Coronavirus outbreak

Rachel Ford and Taryn Salter watch as Erik Ford and Kam Durden play pool Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, at Vessel Taphouse in Mill Creek, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Lynnwood pirate bar faces mutiny over ‘catch the virus’ show

Employees quit, bands canceled and patrons swore off the Vessel Taphouse after it advertised discounts for people sick with COVID.

Rachel Ford and Taryn Salter watch as Erik Ford and Kam Durden play pool Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, at Vessel Taphouse in Mill Creek, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
A Swift Blue line bus idles at the G Terminal at Everett Station on Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

COVID cases prompt Community Transit to cut 36 bus trips

In a week, the number of employees who tested positive grew from 39 to 62. Absences and vacant positions have strained staff.

A Swift Blue line bus idles at the G Terminal at Everett Station on Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Les Parks, left, talks with his daughter, Kenzi Parks, after a laser etched drum finished printing Tuesday afternoon at his home in Tulalip, Washington on January 25, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

After 1,200 positive cases, Tulalip Tribes face ‘deepest fear’

“We used to be big on family doings — not anymore.” On top of a cultural toll, the pandemic has exposed health inequities.

Les Parks, left, talks with his daughter, Kenzi Parks, after a laser etched drum finished printing Tuesday afternoon at his home in Tulalip, Washington on January 25, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Comment: At this point, rapid antigen tests better than PCR

They’re quicker and can be more useful in situations, including testing in schools to keep them open.

Registered nurse Estella Wilmarth tends to a patient in the acute care unit of Harborview Medical Center, Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, in Seattle. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is deploying 100 members of the state National Guard to hospitals across the state amid staff shortages due to an omicron-fueled spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations. Inslee announced Thursday that teams will be deployed to assist four overcrowded emergency departments at hospitals in Everett, Yakima, Wenatchee and Spokane, and that testing teams will be based at hospitals in Olympia, Richland, Seattle and Tacoma. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Past the omicron peak? Snohomish County’s COVID cases declining

Hospitalizations are still a concern, however, and infections in Eastern Washington and Idaho could have ripple effects here.

Registered nurse Estella Wilmarth tends to a patient in the acute care unit of Harborview Medical Center, Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, in Seattle. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is deploying 100 members of the state National Guard to hospitals across the state amid staff shortages due to an omicron-fueled spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations. Inslee announced Thursday that teams will be deployed to assist four overcrowded emergency departments at hospitals in Everett, Yakima, Wenatchee and Spokane, and that testing teams will be based at hospitals in Olympia, Richland, Seattle and Tacoma. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Island County jail slammed with first COVID outbreak

Three cell blocks are in quarantine and about a third of the jail staff are out with COVID.

Comment: Very few soon will have no covid immunity

With so many with some level of immunity from vaccines or covid itself, we can adjust our response.

Comment: Omicron will pass. but hospitals’ deficiencies won’t

Hospital ERs were always a challenging place; the latest surge may leave long-lasting wounds.

Michelle Roth is a registered nurse in the Providence Emergency Department on Sunday, January 23, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Nurses face burnout as hospital staffing shortage continues

‘It feels like there has been a mass exodus in the last two to three months.’

Michelle Roth is a registered nurse in the Providence Emergency Department on Sunday, January 23, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
People across Snohomish County share their thoughts on two years of life during the pandemic. 20220123

Anxious, weary, hopeful: How we’re coping with COVID

The pandemic has taken a toll in Snohomish County, where the first U.S. case was confirmed. Here’s a time capsule of life in 2022.

People across Snohomish County share their thoughts on two years of life during the pandemic. 20220123
Cassandra Lopez-Shaw

Snohomish County judge accused of ‘needlessly’ exposing staff to COVID

Adam Cornell argues the incident reinforces a need to suspend jury trials, as omicron wreaks havoc.

Cassandra Lopez-Shaw
The Shorecrest bench reacts to a missed shot in the final seconds of regular time to send the game against Arlington to overtime on Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021 in Arlington, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Wave of cancellations wreaking havoc on winter prep sports

‘It’s just been so hard’: Canceled games and program shutdowns have been commonplace for local teams.

The Shorecrest bench reacts to a missed shot in the final seconds of regular time to send the game against Arlington to overtime on Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021 in Arlington, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
The Washington National Guard arrived Friday at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett to help with a surge of COVID-19 cases at the hospital. (Providence) 20220121

State offers free home tests; National Guard arrives in Everett

Supply is limited at a new online portal, but Washingtonians can now order five free rapid COVID tests.

The Washington National Guard arrived Friday at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett to help with a surge of COVID-19 cases at the hospital. (Providence) 20220121

Comment: Why omicron gets past some — but not most — vaccinated

Our immune systems are diverse, for good reason. But that means vaccines offer less protection to about 1 in 5.

Snohomish County Jail. (Sue Misao / Herald file)

As omicron surges, frustrations and challenges mount in correction facilities

More than 10% of those in state prisons are infected. “We’re kind of in this Twilight Zone cycle,” one prisoner said.

Snohomish County Jail. (Sue Misao / Herald file)
A sign bearing the corporate logo hangs in the window of a Starbucks open only to take-away customers in this photograph taken Monday, April 26, 2021, in southeast Denver.  Starbucks is no longer requiring its U.S. workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, reversing a policy it announced earlier this month. The Seattle coffee giant says, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022,  it's responding to last week’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.  (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Starbucks nixes vaccine mandate after Supreme Court ruling

The move reverses a policy the coffee company announced earlier this month.

A sign bearing the corporate logo hangs in the window of a Starbucks open only to take-away customers in this photograph taken Monday, April 26, 2021, in southeast Denver.  Starbucks is no longer requiring its U.S. workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, reversing a policy it announced earlier this month. The Seattle coffee giant says, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022,  it's responding to last week’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.  (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Comment: What a ICU doctor tells a patient as covid advances

Medical staff can do everything in their power to save lives; too often, covid can do more to take lives.

Providence Medical Center Everett, where The Washington National Guard has been deployed to free up staff. (Sue Misao / Herald file)

How many ICU beds open in Snohomish County? One.

The omicron surge appears to be cresting here, but hospitalizations are expected to keep rising.

Providence Medical Center Everett, where The Washington National Guard has been deployed to free up staff. (Sue Misao / Herald file)

Comment: Those with compromised immune systems need our help

Those undergoing cancer treatment and others can’t risk getting covid. We can help protect them.

The entrance to the new free COVID vaccination site at the Everett Mall on Monday, Jan. 17, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Free mass-vaccination site opens Tuesday at Everett Mall

Hundreds of appointments are up for grabs at the state-run site, which will offer initial doses, boosters and pediatric shots.

The entrance to the new free COVID vaccination site at the Everett Mall on Monday, Jan. 17, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)