Live: Coronavirus daily news updates, April 4: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the world

Many pandemic restrictions in the United States and Canada have been relaxed, but that has not stopped protesters from gathering outside some government officials’ homes. Although vaccination and masking rules have generally eased in the past few months, protests have continued outside officials’ residences in states like Massachusetts, and in Nova Scotia and Alberta in Canada.

In Washington, Coyote Ridge Corrections Center north of the Tri-Cities is in the midst of the biggest COVID-19 outbreak in the state prison system. The state Department of Corrections reported Friday that 186 of the 199 active cases in all of the state’s prisons are currently at the Connell facility.

We’re updating this page with the latest news about the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the Seattle area, the US 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.

Easter delays for UK travelers as COVID cancels flights

British travelers going abroad for the Easter holidays faced disruptions Monday as two main carriers, British Airways and easyJet, canceled dozens of flights due to staff shortages related to soaring cases of COVID-19 in the UK

Budget carrier easyJet grounded 62 flights scheduled for Monday after canceling at least 222 flights over the weekend, while British Airways said some three dozen out of its 115 flights canceled Monday were due to pandemic-related problems.

An easyJet spokesman said it is “experiencing higher than usual levels of employee sickness” as a result of high rates of COVID-19 infections across Europe.

The airline added that the number of cancellations “represents a small proportion” of the total of more than 1,600 flights planned for Monday.

Several of the British Airways cancellations were made at the last minute due to staff calling in sick, and about 25 others were a result of a decision taken in recent weeks to reduce its overall flight schedule.

Read the story here.

—Sylvia Hui, The Associated Press

COVID, diabetes collide in public health train wreck

After older people and nursing home residents, perhaps no group has been harder hit by the pandemic than people with diabetes. Recent studies suggest that 30-40% of all coronavirus deaths in the United States have occurred among people with diabetes, a sobering figure that has been subsumed by other grim data from a public health disaster that is on track to claim 1 million American lives sometime this month.

People with diabetes are especially vulnerable to severe illness from COVID, partly because diabetes impairs the immune system but also because those with the disease often struggle with high blood pressure, obesity and other underlying medical conditions that can seriously worsen a coronavirus infection.

“It’s hard to overstate just how devastating the pandemic has been for Americans with diabetes,” said Dr. Giuseppina Imperatore, who oversees diabetes prevention and treatment at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Diabetes patients hospitalized with COVID spend more time in the ICU, are more likely to be intubated and are less likely to survive, according to several studies, one of which found that 20% of hospitalized coronavirus patients with diabetes died within a month of admission.

Compounding the concerns, some studies suggest that a coronavirus infection can heighten the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a disease that is largely preventable through a healthy diet and exercise. More than 90% of all diabetes cases in the United States are type 2.

One study published last month found that patients who recovered from COVID were 40% more likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within 12 months compared with the uninfected, though researchers have yet to determine a connection between the two conditions.

Over the past two years, doctors have also reported a sharp rise in young people being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, an increase that many believe is tied to the drastic spike in childhood obesity during the pandemic.

Read the story here.

—Andrew Jacobs, The New York Times

China sends in military to help with Shanghai virus outbreak

China has sent more than 10,000 health workers from around the country to Shanghai, including 2,000 from the military, as it struggles to stamp out a rapidly spreading outbreak in its largest city under its zero-COVID strategy.

Shanghai was conducting a mass testing of its 25 million residents Monday as what was announced as a two-phase lockdown entered its second week.

The highly contagious omicron BA.2 form of the virus is testing China’s ability to maintain its zero-COVID approach, which aims to stop outbreaks from spreading by isolating everyone who tests positive, whether they have symptoms or not. Shanghai has converted an exhibition hall and other facilities into massive isolation centers where people with mild or no symptoms are housed in a sea of ​​beds separated by temporary partitions.

China on Monday reported more than 13,000 new cases nationwide in the previous 24 hours, of which nearly 12,000 were asymptomatic. About 9,000 of the cases were in Shanghai. The other large outbreak is in northeastern China’s Jilin province, where new cases topped 3,500.

The Shanghai lockdown has sparked numerous complaints, from food shortages to limited staff and facilities at hastily constructed isolation sites.

Read the story here.

—Ken Moritsugu, The Associated Press

Man in Germany gets 90 COVID-19 shots for the vaccine cards

A 60-year-old man allegedly had himself vaccinated against COVID-19 dozens of times in Germany in order to sell forged vaccination cards with real vaccine batch numbers to people not wanting to get vaccinated themselves.

The man from the eastern Germany city of Magdeburg, whose name was not released in line with German privacy rules, is said to have received up to 90 shots against COVID-19 at vaccination centers in the eastern state of Saxony for months until criminal police caught him this month, the German news agency dpa reported Sunday.

The suspect was not detained but is under investigation for unauthorized issuance of vaccination cards and document forgery, dpa reported.

He was caught at a vaccination center in Eilenburg in Saxony when he showed up for a COVID-19 shot for the second day in a row. Police confiscated several blank vaccination cards from him and initiated criminal proceedings.

It was not immediately clear what impact the approximately 90 shots of COVID-19 vaccines, which were from different brands, had on the man’s personal health.

Read the story here.

—Kirsten Grieshaber, The Associated Press

How long COVID is accelerating a revolution in medical research

The experiences of patients with long COVID are advancing a revolution in research not just for COVID but also many other conditions. Patients, who have typically been only subjects in the research process, are becoming partners in it. They are documenting their symptoms online in real time, as well as helping to come up with questions and strategies for surveys and, eventually, to disseminate results.

“We bring experiential knowledge and have enough of an outsider’s perspective to see inefficiencies that people enmeshed in the system can’t see,” said Diana Zicklin Berrent, founder of Survivor Corps, a patient advocacy group that has been collaborating with researchers at Yale and other medical centers.

It is the latest step in the growing understanding that partnering with patients is not only the just and equitable thing to do but also that it can improve research. In the late 1980s, as the HIV/AIDS epidemic gained momentum, ACT UP and other groups successfully pushed to move drugs more quickly through the development pipeline. In 2010, the Affordable Care Act injected funding into patient-centered research.

All the while, advances in technology have mobilized patients to share emotional support, as well as real-time data about their symptoms online. Those forces have coalesced around long COVID, prompting studies at major medical centers such as the University of South Carolina and Yale University that involve patients in every stage of research.

Read the full story here.

—Frances Stead Sellers, The Washington Post

Leave a Comment