Editor’s note: This is a live account of COVID-19 updates from Monday, June 13, 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 It is no longer being updated.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.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Monday ended the mask mandate for 2- to 4-year-olds who attend day care and preschool because the city is past the peak of its latest wave of coronavirus cases. The toddler mask mandate has been a subject of great contention in New York City as one of the last pandemic mandates the mayor left in place.

So far, COVID-19 booster doses have not been terribly popular among kids ages 5 to 11. Boosters can only be given to those who are at least five months past their last regular dose. The FDA approved boosters for kids ages 5 to 11 on May 19.

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 the rest of our coronavirus coverage and here to see how we track the daily spread across Washington.


How COVID did away with the sick day

The tone of the typical isolation postcard is sunny, insistent and aspirational as a holiday greeting: “Thanks to everyone who sent well wishes for @VP,” wrote Doug Emhoff, the second gentleman, on Twitter. “She is feeling good and is working from home.”

Like so many Americans, Vice President Kamala Harris got COVID-19 in late April. Like so many Americans, she worked right through it, seated at her desk surrounded by the signifiers of productivity: binders, pens, pastel Post-it notes. Other COVID-positive political figures assured the public they, too, were forging ahead on their to-do lists: Jen Psaki, Gavin Newsom. Donald Trump, when he had COVID-19, posed for his own working-through-it photos, though he appeared to be signing a blank sheet of paper.

In the world’s only wealthy country that does not guarantee paid sick leave, just working through it — even for those who could take paid time off — is the norm.

“I’m trying to work out in my head why I had that thought of, ‘Oh, I’ll work through it,’” said William Fitzgerald, 36, who runs a strategy firm. He got COVID-19 in late April and took meetings throughout his illness. “Why didn’t I just rest for the week?”

Read the full story here.

—Emma Goldberg, The New York Times

US: Pfizer COVID-19 shot appears effective for kids under 5

Federal health officials said Sunday that kid-sized doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines appear to be safe and effective for kids under 5, a key step toward a long-awaited decision to begin vaccinating the youngest American children.

The Food and Drug Administration posted its analysis of the Pfizer shot ahead of a Wednesday meeting where outside experts will vote on whether the shots are ready for the nation’s 18 million babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Kids under 5 are the only group not yet eligible for COVID-19 vaccination in the U.S.

Late last week the FDA posted a similar analysis of Moderna’s shots for children under 6.

If regulators clear the shots by one or both companies, vaccinations could begin as soon as next week with the drugmakers ready to rapidly ship doses ordered by the government. Parents have been pressing federal officials for months for the opportunity to protect their smallest children as more adults shed masks and abandon other public health precautions.

Read the story here.

—Mike Stobbe and Matthew Perrone, The Associated Press

Philippine officials, governor clash over face mask policy

Philippine officials warned Monday that people can face arrest if they defy a presidential order to wear face masks in public to protect against the coronavirus even in a province where the governor has declared they are optional.

Officials asked Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia of central Cebu province to cooperate with President Rodrigo Duterte’s order, but she insisted Monday that her decision to allow people to decide whether to wear masks in public in her province has legal grounds because provincial officials can decide on health issues.

“This is a major policy that came from the mouth of our president himself,” Interior Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III said, adding that the country remains under a national public health emergency.

Open defiance of such orders could lead to arrests, Densing said. He added that officials will try to convince Garcia to follow Duterte’s order.

COVID-19 infections have increased slightly in the past week, the Department of Health said Monday.

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press

Many baby formula plants weren’t inspected because of COVID

U.S. regulators have historically inspected baby formula plants at least once a year, but they did not inspect any of the three biggest manufacturers in 2020, according to federal records reviewed by The Associated Press.

When they finally did get inside an Abbott Nutrition formula plant in Michigan after a two-year gap, they found standing water and lax sanitation procedures. But inspectors offered only voluntary suggestions for fixing the problems, and issued no formal warning.

Inspectors would return five months later after four infants who consumed powdered formula from the plant suffered bacterial infections. They found bacterial contamination inside the factory, leading to a four-month shutdown and turning a festering supply shortage into a full-blown crisis that sent parents scrambling to find formula and forced the U.S. to airlift products from overseas.

The gap in baby formula plant inspections, brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, is getting new scrutiny from Congress and government watchdogs investigating the series of missteps that led to the crisis. A recent bill would require the Food and Drug Administration to inspect infant formula facilities every six months. And the government’s inspector general for health has launched an inquiry into the FDA’s handling of Abbott’s facility, the largest in the U.S.

Read the story here.

—Matthew Perrone, The Associated Press

Can I get my flu shot and COVID booster at the same time? Yes, but know your symptoms

A spike in flu cases across the country, along with another COVID-19 surge, is leaving more people vulnerable to catching some form of disease — especially those who aren’t vaccinated.

