Live: Coronavirus daily news updates, September 8: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the world

Table of Contents COVID-19 surge in the US: The summer of hope ends in gloomVolunteers

The Seattle Seahawks joined the UW Huskies and Sounders FC in announcing Tuesday that fans will be required to show proof they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or present a negative test within 72 hours of a home game. All events at Climate Pledge Arena — including Kraken games — will require proof of vaccination for entry and a mask to be worn. The Mariners will require proof of vaccination beginning with any potential postseason games in October.

King County is working to develop a vaccine verification system that could go into effect next month at certain nonessential, high-risk settings, according to county officials. The system, which is in early phases of development, would make it easier for places like clubs, theaters and stadiums to check the vaccination status of their patrons.

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.


COVID-19 surge in the US: The summer of hope ends in gloom

FILE – In this Aug. 17, 2021, file photo, patient with COVID-19 on breathing support lies in a bed in an intensive care unit at the Willis-Knighton Medical Center in Shreveport, La. The summer that was supposed to mark America’s independence from COVID-19 is instead drawing to a close with the U.S. more firmly under the tyranny of the virus, with deaths per day back up to where they were in March 2021.  (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)


The summer that was supposed to mark America’s independence from COVID-19 is instead drawing to a close with the U.S. more firmly under the tyranny of the virus, with deaths per day back up to where they were in March.

The delta variant is filling hospitals, sickening alarming numbers of children and driving coronavirus deaths in some places to the highest levels of the entire pandemic. School systems that reopened their classrooms are abruptly switching back to remote learning because of outbreaks. Legal disputes, threats and violence have erupted over mask and vaccine requirements.

The U.S. death toll stands at more than 650,000, with one major forecast model projecting it will top 750,000 by Dec. 1.

More than six months into the U.S. vaccination drive, President Joe Biden held a White House party on July Fourth to celebrate the country’s freedom from the virus, and other political leaders had high hopes for a close-to-normal summer.

Then the bottom fell out.

Read the story here.

—Dee-Ann Durbin and Matthew Perrone, The Associated Press

Volunteers help poorest survive Thailand’s worst COVID surge

Myanmar migrant worker Tun Nai sits at a construction camp in Bangkok, Thailand, on Aug. 31, 2021. After Thailand authorities shut down his construction site over coronavirus concerns. In Thailand’s worst coronavirus surge yet, lockdown measures have reduced what little Bangkok’s have-nots had to zero. Their plight has given rise to volunteer groups working to ensure the poorest survive. For two months, carpenter Tun Nye hasn’t been able to send any money home to his parents in Myanmar to help them care for his 11-year-old son, after authorities in Thailand shut down his construction site over coronavirus concerns. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)


For two months, carpenter Tun Nye hasn’t been able to send any money home to his parents in Myanmar to help them care for his 11-year-old son, after authorities in Thailand shut down his construction site over coronavirus concerns.

No work has meant no income for him or his wife, who have been confined to one of more than 600 workers’ camps dotted around Bangkok, living in small room in a ramshackle building with boards and blankets to cover missing windows.

In Thailand’s worst virus surge yet, lockdown measures have reduced what little Bangkok’s have-nots had to zero. Volunteer groups are working to ensure they survive.

For Tun Nye, 31, the bag of rice, canned fish and other staples dropped off by Bangkok Community Help volunteers meant not having to go hungry that week.

The government shut down the camps at the end of June after clusters of delta-variant infections spread among the workers living in the close quarters, further escalating a COVID-19 spike in Thailand. Many lost all income, and while employers were supposed to ensure all had enough food and water, many didn’t.

Read the story here.

—David Rising, The Associated Press

What to do if you can’t pay your loans during the pandemic

As the coronavirus pandemic carries on and the economy recovers, some U.S. workers still face financial uncertainty.

For those struggling to keep up with their debt, there are relief options available from banks, lenders and the federal government. If you can’t pay your loans or soon won’t be able to, there are programs that may be able to help.

Read the story here.

—Jennifer Calonia, Bankrate.com

Florida doctor says she won’t treat unvaccinated patients in person

As Florida’s summer coronavirus surge takes the state into the fall with one of the nation’s highest rates of infections and hospitalizations, a physician in South Miami has told patients that she can no longer see them in person for their regular care if they are unvaccinated.

