Editor’s note: This is a live account of COVID-19 updates from Monday, August 2, as the day unfolded. It is no longer being updated. Click here to see all the most recent news about the pandemic, and click here to find additional resources.

Vaccinations are rising in U.S. states, like Mississippi, where lagging demand left entire regions vulnerable to a delta-driven surge of coronavirus cases. The shift offers a sign of hope, even as the country’s known cases surpassed 35 million this past weekend.

Meanwhile, a survey of data from 10 states shows that more than 1 million doses have gone to waste since the nation began administering COVID-19 vaccines in December. More than 110,000 doses have been destroyed in Georgia, officials there said.

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.

Dating changed during the pandemic; apps are following suit

LONDON — Early in the coronavirus pandemic, Jennifer Sherlock went out with a few men she met through dating apps. The dates were “weird,” she said, and not just because they were masked, socially distanced and outdoors.

One one occasion, a date remained masked while they were out for a stroll, but soon after invited her back to his place, a move Sherlock saw as reckless. “It was so off putting, and awkward,” she said. “So we wouldn’t be safe outside without mask(s), but we would be safe back at his place maskless?”

She decided she needed a way to filter people, so she began arranging video chats before agreeing to meet anybody in person. Sherlock, 42, a PR consultant who lives in New Jersey, said it’s a practice she’ll continue post-pandemic.

Sherlock isn’t alone in changing the way she used dating apps during the pandemic, prompting many to roll out new features. Despite the social distancing of the past 18 months, the use of dating apps in general has surged as people sought connections amid their isolation.

In response to changing demands, Tinder announced new tools last month that will allow users to get to know people better online. People will now be able to add videos to their profile and can chat with others even before matching with them.

—Associated Press

‘Every hospital is quite full’ in Washington as delta variant of coronavirus spreads

Health care leaders are again becoming increasingly worried about hospital capacity in Washington as intensive care units and emergency rooms start to fill up, driven by the spread of the extremely transmissible delta variant of the coronavirus among unvaccinated residents.

Cassie Sauer, president and CEO of the Washington State Hospital Association, said during a Monday news conference that the delta variant, which now is responsible for most new cases of infection in the state, is one of the biggest concerns among health leaders. It’s particularly “demoralizing” for staff to care for very sick COVID-19 patients when they’re not vaccinated, she added.

While the variant is primarily fueling the rise in hospital admissions, Sauer said hospitals have also recently been filling up with patients from “trauma season” — falls, gun violence and drownings — made worse by wildfires and smoky weather and delayed care, including those whose nonurgent procedures were postponed due to the pandemic.

“Right now, it’s pretty universal that every hospital is quite full,” Sauer said. “We do risk getting overwhelmed in our hospitals right now, and that’s why we’re here pleading with the public to take all the actions possible to not get COVID.”

Read the full story here.

—Elise Takahama

Obama plans outdoor 60th birthday bash on Martha’s Vineyard amid nationwide delta variant surge

Former President Barack Obama will join the sexagenarian club with an outdoor birthday bash on Martha’s Vineyard this weekend as the delta variant spreads among the nation’s unvaccinated, leading to the renewal of coronavirus safety protocols.

The Obamas are asking that guests be vaccinated and get coronavirus tests, news reports say.

The birthday party comes shortly after Massachusetts tweaked its face-covering guidelines for indoor settings per federal recommendations and after a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study showed that three-quarters of people infected during a coronavirus outbreak in Provincetown, Mass., charged by the delta variant were fully vaccinated.

Dukes County, home to Martha’s Vineyard, has a moderate level of community transmission and is about 100 miles south of Provincetown.

A person familiar with the matter told The Washington Post that all of Obama’s guests will have to provide a negative result of a coronavirus test taken in a window specified by a coronavirus coordinator to ensure that safety protocols are followed.

—The Washington Post

Man dies after being detained by Berlin police during demo

Berlin police say a 49-year-old man has died after being detained by officers during protests Sunday against the German government’s anti-coronavirus measures.

