into the experimental Sputnik V vaccine, which received government approval last month but drew considerable criticism from experts, as the shots had only been tested on several dozen people before being more widely administered.

In a report published in the journal Lancet on Friday, developers of the vaccine said it appeared to be safe and to prompt an antibody response in all 40 people tested in the second phase of the study within three weeks. However, the authors noted that participants were only followed for 42 days, the study sample was small and there was no placebo or control vaccine used.

An employee works with a potential coronavirus vaccine at the Nikolai Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow. (Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr. / Russian Direct Investment Fund via AP)

An employee works with a potential coronavirus vaccine at the Nikolai Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow. (Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr. / Russian Direct Investment Fund via AP)

An employee works with a potential coronavirus vaccine at the Nikolai Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow. (Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr. / Russian Direct Investment Fund via AP)

International experts remained cautious over the vaccine’s effectiveness and safety. Nevertheless, its Russian developers made some bold assertions, claiming the vaccine’s protection will remain for two years.

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press
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7:12 am

Quarantine Corner: Things to do while keeping your distance

“Mulan” belongs in theaters, but don’t wait. Disney’s new movie shows great strength, beauty and action even on a small screen, our critic writes.

Stock your bookshelf with four Seattle-based crime fiction titles.

Missing the Washington State Fair? It’s a no-go this year, but consider picking up fair food to go and setting up backyard fair fun for your kids with games, exhibits and more.

Re-create some fair fun by tossing Ping-Pong balls into drinking glasses containing plastic animals and trinkets. (JiaYing Grygiel)

Re-create some fair fun by tossing Ping-Pong balls into drinking glasses containing plastic animals and trinkets. (JiaYing Grygiel)

Re-create some fair fun by tossing Ping-Pong balls into drinking glasses containing plastic animals and trinkets. (JiaYing Grygiel)
—Kris Higginson
6:53 am

Students’ heartbreaking plea

Sam Huard of Kennedy Catholic High School, and Cole Norah of Mount Si High School, join Tracy Ford of Ford Sports Performance in leading high school athletes in a march on the Washington State Capitol on Thursday. They’re asking that fall high school sports be reinstated. (Dean Rutz / The Seattle Times)

Sam Huard of Kennedy Catholic High School, and Cole Norah of Mount Si High School, join Tracy Ford of Ford Sports Performance in leading high school athletes in a march on the Washington State Capitol on Thursday. They’re asking that fall high school sports be reinstated. (Dean Rutz / The Seattle Times)

Sam Huard of Kennedy Catholic High School, and Cole Norah of Mount Si High School, join Tracy Ford of Ford Sports Performance in leading high school athletes in a march on the Washington State Capitol on Thursday. They’re asking that fall high school sports be reinstated. (Dean Rutz / The Seattle Times)

More than 100 Washington high-school athletes rallied at the state Capitol in Olympia last night. As they called on the governor to reinstate a fall sports season, some pointed out the high stakes for their collegiate future and family finances.

The pleas were heartfelt and heartbreaking, but playing fall sports doesn’t align with COVID-19 realities, columnist Larry Stone writes.

6:40 am

Catch up on the past 24 hours

Utility service worker Roy Popper wipes down seats with disinfectant foam cleaner on a King County Metro bus in February. (Amanda Snyder / The Seattle Times)

Utility service worker Roy Popper wipes down seats with disinfectant foam cleaner on a King County Metro bus in February. (Amanda Snyder / The Seattle Times)

Utility service worker Roy Popper wipes down seats with disinfectant foam cleaner on a King County Metro bus in February. (Amanda Snyder / The Seattle Times)

FAQ Friday: Can you catch the virus through a building’s ventilation system? Do we still need to worry about surfaces? We’re breaking down what’s known about the risks as businesses scramble to deal with fears about the air in their buildings.

A COVID-19 outbreak that spread through a Bremerton hospital might be traceable to certain medical procedures, according to a state report that also says staffers were using personal protective equipment longer than recommended.

A vaccine by Election Day? That’s “extremely unlikely but not impossible,” the White House’s chief adviser on vaccines says, running counter to the optimism you might have heard.

Is your hand sanitizer safe and effective? An infectious-disease expert describes what to look for. Certainly stay away from the ones on the FDA’s list of unsafe sanitizers.

An aerial view of Husky Stadium in 2013. (Alan Berner / The Seattle Times)

An aerial view of Husky Stadium in 2013. (Alan Berner / The Seattle Times)

An aerial view of Husky Stadium in 2013. (Alan Berner / The Seattle Times)

UW’s Huskies might play football in 2020, after all. The Pac-12 has a “groundbreaking” deal to test athletes every day for COVID-19. Here’s how it would work. But it wouldn’t happen right away, which has us thinking about the things we’ll miss the most about fall football — like that view from Husky Stadium on a brilliant day.

“A godsend”: As Seattle business owners talk about how aid from the city gave them a fighting chance after the pandemic hit, their experiences seem to suggest many businesses will need additional help.

COVID-19 has hit Gotham: Filming of Warner Bros.’ much-anticipated “The Batman” is shut down after its star reportedly tested positive.

—Kris Higginson
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6:34 am

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Source: seattletimes.com

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