Stay home or work sick? Omicron poses a conundrum

As the raging omicron variant of COVID-19 infects workers across the nation, millions of those whose jobs don't provide paid sick days are having to choose between their health and their paycheck.

Washington launches site for free at-home COVID-19 tests

Residents in Washington are now able to order free at-home COVID-tests from a new state portal. But health officials are urging patience since the state has only been able to acquire a portion of the 3.5 million tests that will be ultimately be made available through the site. The state portal is separate from the site that was launched by the federal government earlier this week, which allows four at-home tests per residential address, to be delivered by the Postal Service. Under the state’s partnership with Amazon and CareEvolution, each household in Washington state will be able to order one testing kit, which includes either four or five tests, and the kits are expected to arrive within one to two weeks.

Oregon residents decry proposed 'permanent' mask mandate

Hundreds of Oregon residents are crying government overreach as officials at the state’s health authority consider indefinitely extending the current indoor mask requirement. Currently there is no set expiration date or specific metrics outlining when the rule would be lifted. More than 350 people —  ranging from stay-at-home parents, registered nurses, a speech language pathologist, teachers, business owners and life-long residents, both in rural and urban areas — attended a virtual public hearing Thursday and vehemently opposed the rule.  

State site for free at-home COVID-19 tests to launch soon

Health officials in Washington state say residents will soon be able to order free at-home COVID-19 tests through a new state website. The Seattle Times reported that the site is expected to launch within a few days, and the same week that the federal government launched its own test-ordering tool for households across the country. Once the state’s website launches, each household will be able to order one testing kit, which includes four to five tests, and the kits are expected to arrive within one to two weeks. The state predicts serving 350,000 households in Washington in the first week though more tests will be available over the next several weeks.

Thursday marks two years since first COVID case was confirmed in Washington

SPOKANE, Wash. — Thursday will mark two years since the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Washington. On January 20, 2020, the United States’ first known case was reported in Snohomish County. In the 24 months since, mitigation efforts are still underway in Washington. The Washington State Department of Health announced in a briefing Wednesday that it planned to…

Biden to give away 400 million N95 masks starting next week

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration will begin making 400 million N95 masks available for free to Americans starting next week, now that federal officials are emphasizing their better protection against the omicron variant of COVID-19 over cloth face coverings. The White House announced Wednesday that…

AG’s Office wants Washingtonians to report price-gouging on COVID test kits

Money; ShutterstockOLYMPIA, Wash. – Anyone who suspects price-gouging on a COVID-19 at-home test kit is asked to contact the Washington Attorney General’s Office.  AG Bob Ferguson issued a consumer alert to Washingtonians on Tuesday.  In the past week, several people filed complaints regarding the price of at-home tests. In one instance, a Facebook ad advertised kits on “sale for only…

Here’s how to get free COVID tests sent straight to your doorstep

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Every home in the country is now eligible to order four free at-home COVID tests. The tests available for order are rapid antigen at-home tests. They can be taken anywhere, whether or not you have symptoms, and will give results within 30 minutes. All you will need to enter on the site to receive a test is a…

Race and ethnicity may play a factor in receiving antibody treatment CDC says

Credit: APSPOKANE, Wash. — A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that COVID patients who are white were more likely to receive monoclonal antibody treatment compared to those in minority groups. The CDC’s research included information from 800-thousand COVID patients between March 2020 and August 2021. Roughly 4 percent of white patients got monoclonal antibodies each…

Governor’s decree delays Cheney woman’s gallbladder removal surgery

SPOKANE, Wash. — Many are left in pain after Governor Jay Inslee announced a pause for all non-essential surgeries. The decree, issued Thursday, states all operations that will not cause harm to a patient within 90 days be delayed. Many are infuriated with these delays, and for some, it causes physical pain. Margaret Gragert has been living with gallstones for…