Police said early Monday that the man had complained of tingling in his arm and chest while officers checked his ID in the capital’s Mitte district, where thousands of protesters had rallied despite an official ban on demonstrations.

Officers provided first aid to the man until an ambulance arrived and took him to the hospital, where he later died, police said.

A routine investigation has been opened into the man’s death.

Thousands turned out in Berlin on Sunday to protest the German government’s anti-coronavirus measures despite a ban on the gatherings, leading to clashes with police and the detention of some 600 protesters.

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press

Anchorage superintendent recommends universal masking

The superintendent of Alaska’s largest school district will recommend universal masking in schools this fall.

Besides masking indoors, the Anchorage Daily News reports the district will continue regular cleaning of classrooms, buses and offices. The superintendent also said upgrades have been made to HVAC systems for optimal air flow.

Regardless of vaccination status, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended indoor masks for all teachers, staff, students and visitors at schools nationwide.

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press

State health officials confirm 1,007 new coronavirus cases

The state Department of Health (DOH) reported 1,007 new coronavirus cases and 5 new deaths on Monday.

The update brings the state's totals to 475,881 cases and 6,127 deaths, meaning that 1.3% of people diagnosed in Washington have died, according to the DOH. The data is as of 11:59 p.m. Sunday. Tallies may be higher earlier in the week because new state data isn’t reported on Sundays and COVID-related deaths aren’t reported on the weekends.

In addition, 26,957 people have been hospitalized in the state due to the virus — 186 new hospitalizations. In King County, the state's most populous, state health officials have confirmed a total of 117,388 COVID-19 diagnoses and 1,679 deaths.

Since vaccinations began in mid-December, the state and health care providers have administered 8,179,883 doses and 52.8% of Washingtonians have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to vaccination data, which the state updates on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Providers are currently giving an average of about 9,629 vaccine shots per day.

The DOH says its daily case reports may also include duplicate test results, results assigned to the wrong county, results that are reported for today but are actually from a previous day, occasional false positive tests and other data discrepancies. Because of this, the previous day’s total number of cases plus the number of new daily cases does not add up to the new day’s total number of cases. State health officials recommend reviewing the dashboard's epidemiologic curves tab for the most accurate representation of the state's COVID-19 spread.

Case data from July 29 to August 2 is incomplete due to data processing issues, the DOH said on Monday, and should be "interpreted with caution."

Refugees pushed to back of the line amid vaccine shortages

For months the World Health Organization urged countries to prioritize immunizing refugees, placing them in the second priority group for at-risk people, alongside those with serious health conditions.

Over 160 countries included refugees in their plans, but these have been upended by supply shortages. According to the WHO, some 85% of vaccines have been administered by rich countries. In contrast, 85% of the world’s 26 million refugees live in developing countries struggling to vaccinate even the most vulnerable, according to the U.N. refugee agency.

Some countries, like Bangladesh, pinned their hopes on COVAX, the global initiative aimed at vaccine equity. But so far, it’s received only 100,620 doses— less than 1% of its allocated shots — from COVAX.

Over 160 countries included refugees in their plans, but these have been upended by supply shortages. According to the WHO, some 85% of vaccines have been administered by rich countries. In contrast, 85% of the world’s 26 million refugees live in developing countries struggling to vaccinate even the most vulnerable, according to the U.N. refugee agency.

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press

Rome governor pledges vaccinations go on despite hacking

The governor of the area including Italy’s capital, Rome, sought on Monday to assure residents that a powerful hacking intrusion into the region’s website, into its second day, won’t interrupt COVID-19 vaccinations.

The Lazio region governor, Nicola Zingaretti, said the hacking attack, launched from abroad and still underway after more than 36 hours, hasn’t and won’t disrupt ambulance, emergency room, transfusions, admissions to hospital or other health services. But until the hacking is resolved, residents of the region won’t be able to sign up via the region’s website, to receive the vaccine.

