In the Media

Monday, November 1, 2021 - 12:46pm
Associated Press

Anticipating a green light from vaccine advisers, the Biden administration is assembling and shipping millions of COVID-19 shots for children ages 5-11, the White House said Monday. The first could go into kids’ arms by midweek.

“We are not waiting on the operations and logistics,” said coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients.

By vaccinating children, the U.S. hopes to head off another coronavirus wave during the cold-weather months when people spend more time indoors and respiratory illnesses can spread more easily. Cases have been declining for weeks, but the virus has repeatedly shown its ability to stage a comeback and more easily transmissible mutations are a persistent threat.

Monday, November 1, 2021 - 12:45pm

Global deaths from COVID-19 have now surpassed 5 million, according to the data released Monday from Johns Hopkins University's coronavirus tracker.

The U.S. leads the world in the number of confirmed deaths from the virus with more than 745,800 people dead from COVID-19. Brazil (with more than 607,000 deaths) and India (with more than 450,000 deaths) follow the U.S. in the number of lives lost since the start of the pandemic.

Yet another tragic milestone of the pandemic comes just as the U.S. prepares to start vaccinating children between the ages of 5 and 11.

But in other parts of the world, health officials are seeing worrying signs of a coronavirus surge — just as some nations are relaxing measures to international travelers.

Monday, November 1, 2021 - 12:44pm

Millions of Americans want to abandon the time change we endure twice each year, disrupting our circadian rhythms and creating confusion. More than a third of U.S. states now back a permanent shift to daylight saving time. If that happens, it would be a final victory for a plan that businesses have praised for more than 100 years.

For 2021, daylight saving time officially ends at 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 7.

Friday, October 29, 2021 - 12:05pm

Back in the 1980s, scientists in the U.K. performed an experiment that — at first glance — sounds unethical. "Volunteers came into the lab and someone squirted virus up their nose," says computational biologist Jennie Lavine.

The researchers took a liquid packed with coronavirus particles and intentionally tried to make 15 volunteers sick.

Ten people got infected. The other five fought off the virus, says Lavine, who's now at the biotechnology company Karius but was at Emory University when she spoke to NPR.

Friday, October 29, 2021 - 12:04pm
Seattle Times

Washington state this week quietly launched a new online tool that shows proof of a COVID-19 vaccination, taking a step toward improving its verification systems as it prepares to require full vaccination or a recent negative test at all large indoor and outdoor venues on Nov. 15.

The tool, WA Verify, is fairly straightforward: Fill out your name, date of birth, contact information and a four-digit PIN number (needed to securely access digital records, the website says), and the system will text you a link to get a scannable QR code and digital copy of your COVID-19 vaccination records.

Friday, October 29, 2021 - 12:03pm
The Bellingham Herald

Gov. Jay Inslee responded positively Thursday to reports that about 94% of state employees have complied with his vaccine mandate. The Office of Financial Management released data on vaccination rates among the state workforce on Monday. The data show nearly 91% of the state’s 62,591 employees verified their vaccination status and 3.2% have an approved accommodation.

Friday, October 29, 2021 - 11:27am
The Bellingham Herald

Three more Whatcom County resident’s deaths have been linked to COVID-19, the Washington State Department of Health’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard reported Thursday, Oct. 28, while hospitalizations remained high in the county. Whatcom now has seen 159 COVID-related deaths during the pandemic, the state reported. The three deaths reported Thursday were for residents who first tested positive for COVID on Sept. 4, Oct. 4 and Oct. 7, The Bellingham Herald’s analysis of the state’s epidemiological data showed.

Thursday, October 28, 2021 - 11:48am
Associated Press

A cheap antidepressant reduced the need for hospitalization among high-risk adults with COVID-19 in a study hunting for existing drugs that could be repurposed to treat coronavirus.

Researchers tested the pill used for depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder because it was known to reduce inflammation and looked promising in smaller studies.

They’ve shared the results with the U.S. National Institutes of Health, which publishes treatment guidelines, and they hope for a World Health Organization recommendation.

“If WHO recommends this, you will see it widely taken up,” said study co-author Dr. Edward Mills of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, adding that many poor nations have the drug readily available. “We hope it will lead to a lot of lives saved.”

The pill, called fluvoxamine, would cost $4 for a course of COVID-19 treatment. By comparison, antibody IV treatments cost about $2,000 and Merck’s experimental antiviral pill for COVID-19 is about $700 per course. Some experts predict various treatments eventually will be used in combination to fight the coronavirus.

Thursday, October 28, 2021 - 11:47am
The Bellingham Herald

With the U.S. less than two weeks away from allowing vaccinated Canadian citizens to cross the border on Nov. 8, Whatcom County will ask Washington state for aid to help prepare for an anticipated increased demand on its COVID-19 testing facilities. Testing for travel purposes is already accounting for approximately 50% of all tests ordered within the county, Whatcom County Health Director Erika Lautenbach told the Whatcom County Council during its Tuesday, Oct. 26, meeting, when she announced the plans to ask the state for aid for additional personnel to support additional testing within the county.

“We’re also seeing that about 50% of the travel-related tests are for non-Whatcom residents,” Lautenbach told the council. “So we do recognize that we’re providing not just a county service, but a regional service for folks who want to go to Canada or travel elsewhere.”

Thursday, October 28, 2021 - 11:46am
The Bellingham Herald

For the second time in three days, St. Joseph hospital in Bellingham is treating more than 40 patients with COVID-related symptoms on Thursday. The hospital reported Oct. 28 that it is treating 41 patients — one fewer than the pandemic-record high 42 it treated on Tuesday, Oct. 26. In between, the total dipped to 36 on Wednesday, Oct. 27. Before this week, the highest daily total the hospital had seen was 40 on Sept. 11.