Live: Coronavirus daily news updates, Aug. 25: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the world

Table of Contents Delta Air Lines will make unvaccinated employees pay chargeDr. Fauci says no

Government authorities and private businesses continue to grapple with the rising tide of COVID-19 cases, driven by the Delta variant, by tightening mask and vaccination requirements, despite resistance from those claiming government overreach or personal choice.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has reinstated the state’s requirement that residents wear masks outdoors at any public event. It goes into effect Friday.

Disney Cruise Line has announced it will require that passengers be vaccinated, despite Florida’s law threatening cruise lines with fines for requiring proof of vaccination.

In Franklin County, former NFL player and unsuccessful GOP congressional candidate Clint Didier, a county commissioner, led a jeering revolt against Gov. Jay Inslee’s indoor mask mandate at Tuesday’s commission meeting.

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.


Delta Air Lines will make unvaccinated employees pay charge

People sit under Delta sign at Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City. Delta Air Lines won’t force employees to get vaccinated, but it’s going to make unvaccinated workers pay a $200 monthly charge. Delta said Wednesday, that it will also require weekly testing for unvaccinated employees starting next month, although the airline says it’ll pick up the cost of that testing. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, file)


Delta Air Lines will charge employees on the company health plan $200 a month if they fail to get vaccinated against COVID-19, a policy the airline’s top executive says is necessary because the average hospital stay for the virus costs the airline $40,000.

CEO Ed Bastian said that all employees who have been hospitalized for the virus in recent weeks were not fully vaccinated.

The airline said Wednesday that it also will stop extending pay protection to unvaccinated workers who contract COVID-19 on Sept. 30, and will require unvaccinated workers to be tested weekly beginning Sept. 12, although Delta will cover the cost. They will have to wear masks in all indoor company settings.

Delta stopped short of matching United Airlines, which will require employees to be vaccinated starting Sept. 27 or face termination. However, the $200 monthly surcharge, which starts in November, may have the same effect.

Read the story here.

—David Koenig, The Associated Press

Dr. Fauci says no end to COVID pandemic before spring 2022 — at the earliest

Dr. Anthony Fauci says the U.S. won’t emerge from the COVID pandemic until next spring at the earliest.

The world-renowned infectious disease expert predicted the coming months will remain very difficult, with high caseloads and deaths especially in places with low vaccination rates.

“If we can get through this winter … I hope we can get some good control in the spring of 2022,” Fauci told CNN’s Anderson Cooper Monday night.

Fauci said it will be impossible to get a grip on the pandemic until underwhelming vaccination rates dramatically improve.

Read the story here.

—Dave Goldiner New York Daily News

Coronavirus vaccines remain highly effective at stopping severe disease amid spread of delta, data show

Unvaccinated people in Los Angeles County were five times as likely to get infected with the coronavirus and 29 times as likely to be hospitalized as people who were fully immunized, newly released data from California show. It’s the latest evidence that vaccines continue to reduce significantly the risk of severe illness — their fundamental purpose — despite the spread of the more contagious delta variant.

The report, published Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also demonstrates the limits of vaccines. They are not an impenetrable barrier to the virus. Some inoculated people are continuing to develop COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

Vaccine effectiveness — the statistical measure of protection from infection in the vaccinated population — has dropped as the delta variant has spread. On May 1, the report said, people who had not been immunized were more than eight times as likely to be infected as people who were fully vaccinated. That was before delta took hold, and on July 25, the ratio had dropped to about a fivefold greater risk.

But the vast majority of “breakthrough” cases among vaccinated people do not require hospitalization.

Read the story here.

—The Washington Post

The viral Milk Crate Challenge has left people injured. Doctors are begging them to stop.

Step by step, participants walk precariously up a pyramid of milk crates, inching closer to greatness or, more likely, a trip to the emergency room that will be viewed by millions.

When they fall — and they usually do — throngs of people who’ve helped make the social-media spectacle known as the Milk Crate Challenge into the latest viral phenomenon proceed to sing a chorus of “oh!” and “ah!” as the pyramid collapses and a person’s body painfully lands on a milk crate or the ground.

But many have noted that the Milk Crate Challenge has taken up where the Tide Pod Challenge left off as a viral meme that’s become a public health hazard largely fueled by social media.

Some doctors are also warning that the injuries from the challenge are putting more stress on hospitals at a time when emergency rooms nationwide are overwhelmed because of the surge in coronavirus infections.

Read the story here.

—Timothy Bella, The Washington Post

Most Florida students must wear masks, despite Gov. DeSantis

Students walk from iPrep Academy on the first day of school, Monday, Aug. 23, 2021, in Miami. Schools in Miami-Dade County opened Monday with a strict mask mandate to guard against coronavirus infections. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) OTK


Just over half of Florida’s 2.8 million public school students now face mandates to wear masks in classrooms as a courtroom battle continues over efforts by Gov. Ron DeSantis to leave such decisions up to parents.

A majority of school board members in Orange County told the superintendent on Tuesday to require most students to wear masks, and agreed with her recommendation to keep the mandate through Oct. 30.

The district began its school year this month with a parental opt-out, but a surge in students across the Orlando area testing positive for COVID-19 has disrupted classes. Through Tuesday, the district reported 1,968 positive cases among students since school began, with 1,491 people under active quarantine, according to the district’s dashboard.

At least 10 school boards making up some of the largest districts in Florida are now defying the DeSantis administration’s attempt to ban local mandates on masks in schools.

Read the story here.

—Curt Anderson, The Associated Press

Catch up on the past 24 hours

—Kris Higginson