Live: Coronavirus daily news updates, July 29: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the world

Table of Contents 9:00 am Biden to allow eviction moratorium to expire SaturdayOnce fading, mask

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic uptick, Washington will follow current federal guidance for the use of facial coverings, but won’t impose new masking requirements, Gov. Jay Inslee announced Wednesday. Here’s what you need to know about the new mask guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Meanwhile, the state Department of Health said in a new report Wednesday that more than 94% of Washington’s recent COVID-19 cases, deaths and hospitalizations were among people not fully vaccinated, renewing the push for widespread immunizations.

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 and the world.


Once fading, mask sales starting to rebound

Masks, which had started to disappear from store shelves, may be front and center again.

FILE – In this Friday, March 20, 2020, file photo, a merchant displays masks for sale in Los Angeles. Retail analysts expect mask sales will get another jolt after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention late Tuesday, July 27, 2021, changed course on some masking guidelines, recommending that even vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where cases of the coronavirus are surging. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)


A spot check of businesses and other data sources are showing that mask sales have been rising due to worries about the delta variant and the CDC’s new guidance that even vaccinated people should wear masks indoors where are surging.

Sales of masks rose 24% for the week ended Tuesday, compared to the prior week, reversing weekly declines since May, according to the Adobe Digital Economy Index. San Francisco-based grocery delivery company Instacart said mask sales via its online platform have increased since the Fourth of July weekend, reversing a decline that had begun in April. And Google reports that searches for the term “masks” doubled since the CDC announcement.

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—Anne D’Innocenzio, The Associated Press

COVID-19 rates a worry as 1 million head for Iowa State Fair

With coronavirus cases rising throughout Iowa and around the nation, health experts are becoming increasingly worried about next month’s Iowa State Fair, which will bring more than 1 million people to Des Moines from around the state, including many from counties with low vaccination rates and increasing prevalence of the disease.

Iowa’s biggest annual event comes at a time when giant summer events will draw crowds throughout the nation, including in states that are experiencing more virus infections due to low vaccination rates and growth of the delta variant. They range from the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota to the Minnesota State Fair, which typically draws more than 2 million people.

In Iowa, officials have encouraged people to get vaccinated, but the state’s Republican-majority legislature and governor have blocked local governments from imposing vaccination or mask requirements, so there will be no limits on who can attend the fair when the event begins its 11-day run on Aug. 12.

Read the story here.

—David Pitt, The Associated Press

Officials in Tokyo alarmed as virus cases hit record highs

Japanese officials sounded the alarm Thursday as Tokyo reported record-breaking coronavirus cases for the third-straight day with the Olympics well underway.

Tokyo reported 3,865 new cases Thursday, up from 3,177 on Wednesday and double the numbers a week ago.

“We have never experienced the expansion of the infections of this magnitude,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told reporters. He said the new cases were soaring not only in the Tokyo area but across the country.

People walk across a crossing near Shimbashi Station in Tokyo Thursday, July 29, 2021, a day after the record-high coronavirus cases were found in the Olympics host city. (AP Photo/Kantaro Komiya)


Japan has kept its cases and deaths lower than many other countries, but its seven-day rolling average is growing and now stands at 28 per 100,000 people nationwide and 88 per 100,000 in Tokyo, according to the Health Ministry. This compares to 18.5 in the United States, 48 in Britain and 2.8 in India, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

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—Mari Yamaguchi, The Associated Press

China steps up checks after new virus cases

Shoppers and pedestrians walk along Nanjing Road in Shanghai, China, on Sunday, June 6, 2021. Consumers in China remain cautious even though the Covid-19 outbreak has been under control for much of the past year. (Qilai Shen / Bloomberg)


Roadblocks were set up to check drivers and a disease-control official called Thursday for increased testing of workers at Chinese ports after a rash of coronavirus cases traced to a major airport rattled authorities who thought they had the disease under control.

The 171 new cases of the more contagious delta variant in the eastern city of Nanjing and surrounding Jiangsu province traced to Nanjing Lukou International Airport have spread to at least 10 cities.

Nanjing, a city of 9.3 million people northwest of Shanghai, has ordered tens of thousands to stay home and is carrying out mass testing while experts look for the source of the virus.

The earliest cases were among employees and people who passed through Nanjing’s airport, which serves 30 million passengers a year.

Read the story here.

—Joe McDonald, The Associated Press