Coronavirus outbreak

Logo for news use featuring Snohomish County, Washington. 220118

Officials: State’s first COVID death was in Snohomish County

A new glimpse into Washington’s earliest COVID deaths — and why we may never have a complete record.

Logo for news use featuring Snohomish County, Washington. 220118

Comment: CDC’s new mask guidance could be too slow to respond

In the event of a surge, its recommendations could delay a response, allowing covid to spread rapidly.

Comment: Democrats must break stalemate over covid funding

If another surge hits and support isn’t available for vaccines and treatments, Democrats will get the blame.

Comment: What science says about vaccines and a fourth shot

Some will likely need a second booster, but most remaing protected against severe covid disease.

Comment: Only way to live with covid is not to ignore it

The U.S. might follow the U.K.’s course with omicron’s BA.2 subvariant. But there are distinctions.

Comment: Why it’s a good idea to stock up on masks, tests

Congress, in rejecting a pandemic funding request, is again letting down its guard at the wrong time.

Snohomish Health District health officer Dr. Chris Spitters at a virtual meeting held Tuesday, March 22, 2022. (Snohomish County Health District)

Finally, Snohomish County’s COVID case rate in double digits

The numbers look good, but Snohomish Health District officials say they’re keeping an eye on the BA.2 subvariant.

Snohomish Health District health officer Dr. Chris Spitters at a virtual meeting held Tuesday, March 22, 2022. (Snohomish County Health District)
Other state representatives respond to roll call over a virtual meeting before their swearing in on Friday, Jan. 8, 2020 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Once a rarity, remote government meetings appear here to stay

A locally inspired bill pushes governing boards to let people keep participating from afar, even when the pandemic fades.

Other state representatives respond to roll call over a virtual meeting before their swearing in on Friday, Jan. 8, 2020 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Comment: Research into long covid could advance other work

It’s already prompting clues into Alzheimer’s as well as Lyme disease and other chronic conditions.

Washington Secretary of Health Umair A. Shah speaks at a news conference with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. Inslee announced that Washington state is expanding its vaccine mandate to include all public, charter and private school teachers and staff, as well as those working at the state's colleges and universities. Inslee also expanded the statewide indoor mask mandate in place for non-vaccinated individuals to include those who are vaccinated. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

‘ForWArd’ plan details how state will ‘coexist’ with COVID

Moving away from mandates, officials say the next phase in Washington’s response is about “empowering” residents to keep safe.

Washington Secretary of Health Umair A. Shah speaks at a news conference with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. Inslee announced that Washington state is expanding its vaccine mandate to include all public, charter and private school teachers and staff, as well as those working at the state's colleges and universities. Inslee also expanded the statewide indoor mask mandate in place for non-vaccinated individuals to include those who are vaccinated. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Canada announces it’s dropping testing requirement at border

Starting April 1, fully vaccinated travelers won’t be required to complete a pre-entry COVID-19 test.

A woman walks past a downtown business with a sign requiring customers to wear masks Thursday, March 10, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

As masks come off, Snohomish County locals have mixed emotions

Some are nervous. Some are relieved. Snohomish County’s health officer and top elected official will keep their masks on.

A woman walks past a downtown business with a sign requiring customers to wear masks Thursday, March 10, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
People hold signs as they stand near parked semi-trucks during a protest against COVID-19 vaccine mandates and other issues, Saturday, March 5, 2022, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. The trucks were part of a local convoy that traveled to Olympia for the protest. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Demonstrators rally in Olympia against state COVID-19 mandates

GOP Rep. Robert Sutherland of Granite Falls told the crowd he was denied entrance to the statehouse because he refused to get tested.

People hold signs as they stand near parked semi-trucks during a protest against COVID-19 vaccine mandates and other issues, Saturday, March 5, 2022, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. The trucks were part of a local convoy that traveled to Olympia for the protest. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Brier in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118

Brier’s police staffing challenge clashes with COVID concerns

Some residents said they would be apprehensive about hiring unvaccinated officers who have applied.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Brier in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Vibal Vidal, a recovery nurse at Swedish Edmonds, pickets outside the hospital Tuesday morning. (Joey Thompson / The Herald)

Bill to set minimum hospital staffing dies in state Senate

Hospitals opposed a bill limiting the number of patients per nurse. It died in a committee this week.

Vibal Vidal, a recovery nurse at Swedish Edmonds, pickets outside the hospital Tuesday morning. (Joey Thompson / The Herald)

Comment: Covid has taken a toll on cancer prevention and care

But we can use strategies we used against covid to quickly improve access to screening and treatment.

Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., speaks as the House of Representatives debates the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019. (House Television via AP)

Washington Congresswoman DelBene tests positive for COVID-19

Her district encompasses eastern King, parts of Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom counties.

Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., speaks as the House of Representatives debates the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019. (House Television via AP)
Gov. Jay Inslee speaks to students at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash. on Friday, Feb. 18, 2022. (Kathy Plonka/The Spokesman-Review via AP)

Cued by CDC, Inslee moves up end of mask mandate to March 12

Washington, Oregon and California together will lift mask requirements in most, but not all, settings.

Gov. Jay Inslee speaks to students at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash. on Friday, Feb. 18, 2022. (Kathy Plonka/The Spokesman-Review via AP)
Legislators work on the Washington Senate floor at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash., on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022, during debate over a measure that authorizes legislative leaders to terminate any state of emergency called by the governor after 90 days if the Legislature is not in session. The measure passed the Democratic-led Senate chamber and now heads to the House, also held by Democrats, for consideration. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Public to be allowed back in Washington Senate gallery

But they’ll have to show a same-day negative COVID-19 test before they can get in.

Legislators work on the Washington Senate floor at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash., on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022, during debate over a measure that authorizes legislative leaders to terminate any state of emergency called by the governor after 90 days if the Legislature is not in session. The measure passed the Democratic-led Senate chamber and now heads to the House, also held by Democrats, for consideration. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Comment: Covid’s variants changing what we know about vaccines

It’s clear that a past covid infection offers immunity; the question is: Is it better than the vaccines?