On Friday, the nation begins its so-called “Green Pass” system. Under those government rules, people in Italy must show certification that they have had a least one vaccine dose, or tested negative within 48 hours, or have recovered from COVID-19 in the last six months if they want to dine indoors, enter a cinema, museum or gym or attend a concert or other event drawing a crowd.

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press

Official in Michigan county gives up post in COVID aid flap

An official resigned as chairman of a county board in Michigan, the latest fallout from his decision to give himself a $25,000 bonus with federal COVID-19 relief money and reward others in the community.

Jeremy Root will remain one of seven Shiawassee County commissioners but will no longer lead the board.

Republican county commissioners in July voted 6-0 to give themselves $65,000 in COVID-19 “hazard pay,” part of an effort to distribute more than $500,000 in federal aid to 250 county employees.

Root and fellow Commissioner Cindy Garber, who got $5,000, defended the bonuses. But at least one commissioner said she had no idea that she had voted to reward herself until money turned up in her bank account.

Commissioners reversed course on July 23 and said they would return the money. Separately, a judge last week ordered the county to recover any bonus that exceeded $5,000 after a lawsuit claimed commissioners violated open meetings law when the money was approved.

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press

Concern grows over rise of respiratory virus and delta infections among children

Health officials have expressed concern over a simultaneous rise in delta infections and cases of a respiratory virus known as respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV — a highly contagious, flulike illness that is typically more likely to affect children and older adults.

Cases of RSV have risen gradually since early June, with an even greater spike in the past month, according to data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. RSV, which can cause symptoms that include a runny nose, coughing, sneezing and fever, normally begins to spread in the fall, making this summer spike unusual.

In a series of posts on Twitter, Dr. Heather Haq, a pediatrician at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, described an increase in both coronavirus and RSV hospitalizations. Haq is also the chief medical officer for the Baylor College of Medicine International Pediatric AIDS Initiative at Texas Children’s Hospital.

Read the story here.

—Jesus Jimenez, The New York Times

Study: Less than 1% of fully vaccinated people experiencing breakthrough COVID infections

A new study found that less than 1% of fully vaccinated people have experienced a breakthrough COVID-19 infection.

The Kaiser Family Foundation analyzed data from states that report breakthrough infections and found fully vaccinated Americans made up a very small portion of the infected population, with Oklahoma at 0.9% the highest and Connecticut at 0.1% the lowest.

The CDC only reports on breakthrough cases that have resulted in hospitalization or death, but the data there is even more promising.

Less than 0.004% of people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and experienced a breakthrough case needed to be hospitalized, and less than 0.001% have died from the disease. To sum up, that’s roughly 6,600 severe breakthrough cases among the 163 million fully vaccinated people in the U.S.

The numbers match previous analyses that found that between 98% and 99% of deaths were among unvaccinated people.

Read the story here.

—David Matthews, New York Daily News

Mask mandate reinstated in San Francisco Bay Area amid surge

Health officials in San Francisco and six other Bay Area counties announced Monday that they are reinstating a mask mandate for all indoor settings as COVID-19 infections surge because of the highly contagious delta variant.

The new mandate — which applies to everyone, regardless of their vaccination status — will take effect on Tuesday in San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma counties and in the city of Berkeley.

In line with guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, California last week recommended that everyone wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status, but officials stopped short of requiring it. Indoor mask mandates are already in effect in Los Angeles, Yolo and Sacramento counties.

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press

‘Spineless’: Tri-Cities parents upset with schools’ plan to obey Washington state mask mandate

A chorus of angry parents rose up after school districts announced that children returning to school this fall will need to wear masks in class.

Kennewick, Richland and Pasco districts announced late last week they would comply with the order from Washington Gov. Jay Inslee requiring face coverings for all teachers and students even if they have been fully vaccinated.

He cited the spike in infections of the COVID-19 delta variant for his decision.