In fact, the flu is experiencing “increased activity” in some parts of the country, such as in Nevada and New Mexico, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

“In the last two weeks, it has started to slow down, but we are definitely seeing an extended length of influenza infections and later spikes than we have in the previous years,” said said Dr. Natacsha Tuznik, associate professor of infectious diseases at UC Davis.

People traveling internationally, she said, are especially susceptible to catching the flu.

She said it's “absolutely okay” for people to get their flu shot and a COVID-19 vaccine or booster at the same time.

People who know they react strongly to either the COVID vaccine or flu shot may want to wait a few days in between, she said.

Read the story here.

—Noor Adatia, The Sacramento Bee

Canadian PM Trudeau tests positive for COVID a second time

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has tested positive for COVID-19 for the second time and just days after he met in person with U.S. President Joe Biden.

The announcement came in a tweet Monday in which he urged everyone to get vaccinated. Trudeau said he feels OK and said that’s because he’s been vaccinated.

The positive test comes after he met with U.S. President Joe Biden and other leaders at the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles. Biden took a “family photo” with Trudeau on Friday and met with him on Thursday.

Trudeau also tested positive in January.

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press

What you need to know about access to COVID antiviral drugs and therapeutics in King County and WA

As infection and hospitalization numbers continue to rise, one question, doctors say, is becoming more common: If you test positive for COVID-19, what treatments are you eligible for?

While Washington state has a strong supply of COVID therapeutics, many primary care providers often aren’t aware of which ones exist, where they’re available or which patients are eligible, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center’s Dr. Elizabeth Duke, a researcher who studies viruses and vaccines, said this week.

To quicken the process, high-risk patients with mild-to-moderate COVID might benefit from advocating for treatments, she said.

If you test positive for COVID, Duke recommends first taking a look at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s ever-expanding list of high-risk conditions for severe COVID.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the agency has broadened its definition of who’s most at risk of getting the sickest — now including a wide variety of conditions like cancer; chronic kidney, lung or liver diseases; dementia or other neurological conditions; diabetes; heart conditions and those who are obese or immunocompromised, in addition to various other conditions.

Current and former smokers, pregnant people and those who “do little or no physical activity” are also on the list, as well as those with “any type of disability that makes it more difficult to do certain activities or interact with the world around them,” including mental or behavioral health conditions or disorders.

If you do have one of the listed conditions, you qualify for COVID treatments but will need a prescription.

If you have a primary care physician, contact them to figure out what antiviral might be the best fit, Duke said.

Read the story here.

—Elise Takahama

No satisfaction: Jagger has COVID, Rolling Stones gig off

The Rolling Stones canceled their concert in Amsterdam on Monday, just hours before it was due to start after lead singer Mick Jagger tested positive for COVID-19.

The band announced the cancelation in a statement, saying the 78-year-old Jagger tested positive “after experiencing symptoms of COVID upon arrival at the stadium” on the outskirts of Amsterdam. There were no further details about his condition.

Some fans were already in the stadium when it was announced that the show had been scrapped.

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press

Popular Caribbean destinations drop several COVID-related restrictions

Three popular tourism destinations in the Caribbean — Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, and the U.S. Virgin Islands — announced they have reduced coronavirus-related travel restrictions.

On the island of Barbados, government officials dropped a three-day quarantine period for unvaccinated visitors who test negative at the airport upon arrival, according to Travel Weekly.

All unvaccinated travelers must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days before arrival. Vaccinated travelers no longer have to take a coronavirus test before visiting Barbados.

In Trinidad and Tobago, health officials announced the TTravel Pass previously used to allow visitors to enter has been discontinued. Travelers must either show proof of vaccination or a negative test taken within 48 hours of arrival. The dual-island nation still enforces a mask mandate.

Travelers heading to the U.S. Virgin Islands will no longer be forced to complete a form at the USVI Travel Screening Portal. Tourists will still need to show proof of vaccination or a negative test taken within five days of arrival.

In addition, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has added three popular tourism destinations — Anguilla, Jamaica and Turks and Caicos — to its “Level 3: COVID-19 High” travel warning.

Read the story here.

—Donald Wood, TravelPulse

How long does COVID immunity last? Will a second illness be worse? How can I prepare?

If you’re one of the millions of Americans who have already had COVID-19, you may be wondering how long you will have immunity from the coronavirus.

Earlier in the pandemic, most people assumed that getting infected had at least one upside: that you would be protected against future encounters with the virus. But as the latest wave heads toward the Western region of the country and the virus shows no signs of easing up, reinfections seem to have become common. Already, many people are reporting second or even third infections with newer variants.

Experts have warned that exposure to the coronavirus — through vaccination or infection — does not mean that you are completely protected from future infections. Rather, the coronavirus is evolving to behave more like its closely related cousins, which cause common colds and infect people repeatedly throughout their lives.

However, the coronavirus doesn’t yet fit into clear seasonal patterns like the other common cold viruses. It can also cause debilitating symptoms that persist for months or years in some people, and has claimed the lives of millions of others.

