Coronavirus outbreak

Comment: How a vaxxed doctor judged his covid risk at a party

As mask mandates and case rates fall it’s a mental exercise that more of us will do each day.

Comment: Why I’m keeping my mask on when indoors

My football coach warned against letting one’s guard down near game’s end. The advice applies now, too.

FILE - Washington Gov. Jay Inslee speaks as he gives his annual State of the State address on Jan. 11, 2022, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. On Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022, Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, said that a bill sought by Inslee that would make it a crime for elected officials or candidates to knowingly lie about election outcomes if those claims result in violence would not be brought up for a vote on the Senate floor because the bill did not have enough support to clear the Democratic-led chamber. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

Governor: Masks can come off March 21 in most public settings

They’ll still be required in some places, but Washington is following several other states now lifting mandates.

FILE - Washington Gov. Jay Inslee speaks as he gives his annual State of the State address on Jan. 11, 2022, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. On Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022, Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, said that a bill sought by Inslee that would make it a crime for elected officials or candidates to knowingly lie about election outcomes if those claims result in violence would not be brought up for a vote on the Senate floor because the bill did not have enough support to clear the Democratic-led chamber. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

Comment: When we lower our masks we can’t lower our guard

Especially in schools a combined focus on vaccination, testing and ventilation will need to continue.

A Sound Transit bus at it's new stop in the shadow of the newly opened Northgate Lightrail Station in Seattle. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Driver shortage cuts bus routes between Snohomish, King counties

Sound Transit cut 18 daily trips on express routes through March 19. Meanwhile, Community Transit is hiring.

A Sound Transit bus at it's new stop in the shadow of the newly opened Northgate Lightrail Station in Seattle. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Third grade teacher Lisa Thompson walks by her ten students, separated at six-foot distance, at Eagle Creek Elementary on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021 in Arlington, Washington. The students wear masks, are six feet from each other in class and after recess ends, get a mask break. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Editorial: Local health officials should set mask policy

The state schools chief says local health district policy should replace the state’s mask mandate.

Third grade teacher Lisa Thompson walks by her ten students, separated at six-foot distance, at Eagle Creek Elementary on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021 in Arlington, Washington. The students wear masks, are six feet from each other in class and after recess ends, get a mask break. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Comment: Mask mandates were a good idea that didn’t work

Masks, especially N95s, still have their place, but what’s worked has been high rates of vaccination.

The Monroe Correctional Complex on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022 in Monroe, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Families: Loved ones behind bars are not ‘in good spirits’

In a letter, they dispute the characterization by the state Corrections secretary after her visit in Monroe.

The Monroe Correctional Complex on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022 in Monroe, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Comment: We may not wait for covid numbers to call ‘all clear’

In past pandemics, illness and deaths continued for years while society went on with little notice.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee sits in front of a solar panel after speaking, Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, at a news conference in Olympia, Wash. Inslee announced several climate-related proposals for the 2022 legislative session, including a plan to offer rebates on the purchase of new and used electric vehicles for qualified buyers. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Inslee: Mask mandate is going away, but not quite yet

The governor said he’ll say exactly when next week. Meanwhile, a pause on elective surgeries will end Feb. 17.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee sits in front of a solar panel after speaking, Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, at a news conference in Olympia, Wash. Inslee announced several climate-related proposals for the 2022 legislative session, including a plan to offer rebates on the purchase of new and used electric vehicles for qualified buyers. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Kristin Travis, a community outreach doula, holds a home COVID-19 test kit Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022, while picking up supplies at Open Arms Perinatal Services before going out to visit some of her clients in Seattle.  With the brutal omicron wave rapidly easing its grip, new cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. are falling in 49 of the 50 states. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

COVID-19 hospitalizations falling throughout Washington

Health officials say the end of the omicron wave will likely persist for at least a few more weeks.

Kristin Travis, a community outreach doula, holds a home COVID-19 test kit Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022, while picking up supplies at Open Arms Perinatal Services before going out to visit some of her clients in Seattle.  With the brutal omicron wave rapidly easing its grip, new cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. are falling in 49 of the 50 states. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Logo for news use featuring Snohomish County, Washington. 220118

Judges: Even in quarantine, county inmates get court hearings

The jail now must give medically isolated inmates a way to attend virtual court, two judges ruled, citing the Sixth Amendment.

Logo for news use featuring Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Washington State Department of Corrections Secretary Cheryl Strange outside of the Twin Rivers Unit at the Monroe Correctional Complex on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022 in Monroe, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Corrections officers, inmates frustrated and fatigued by COVID

In a visit to the Monroe prison, Corrections Secretary Cheryl Strange said the response to the pandemic is keeping people safe and alive.

Washington State Department of Corrections Secretary Cheryl Strange outside of the Twin Rivers Unit at the Monroe Correctional Complex on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022 in Monroe, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Comment: Why it feels like failure when friend refuses logic

When we can’t convince someone we love to get the vaccine why are we certain we’ve done it all wrong?

Participating in Tuesday's COVID-19 briefing were Chief Recovery and Resilience Officer for Snohomish County Kara Main-Hester (top left), Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers (top right) and Snohomish County Health Officer Dr. Chris Spitters. (Snohomish Health District)

Snohomish County turns a corner on omicron, but it’s not over

Officials expect COVID-19 cases to rapidly decline in the next few weeks. Hospitalizations are also decreasing.

Participating in Tuesday's COVID-19 briefing were Chief Recovery and Resilience Officer for Snohomish County Kara Main-Hester (top left), Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers (top right) and Snohomish County Health Officer Dr. Chris Spitters. (Snohomish Health District)
Sam Dawson administers a collection swab herself Thursday afternoon at the walk-up COVID testing center on Wetmore Ave in Everett, Washington on January 13, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Attorney General sues company behind ‘sham testing centers’

The Center for COVID Control ran sites in Everett and Lynnwood. A lawsuit alleges they gave invalid results, or none at all.

Sam Dawson administers a collection swab herself Thursday afternoon at the walk-up COVID testing center on Wetmore Ave in Everett, Washington on January 13, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Comment: After 2 years of pandemic why aren’t we better at it?

We need to address the deficiencies and inequities in our system that covid has plainly exposed.

Cecillia Hoglund, who recently quit Providence Regional Medical Center to become a travel nurse, stands for a portrait at her family’s homestead Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

‘Few core staff left’: Droves of nurses take high-paying travel jobs

One nurse at Providence in Everett estimated travel nurses made up 80% of her unit. The consensus is that’s not sustainable.

Cecillia Hoglund, who recently quit Providence Regional Medical Center to become a travel nurse, stands for a portrait at her family’s homestead Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
The COVID-19 ward at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett in May 2020. (Andy Bronson / Herald file) 20200519

Hospital lost 1% of staff to vax mandate, so why the shortage?

The requirement hardly made a dent in local nursing ranks. Blame burnout and issues brewing for years, officials say.

The COVID-19 ward at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett in May 2020. (Andy Bronson / Herald file) 20200519
Robert LaMay

State trooper who told off Inslee over vaccine mandate dies from COVID

Rather than get vaccinated, Robert LaMay resigned. He died of COVID three months later.

Robert LaMay