There was an immediate backlash from some parents, upset that local school officials won’t defy the state order, calling them “spineless.”

Others were angry at Inslee and state schools Superintendent Chris Reykdal for what they feel is an unnecessary requirement.

Read the story here.

—Cameron Probert, Tri-City Herald (Kennewick, Wash.)

Lindsey Graham 1st vaccinated senator to test positive for COVID-19

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham has tested positive for the coronavirus, the first senator to disclose a breakthrough infection after being vaccinated.

In a statement issued Monday afternoon, the South Carolina Republican said that he “started having flu-like symptoms Saturday night” and went to the doctor Monday morning.

After being notified of his positive test, Graham said he would quarantine for 10 days.

“I feel like I have a sinus infection, and at present time, I have mild symptoms,” the 66-year-old Graham said. “I am very glad I was vaccinated because without vaccination, I am certain I would not feel as well as I do now. My symptoms would be far worse.”

Graham, who was vaccinated in December, has long been a proponent of vaccination, saying during a visit this spring to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston that “the sooner we get everybody vaccinated, the quicker we can get back to normal.”

Graham’s infection comes on the heels of updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance urging even fully vaccinated people to return to wearing masks indoors in areas of high coronavirus transmission, citing the surge of the highly contagious delta variant.

Read the story here.

—Meg Kinnard, The Associated Press

2 rare Sumatran tigers recovering after catching COVID-19

Two rare Sumatran tigers at the zoo in the Indonesian capital are recovering after being infected with COVID-19.

Nine-year-old Tino became ill with shortness of breath, sneezing, and a runny nose on July 9. He also lost his appetite. Two days later, 12-year-old Hari was showing the same symptoms.

Swabs were taken and results came back positive for COVID-19, Suzi Marsitawati from the Jakarta Parks and Forestry Agency said in a statement on Sunday.

The tigers were immediately treated with antibiotics, antihistamines, anti-inflammatory drugs and multivitamins. They were getting better after 10-12 days, and have now recovered under close observation at Jakarta’s Ragunan Zoo. Sumatran tigers are the most critically endangered tiger subspecies and are under increasing pressure as their jungle habitat shrinks.

Marsitawati said the Jakarta government is trying to find out how the tigers were infected, because the zoo has been closed as part of coronavirus restrictions. There was no infection among the caretakers and other zoo staff, she said.

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press

U.S. hits Biden’s vaccination goal (a month late), with 70% of adults receiving at least one shot

The United States reached a milestone of getting at least one coronavirus vaccine dose to 70% of adults on Monday, almost a month after President Biden’s original July 4 goal.

The news came as the highly contagious delta variant is driving a coronavirus surge, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday reporting more than 100,000 daily cases. It was a number not seen since February, when vaccines were not widely available.

Biden called on more Americans to get the shot, tweeting Monday afternoon that the nation was “prepared to deal with the surge in COVID-19 cases like never before. Unlike a year ago, we have the ability to save lives and keep our economy growing,” he wrote. “We know we can dramatically lower the cases in the country. We can do this. Get vaccinated.”

New daily reported deaths have gone up by 33 percent and hospitalizations by 46 percent on average in the last seven days compared to the week before, according to CDC data.

Read the story here.

—The Washington Post

Two travelers submitted fake vaccination cards before flying to Toronto. Each was fined nearly $20,000.

Two Canadian citizens who flew from the U.S. to Toronto last month after presenting fraudulent vaccination cards must each pay fines totaling nearly $20,000 for submitting unlawful documentation and failing to comply with quarantine and testing requirements.

In Canada, airline passengers who are not fully vaccinated must spend three nights upon arrival at a hotel approved by the government and submit proof of a 14-day quarantine plan, even if they have tested negative for the coronavirus or have already recovered from the illness. They must also submit proof of a negative coronavirus test taken at least 72 hours before their flight. Upon arrival, passengers must get a second coronavirus test and collect a kit containing a test they must take on Day 8 of their quarantine.