Linda Marraccini, a primary care doctor specializing in family medicine, sent a letter to her patients this month informing them that they could not be treated in person if they were not vaccinated by Sept. 15, according to WTVJ. She said she could still treat unvaccinated patients via telemedicine if they refused to get inoculated at a time when the highly transmissible delta variant of the novel coronavirus has ravaged the state.

“We will no longer subject our patients and staff to unnecessary risk,” Marraccini wrote to patients, noting that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is now fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration. “This is a public health emergency – the health of the public takes priority over the rights of any given individual in this situation. It appears that there is a lack of selflessness and concern for the burden on the health and well-being of our society from our encounters.”

Read the story here.

—Timothy Bella, The Washington Post

Women said the COVID vaccine affected their periods. Now more than $1.6 million will go into researching it

Shana Clauson was in line to get her first dose of the Moderna shot in March when she saw menstruators on social media discussing how their periods had been altered – earlier, heavier and more painful than usual – after they got their coronavirus vaccinations.

Clauson, a 45-year-old who lives in Hudson, Wis., went ahead and got the shot – and, a few days later, also got an earlier and heavier period than she was used to. A few weeks later, in early April, she told The Washington Post that she was frustrated with the lack of research on whether the vaccines impacted menstrual cycles.

“Is this not being discussed, or is it even being looked at or researched because it’s a ‘woman’s issue?’ ” Clauson asked at the time. “I hope that if this is going to be a side effect for women, that it’s being addressed and women know this could happen.”

Last week, she got her wish: The National Institutes of Health has awarded $1.67 million to researchers at five institutions to study potential links between coronavirus vaccinations and menstruation, the agency announced Aug. 30.

Read the story here.

—Julianne McShane, The Washington Post

Bulgaria, EU’s least vaccinated nation, faces deadly surge

Bulgaria has one of the highest coronavirus death rates in the 27-nation European Union and is facing a new, rapid surge of infections due to the more infectious delta variant. Despite that, people in this Balkan nation are the most hesitant in the bloc to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Bulgaria has access to all four of the vaccines approved by the EU — Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson&Johnson. But only 20% of adults in Bulgaria, which has a population of 7 million, have so far been fully vaccinated. That puts it last in the EU, which has an average of 69 % fully vaccinated. More than 19,000 people in Bulgaria have died of COVID-19, the EU’s third-highest death rate, behind only the Czech Republic and Hungary. In the last week, an average of 41 people have died each day.

Bulgaria’s largely failed inoculation campaign now risks putting the country’s ailing health care system under serious strain. In response, the government imposed tighter restrictions Tuesday.

Read the story here.

—Stephen McGrath, The Associated Press

Catch up on the past 24 hours

Going to a game? You’ll need a vaccine or COVID-19 test. Washington’s pro and college teams joined ranks yesterday with new requirements. Here’s when they’ll go into effect and how the teams will verify your status. The Kraken is taking its requirements further than the other Seattle teams as it heads toward the Oct. 23 home opener. Meanwhile, King County is working on a vaccine verification system that you could see next month at stadiums, clubs and theaters, but there’s some concern about turning people into “third-class citizens.”

One Southwest Washington county is declaring an emergency so it can bring in a refrigerated trailer to hold bodies as COVID-19 deaths overwhelm the morgue. Statewide, hospitals are canceling non-urgent procedures as they struggle with a big spike in severely ill COVID-19 patients, warning that “a lot of these people are not going to make it.”

It took a Washington state “Most Wanted” fugitive to break through the vaccine impasse. But that cost Richard Linderman his life, columnist Danny Westneat writes.

More vaccinated people are calling their own shots as experts debate boosters (actually, they can’t even agree over whether to call them that). Amid the constant rethinking of what’s safe, here’s what is and isn’t known about the science and the politics. The timing of third shots came into focus a bit more yesterday as the U.S. hit a vaccination milestone.

A Florida doctor is drawing the line: She won’t treat unvaccinated patients in person, saying, “It’s not fair for people who are unvaccinated to harm other people.”

—Kris Higginson