It is likely to be a smoky summer in Western Washington.
The rate of wildfires this year has been record-breaking in the state, and it’s on track to continue. On Thursday, a wildfire that had grown to 14 square miles was threatening more than 1,500 homes near Wenatchee.
More fire brings more smoke, some which could slip into the Puget Sound region.
Canada would be in a position to welcome fully vaccinated travelers from all countries by early September, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement released by his office Thursday, July 15, “if our current positive path of vaccination rate and public health conditions continue.”
Young, unvaccinated people are showing up at hospitals with Covid-19 — in some cases being admitted to intensive care and put on ventilators — in disturbing numbers, health officials across the country have warned.
Vaccination rates among younger people are lower than among older Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency's data show that slightly fewer than half of people in the U.S. ages 18 to 24 and 25 to 39 are fully vaccinated. The number is even lower for children 12 to 18, who have been eligible to be vaccinated for months.
U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy on Thursday called for a national effort to fight misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines, urging tech companies, health care workers, journalists and everyday Americans to do more to address an “urgent threat” to public health.
In a 22-page advisory, his first as President Joe Biden’s surgeon general, Murthy wrote that bogus claims have led people to reject vaccines and public health advice on masks and social distancing, undermining efforts to end the coronavirus pandemic and putting lives at risk.
Gov. Jay Inslee laid blame on climate change as he declared a drought emergency for nearly the whole state on Wednesday.
“This is not political hyperbole,” Inslee said. “It is a scientific consensus that is jarring the life of every Washingtonian some way.”
Only the Tacoma, Seattle and Everett metro areas are exempt from the emergency, Inslee said. Such an emergency means the water supply is projected to be 75% below average and water users may be at risk of undue hardship, according to a press release.
White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci fully expects the coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson will receive full approval from U.S. drug regulators, he told CNBC on Tuesday.
“The data are about as good as it gets. ... I would be astounded if these vaccines, namely the mRNA and the J&J, didn’t get full approval,” Fauci said on “Squawk Box.”
All three Covid vaccines are currently authorized for distribution in the U.S. on an emergency basis, but none of them have received full approval from the Food and Drug Administration yet. Full approval would allow the drugmakers to market the shots directly to consumers and give employers more flexibility in mandating them.
State health officials on Wednesday announced that the state of Washington had reached a milestone of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered to residents.
Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah announced that health officials have administered at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccines to 70 percent of the population ages 16 and older.
“We are almost at 8 million doses of vaccines that have been given to almost 4.3 million people across the state of Washington. That is an incredible amount of work and progress,” Shah said at Wednesday’s briefing
The final drawing for Washington state’s vaccine lottery will take place Tuesday. The prize on the line: a $1 million jackpot.
The winner will be contacted Wednesday and will have 72 hours to respond. Otherwise the prize will be forfeited to an alternate winner.
The previous four drawings, which took place throughout June, were for cash prizes of $250,000. Winners included a Yakima resident, a nursing student from Spokane and a Walla Walla food-service worker, who almost didn’t return the call.
In the last 10 years, Whatcom County’s hourly wage has usually been 5% to 8% below the national average, with the gap being even larger compared to the Seattle area.
More dense urban areas such as Seattle tend to have wages rise higher because there is a large base of higher wages already in place, said James McCafferty, co-director at the Center for Economic and Business Research at Western Washington University. Having that base of higher-income workers makes it easier for places like coffee shops to raise wages and prices.