The fifth wave of coronavirus infections has swamped rural hospitals in Washington,

The fifth wave of coronavirus infections has swamped rural hospitals in Washington, forcing them to transfer patients to Seattle and other more populated areas where hospitals are only slightly less crowded. Neighboring Idaho, where the virus is running rampant, is facing a shortage of oxygen in hospitals.

Meanwhile, the numbers continue to show that vaccination rates are on the rise throughout the state, although some demographics — particularly teenagers — are lagging.

In Washington, D.C., a group representing school board members around the country asked President Joe Biden on Thursday for federal assistance to investigate and stop threats made over policies including mask mandates, likening the vitriol to a form of domestic terrorism.

Parents and community members have been disrupting meetings and threatening board members in person, online and through the mail in a trend that merits attention from federal law enforcement agencies, the National School Boards Association said in a letter to Biden.

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.
A highly contentious debate over a proposed mask mandate for Alaska’s largest city that has included Holocaust imagery and a gay slur will continue into a fourth session next week.

After hearing testimony for days, the Anchorage Assembly extended the public comment period about the proposed ordinance to Monday during its Thursday evening meeting, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

Mayor David Bronson, who opposes the mask mandate, apologized on Thursday for comments supporting residents’ wearing homemade yellow Stars of David, like the patches Holocaust victims wore. Those who wear them claim mask mandates are similar to what Jews faced in Nazi Germany.

Four people at Wednesday’s meeting were arrested, including a man who called the assembly’s vice chair, Chris Constant, a homophobic slur.

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