Last month, Canadian health authorities announced that fully vaccinated air travelers can be exempted from the hotel requirement if they submit proof of vaccination and a negative coronavirus test result to ArriveCAN, the government’s electronic portal. They must still be tested upon entry and submit a quarantine plan in case they are not approved for the exemption.

Read the story here.

—Andrea Salcedo, The Washington Post

Evictions expected to spike as pandemic moratorium ends

Evictions, which have mostly been on pause during the pandemic, were expected to ramp up Monday after the Biden administration allowed the federal moratorium to expire over the weekend and Congress was unable to do anything to extend it.

Some housing advocates fear the end of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention moratorium could result in millions of people being evicted. But most expect the wave of evictions to build slowly over the coming weeks and months as the bureaucracy of removing people from their homes restarts.

More than 15 million people live in households that owe as much as $20 billion to their landlords, according to the Aspen Institute. As of July 5, roughly 3.6 million people in the U.S. said they faced eviction in the next two months, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey.

Around the country, courts, legal advocates and law enforcement agencies are gearing up for evictions to return to pre-pandemic levels, a time when 3.7 million people were displaced from their homes every year, or seven every minute, according to the Eviction Lab at Princeton University.

Read the story here.

—Michael Casey, The Associated Press

Lack of progress in treating COVID-19 causes worry over delta wave

A stall in treatment advances for COVID-19 has raised concern among medical experts about unvaccinated people, who still make up half the country, and their likelihood of surviving the coming wave of delta cases.

Though fewer people have died during the recent spike than earlier in the pandemic, that’s largely because many older people who are vulnerable to developing severe COVID-19 have been vaccinated.

Fundamental early fixes in treatment, like laying patients on their stomachs to help with breathing and administering the steroid dexamethasone, have helped increase the chances of surviving infection. But in recent months, there has been little progress beyond vaccines, said Jeffrey Morris, biostatistics professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

“That anybody is still dying of this — because it’s a vaccine-preventable death at this point — is now unbelievably frustrating,” said Roger Shapiro, associate professor of immunology and infectious diseases at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health. “But if you take an unvaccinated person and give them COVID, right now, our tools are still limited.”

Read the story here.


Pakistani police say vaccination team attacked, policeman killed

Gunmen on Monday shot and killed a police officer assigned to protect a vaccination team in northwestern Pakistan, an official said. It was the third attack in two days on Pakistani policemen assigned to protect polio vaccination workers.

The deadly attack took place in the town of Kolachi in the Dera Ismail Khan district. Officer Dilawar Khan was on his motorcycle, heading to escort polio workers taking part in a nationwide campaign aimed at making Pakistan a polio-free state.

The gunmen fled the scene and a police search is underway, according to Mohammad Aslam, a local police official.

Pakistani militants often target vaccination teams and police assigned to protect them, claiming the vaccination campaigns are a Western conspiracy to sterilize children.

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press

Florida breaks record for COVID-19 hospitalizations

A day after it recorded the most new daily cases since the start of the pandemic, Florida on Sunday broke a previous record for current hospitalizations set more than a year ago before vaccines were available.

The Sunshine State had 10,207 people hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to data reported to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

The previous record was from July 23, 2020, more than a half-year before vaccinations started becoming widespread, when Florida had 10,170 hospitalizations, according to the Florida Hospital Association.

Florida is now leading the nation in per capita hospitalizations for COVID-19, as hospitals around the state report having to put emergency room visitors in beds in hallways and others document a noticeable drop in the age of patients.

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has resisted mandatory mask mandates and vaccine requirements, and along with the state Legislature, has limited local officials’ ability to impose restrictions meant to stop the spread of COVID-19. DeSantis on Friday barred school districts from requiring students to wear masks when classes resume next month.

Read the story here.