Generally, reinfections are less severe, but that doesn’t mean that they are not terrible. You may still run a fever and experience body aches, brain fog and other symptoms. And there’s no way of knowing if your symptoms will linger and become long COVID,  said Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious-disease specialist at Johns Hopkins University.

So what can you do to protect yourself, not only from infection but also reinfection? The New York Times asked experts for answers to common questions.

Read the story here.

—Knvul Sheikh, The New York Times

Can these drugs stop a COVID infection in its tracks? Seattle researchers are on the forefront of new treatments

In a small research center nestled near the heart of Seattle’s South Lake Union, Dr. Elizabeth Duke has been testing medicines to arm us in the fight against COVID-19.

Since the pandemic began, Duke and other infectious disease experts have led trial after trial at UW Medicine and, more recently, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center’s COVID-19 clinical research center, which was developed in October 2020 to treat outpatients with mild to moderate COVID.

The trials take time — and data analysis often takes longer — but as new virus variants emerge and the pandemic presses on, the clinic has remained on the forefront for testing many of the country’s newest COVID therapeutics.

Now, Duke and her team are in the middle of taking a significant next step in the world of COVID drugs: figuring out how to prevent virus infections from happening in the first place.

“This is really exciting,” Duke said. “If a person has been exposed to COVID, we currently don’t have any approved treatments that are omicron-effective that can prevent an exposed person from going on to get infected. So that’s the idea here — if we have an infected person in a household, can we treat the other people in the household and prevent them from getting sick?”

Duke’s current clinical trial is analyzing the early effects of an existing COVID antiviral called molnupiravir, a pill from Merck that was granted emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration in December. The oral pill was authorized to treat mild to moderate COVID in high-risk adults 18 and up — though it hasn’t yet been approved as a medication to prevent COVID, or what’s known as a post-exposure prophylaxis.

Results from Duke’s trial could change that, and would make the pill the first FDA-approved COVID post-exposure prophylaxis available to the general public.

Read the story here.

—Elise Takahama

‘We should definitely be concerned.’ Miami-Dade’s COVID-19 cases, positivity rates soar

With a new wave of omicron COVID cases surging in Miami-Dade County, the percent of local positive tests, known as the positivity rate, has soared, representing a fourfold increase since April and likely an undercount due to at-home testing.

On Monday, Miami-Dade County’s seven-day average COVID-19 positivity rate rose to 22%, up from a 5% rate on April 8, according to the county’s COVID-19 Daily Dashboard. The latest number is nearing the rates at the height of the omicron surge in January, when positivity rates scaled 35%.

“We should definitely be concerned now,” said Mary Jo Trepka, an infectious disease epidemiologist and professor at Florida International University. “In fact, we should have been concerned several weeks ago.”

As of Thursday, 86% of Miami-Dade’s total population was fully vaccinated, about 2.3 million people. Florida’s fully vaccinated rate is 67.5%; the U.S. rate is 66.7%

Read the story here.

—Devoun Cetoute and Anuraag Bukkuri, Miami Herald

New study is first to document likely cat-to-human virus transmission

A veterinarian in Thailand likely contracted the coronavirus from an infected pet cat last year, researchers concluded in a new study. It is the first documented case of suspected cat-to-human transmission, although experts stress that the risk of cats infecting humans with the virus remains low overall.

One of the cat’s two owners, who both had COVID-19, probably passed the virus to the cat, which then sneezed in the veterinarian’s face, according to the paper, which was written by scientists at Thailand’s Prince of Songkla University. Genomic sequencing confirmed that the cat and all three people were infected with an identical version of the virus, which was not widespread in the local population at the time.

Cats are far more likely to catch the virus from people than to transmit it to them, scientists say. But the case is a reminder that people who are infected with the virus should take precautions around their pets — and that veterinarians and shelter workers who may come into contact with infected animals should do the same, said Dr. Scott Weese, an infectious diseases veterinarian at the University of Guelph in Ontario.

“When things become human diseases, we too often forget everything else,” he said. “I think it’s important for us to recognize this virus still can move between species.”

Read the story here.

—Emily Anthes, The New York Times

Virus cluster at nightclub sets off new Beijing clampdown

China’s capital has put school back online in one of its major districts amid a new COVID-19 outbreak linked to a nightclub, while life has yet to return to normal in Shanghai despite the lifting of a more than two-month-long lockdown.

China has stuck to its “zero-COVID” policy requiring mass testing, quarantines and the sequestering of anyone who has come into contact with an infected person in concentrated locations where hygiene is generally poor.

A total of 228 cases have been linked to the Heaven Supermarket club in the downtown Workers Stadium nightlife area after an infected person visited there Thursday. Of those, 180 were customers, four were staff and 44 were people with whom customers had later contact.

The entire area, along with the adjacent Sanlitun shopping and dining complex, was shut down until further notice.

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press