Coronavirus outbreak

Shelly Holmgren, left, holds hands with her brother Jay Holmgren, center, while they listen to Musicial Thanatologist April Mitchell a song at Providence Everett on Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Death, grief and comfort at Everett’s pandemic epicenter

Here are some voices at Providence hospital of those still staring down COVID: a harpist, a cancer patient, a chaplain and a nursing assistant.

Shelly Holmgren, left, holds hands with her brother Jay Holmgren, center, while they listen to Musicial Thanatologist April Mitchell a song at Providence Everett on Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker compete in the rhythm dance program during the U.S. Figure Skating Championships Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

Local Olympians Baker, Beighton nervously await games with COVID-threat lingering

Jean-Luc Baker and Sean Beighton qualified for the Winter Olympics, but 1 positive COVID test could derail their dreams.

Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker compete in the rhythm dance program during the U.S. Figure Skating Championships Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
School leaders in districts like Everett and Marysville have warned of a looming transition to online learning. This 2019 photo shows an empty cafeteria at North Middle School. (Dan Bates / Herald file)

Staff shortages prompt some schools to resume remote learning

The surging omicron variant has left many Snohomish County classrooms bare of both staff and students.

School leaders in districts like Everett and Marysville have warned of a looming transition to online learning. This 2019 photo shows an empty cafeteria at North Middle School. (Dan Bates / Herald file)
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)

Sketchy firm’s COVID-test sites shut down as questions mount

The Center for COVID Control will close an Everett site and others around the U.S. as officials take a closer look.

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)
During a news conference Thursday, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee explains the deployment of the National Guard to hospitals to assist with the coronavirus surge. (TVW) 20220113

Surgeries paused, National Guard deployed to assist hospitals

Guard troops will help Providence in Everett, among other places, deal with a surge in virus patients and staffing shortages.

During a news conference Thursday, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee explains the deployment of the National Guard to hospitals to assist with the coronavirus surge. (TVW) 20220113
Joe Kent, candidate for U.S. Representative in Washington's 3rd Congressional District, leads a "Rally Against Forced Quarantine" outside a meeting of the Washington State Board of Health in Tumwater on Wednesday. (Joe Kent For Congress / Facebook)

No, Washington state isn’t forcing people into quarantine camps

The state’s health board debunked rumors from social media users, politicians and conservative pundits.

Joe Kent, candidate for U.S. Representative in Washington's 3rd Congressional District, leads a "Rally Against Forced Quarantine" outside a meeting of the Washington State Board of Health in Tumwater on Wednesday. (Joe Kent For Congress / Facebook)

Comment: Our response to covid must change with each variant

What worked — and what didn’t — changes as the virus mutates; our response must adapt, too.

FILE - Elementary school teacher Carrie Landheer protests for stronger COVID-19 safety protocols outside Oakland Unified School District headquarters on Jan. 7, 2022, in Oakland, Calif. Officials across the U.S. are again weighing how and whether to impose mask mandates as COVID-19 infections soar and the American public grows weary of pandemic-related restrictions. Much of the debate centers around the nation’s schools, some of which closed due to infection-related staffing issues. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

Editorial: Keep guard up against covid’s omicron variant

As much as half of the county could be infected by the variant; and hospitalizations are surging.

FILE - Elementary school teacher Carrie Landheer protests for stronger COVID-19 safety protocols outside Oakland Unified School District headquarters on Jan. 7, 2022, in Oakland, Calif. Officials across the U.S. are again weighing how and whether to impose mask mandates as COVID-19 infections soar and the American public grows weary of pandemic-related restrictions. Much of the debate centers around the nation’s schools, some of which closed due to infection-related staffing issues. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)
Martin Luther King Jr. giving his "I Have a Dream" speech during the March on Washington in Washington, D.C., on 28 August 1963. (National Archives)

No march, but many ways to celebrate MLK Day in Everett

The Snohomish County Black Heritage Committee will host a small in-person event that will also be live-streamed.

Martin Luther King Jr. giving his "I Have a Dream" speech during the March on Washington in Washington, D.C., on 28 August 1963. (National Archives)
Jack Ng, owner of China City, at his restaurant in Mill Creek on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Businesses and nonprofits plan to push through COVID in 2022

“You can’t just wait until the fog clears,” says one business owner. Here’s what he and others are planning.

Jack Ng, owner of China City, at his restaurant in Mill Creek on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Comment: Time to make N95 masks the standard for covid fight

New versions of the N95 offer better breathability and more protection against virus transmission.

Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers, Snohomish Health District Health Officer Dr. Chris Spitters, and Dr. Jay Cook, Chief Medical Officer for Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, give updates on the response to COVID-19. (Snohomish County Health District)

Prediction: 33%-50% of Snohomish County could catch omicron

“Everyone should assume that they’re going to be exposed,” Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers said.

Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers, Snohomish Health District Health Officer Dr. Chris Spitters, and Dr. Jay Cook, Chief Medical Officer for Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, give updates on the response to COVID-19. (Snohomish County Health District)

Schools in Marysville and elsewhere pivot as COVID spreads

Parents find they have to be flexible as districts react to outbreaks and shortages of staff and test kits.

People get out of their cars along Wetmore Avenue to check how much farther until the testing site on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

County’s reported infections surpass earlier grim estimates

Meanwhile, traffic caused by an overwhelmed north Everett COVID-19 testing site has been resolved.

People get out of their cars along Wetmore Avenue to check how much farther until the testing site on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Comment: Closing schools won’t halt omicron; it will hurt kids

Vaccine availability and other measures are better at protecting kids than closures of schools.

Dr. Jay Cook of Providence Regional Medical Center Everett in a video screen grab. 20220107

Record number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in county

Meanwhile, state Sen. John Lovick has tested positive. Some jury trials are suspended. And a pivot to remote learning is possible.

Dr. Jay Cook of Providence Regional Medical Center Everett in a video screen grab. 20220107
Kevin Clark / The Herald

***Silvertips Special Sections*****
Yan Khomenko signals for substitution Sunday night at Xfinity Arena in Everett, Wa on September 6th, 2015

Sports:  Silvertips Special Section
Shot on: 09/06/15

Silvertips pause all team activities due to COVID protocols

Everett joined 15 WHL clubs Friday in announcing a halt to team activities until next week.

Kevin Clark / The Herald

***Silvertips Special Sections*****
Yan Khomenko signals for substitution Sunday night at Xfinity Arena in Everett, Wa on September 6th, 2015

Sports:  Silvertips Special Section
Shot on: 09/06/15
Show posters hang on the wall next to an empty stage at Lucky Dime in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Live-music flyers are taken down again as omicron surges

With bands reluctant to play and few people buying tickets, local music venues wonder: Will we be able to stay open?

Show posters hang on the wall next to an empty stage at Lucky Dime in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Comment: As hospitals are swamped, how to fairly ration care?

Reserving care for the most likely to survive leaves difficulties in how doctors, others make that call.

on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Drive-up COVID testing line clogs north Everett neighborhood

City officials are looking to relocate a test site on Wetmore Avenue as demand soars amid an omicron-fueled surge.

on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)