COVID-19 vaccination rates in Washington have risen significantly in the last month, adding to hospital and health officials

COVID-19 vaccination rates in Washington have risen significantly in the last month, adding to hospital and health officials’ wary optimism about recent virus trends as winter approaches. Still, they warned Wednesday, hurdles remain.

Meanwhile, the expansion of vaccine eligibility to about 28 million U.S. kids appears closer than ever — expected within weeks, possibly before October’s end — and it could improve the pandemic outlook for everyone. Vaccinations in kids could boost population immunity, quash cases in schools, and help fend off a severe fall or winter surge. Most important, pediatricians said, the vaccine offers long-awaited protection for children from the real danger of catching the virus.

In Washington, D.C., the Biden administration is striving to insulate the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic from a shutdown that looms if Congress cannot agree on a plan to keep the government funded past midnight Thursday.

We’re updating this page with the latest news about the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the Seattle area, the U.S. and the world. Click here to see previous days’ live updates and all our other coronavirus coverage, and here to see how we track the daily spread across Washington.

Swamped by the fifth wave of COVID19, hospitals across rural Washington have transferred hundreds of patients to metro areas since July 1, according to statewide data.

More than half of those 414 transferred patients have gone to King County hospitals, according to data by the Washington Medical Coordination Center.

Run out of Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center, the MCC serves as a clearinghouse for placing patients around the state when the hospital where they arrive can’t take them, according to Dr. Steven Mitchell, medical director of the MCC.

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