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Coronavirus In Seattle
caption: Kindergarten students at Jackson Elementary play on a playground during recess on Tuesday, March 23, 2021, at the school along Federal Avenue in Everett. With hybrid learning, students have the option to attend in-person classes two days per week.
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Kindergarten students at Jackson Elementary play on a playground during recess on Tuesday, March 23, 2021, at the school along Federal Avenue in Everett. With hybrid learning, students have the option to attend in-person classes two days per week.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Covid updates today: Cases down 20% in Seattle area

To read the most recent Covid updates, go here.

Updated news about the coronavirus pandemic in Seattle and Washington state.

According to data from King County and Washington state departments of health, as of Tuesday, January 18, 2021:

  • +19,337 new cases since Wednesday in King County. That's -20% over the last seven days.
  • +284 new hospitalizations since Wednesday in King County. That's a 20% increase over the past seven days.
  • 78% of King County residents are fully vaccinated.
  • 10,196 Covid-19 related deaths across Washington state; 1% death rate since the beginning of the pandemic. (Last update 1/13/2022)

Report price gouging on home Covid tests, Washington AG says

As Americans hustle to get their free, at-home Covid tests from the federal government, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson's office is urging Washingtonians to report any price gouging on the testing kits.

In a statement published Tuesday, the office said it had received complaints recently about Facebook advertisements in which sellers marketed at-home Covid tests for nearly triple the standard retail price.

In 2021, the Attorney General's Office responded to roughly 1,300 total price gouging complaints. Also last year, a bill that would have made it illegal to gouge prices on emergency services and goods during a state of emergency in Washington died in the Legislature.

Price gouging can be reported to the Attorney General's Office via this online form, which also allows consumers to include photos and screenshots with their complaints.

Liz Brazile, KUOW

Covid will likely become endemic

There has been much speculation about if and how the pandemic will wind down. But White House medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci says that Covid is likely to remain in our lives for years, potentially as a less severe strain.

Fauci's comment came with the context that experts don't know the exact future of the pandemic, but they can make guesses based on history, NPR reports.

"...if you look at the history of infectious diseases, we've only eradicated one infectious disease in man, and that's smallpox. That's not going to happen with this virus," Fauci said at the recent at the World Economic Forum's Davos Agenda.

"But hopefully it will be at such a low level that it doesn't disrupt our normal social, economic and other interactions."

Fauci further commented that it's unclear if the current Omicron-driven surge in cases (less deadly but far more contagious) will push the world in this direction. It is still possible that another dangerous variant could emerge.

— Dyer Oxley, KUOW

Website launches to get free Covid tests

Covidtests.gov went live Tuesday morning. It's the White House's latest effort to get Covid tests to people across the country.

The Associated Press reports that the website actually launched a day ahead of its expected debut on Wednesday. Shortly after its Tuesday morning launch, more than 750,000 people were logging in to order tests.

The website directs users to a form for the Postal Service. There, they can make one order for their address (one order is four tests). The tests are free and will be shipped in late January.

— Dyer Oxley, KUOW

Covid spike at Seattle schools

Seattle Public Schools has seen a recent spike in the number of Covid cases within the district. It reported 2,290 cases during the first two weeks of the new year.

It's not known yet if the recent testing clinics put on by the district account for the large spike in confirmed cases.

—Angela King, KUOW

Covid Sps 1.18
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Credit: Seattle Public Schools

Drop in student test scores since pandemic started

There's been a drop in state test scores among students since the pandemic started, the Seattle Times reports.

The paper says between 2019 and 2021, the overall percentage of students who met the state's math standards dropped by 20 percentage points. - And the portion of those who met the English standard fell by 9 percentage points.

Some education leaders say lower participation rates and federal waivers may help explain the drop in test scores.

—Angela King, KUOW

Mass vaccine site coming to Everett Mall. Testing site coming soon

The Snohomish health district, along with the state department of health and FEMA, will add vaccine and testing sites to Snohomish County in the wake of Omicron's surge.

The vaccine clinic opens today, Tuesday, at the Everett Mall, 1402 Everett Mall Way #385, in the former Wet Seal store across from Bath and Body Works and near the Burlington Coat Factory.

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday: 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. // Sunday: 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Appointments required. Register here. Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines available at no cost, regardless of insurance status. A parent or guardian must accompany anyone under the age of 18.

Children 5 and older may get the Pfizer vaccine here (and booster if immune compromised). Booster doses are available for ages 12 and older if they are at least five months past their second Pfizer vaccine.

Snohomish County residents with limited or no internet access may call the Health District’s call center at 425-339-5278, which is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays (closed weekends and holidays). Staff can help people register for testing or vaccine appointments if any are available.

via Snohomish County