—Mike Schneider, The Associated Press

Cuomo mandates vaccines or testing for NYC transit workers

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said workers in New York City’s airports and public transit system will have to get coronavirus vaccinations or face weekly testing, but he stopped short Monday of mandating either masks or inoculations for the general public, saying he lacks the legal authority to do so.

The Democrat urged bars and restaurants to adopt a policy of only serving vaccinated people and said that more hospitals should require workers to get vaccines. He said that imposing mandates, though, would require an act of the Legislature to restore emergency powers that have expired.

Shortly after Cuomo spoke to reporters, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he was “strongly recommending” that even vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors when not at home, but also declined to make masking mandatory.

An average of nearly 2,300 people have been testing positive for COVID-19 daily across New York state over the past week, up from around 300 new cases per day in late June. Health officials say the delta variant of the coronavirus accounts for 72% of new cases in New York City.

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press

Unprecedented passport application delays stifle travelers

As a pandemic newlywed, all Estella Valdez wants to do is join her new husband, family and friends for the Aruba honeymoon they rescheduled for August.

But Valdez, 46, can’t relax poolside at a luxury resort, let alone cross a tarmac, until the passport she sent for renewal in April comes back. Of the 12 people traveling, Valdez is the only one stuck without a passport — and is one of the millions nationwide whose new passport applications or renewals are caught in limbo by increasingly lengthy processing delays.

Travelers trying to get their first passports or renew the ones they have should plan on wait times of up to six months, the U.S. Department of State announced. Before the pandemic, the State Department could process non-expedited passport renewals by mail in just six to eight weeks.

Even after paying the expedited fee, some travelers are reporting longer wait times. And those seeking both expedited and non-expedited passports say they are getting no information about the status of their applications.

Read the story here.

—Lauryn Azu, Chicago Tribune

Iran records highest number of daily COVID cases in pandemic

Iran on Monday reported more than 37,000 new coronavirus infections, the country’s single-day record so far in the pandemic, state media reported.

State TV said health workers registered 37,189 new COVID-19 cases since Sunday — surpassing the previous daily record of 34,951 infections reported on Tuesday. Also, there were 411 deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll in the pandemic to 91,407 — the highest in the Middle East. Iranian health officials have regularly warned that hospitals in the capital, Tehran, and other major cities are overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.

Authorities have avoided imposing heavy-handed rules on a population badly equipped to bear them. Iran, which has suffered the worst virus outbreak in the region, is reeling from a series of crises: tough U.S. sanctions, global isolation, a heat wave, the worst blackouts in recent memory and ongoing protests over water shortages in the southwest.

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press

‘I should have gotten the damn vaccine,’ woman says fiance texted before he died of COVID-19

Micheal Freedy's fiancee claims he was not opposed to vaccination but, like many Americans who have yet to get their coronavirus shots, the 39-year-old father just wanted to wait and learn more about how people reacted to the vaccines.

“All we were doing is waiting one year,” Jessica DuPreez, 37, told The Washington Post on Sunday.

Then he died from COVID-19 and now the Las Vegas mother of five gave interview after interview to spread the same message: Get the vaccine. She said Freedy came to the same conclusion early on in the fight with COVID-19 that put him in an intensive care unit in July.

“I should have gotten the damn vaccine,” he texted DuPreez, according to a picture she shared with The Post.

Read the story here.

—The Washington Post

Catch up on the past 24 hours

A respiratory virus is rising in kids along with cases of COVID-19's delta variant. The "winter-level volumes" of young patients with RSV have health officials worried about twin outbreaks straining hospitals as kids head back to school.

Vaccinations are rising steadily — but so are infections, and "things are going to get worse," Dr. Anthony Fauci warned last night.

Evictions are expected to start rising today after a federal ban expired over the weekend, and housing advocates fear millions of people could lose their homes.

Two travelers submitted fake vaccination cards before flying from the U.S. to Canada. They got busted, and Canada isn't letting them off easy.

—Kris Higginson