Live: Daily Coronavirus News, February 19: What you need to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington and around the world

While the Omicron surge is weakening in many countries, scientists from the World Health Organization are closely monitoring subvariant omicron which seems more contagious.

Denmark was the first country to report that the sub-option consisted of most cases in this country. At the same time, the sub-option was on the rise in several Asian countries.

Meanwhile, the European Union and the African Union have announced that six African countries will receive support build vaccine plants for the refurbishment of existing commercially available vaccines against COVID-19.

We update this page with the latest news about the COVID-19 pandemic and its implications for 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.

Cruise companies say they will follow the CDC’s recommendations on coronavirus

The world’s largest cruise companies said Friday that they will volunteer to implement health measures aimed at reducing the risk of coronavirus outbreaks on ships operating in the United States.

Carnival Corp., Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings – representing more than a dozen brands among them – told The Washington Post that they will participate in a new voluntary program within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The International Cruise Line Association, an industry group, has encouraged its members to attend.

“The updated instructions approach the recognition of the cruise industry’s leadership in effectively mitigating the effects of COVID-19, as well as the recognition of continuous improvements in the health environment,” the group said in a statement.

The CDC has confirmed that three major companies have chosen but not provided updates on any smaller cruise lines. Operators had to make a decision by Friday. The deadline came days after the CDC lowered its coronavirus travel warning for cruises from “very high” to “high”. The agency noted that people who are unaware of their vaccines, as well as those who are at increased risk of severe disease from COVID-19, should still avoid cruises.

Read full story here.

– The Washington Post

Here’s what’s changing in the requirements for masks and vaccines against COVID in WA and King County

The rules of using masks are being abolished in Washington state. But if you live in Seattle or King County, take your time throwing off the mask.

Beginning March 21, c The state-wide mask requirement will be removed for most interiors including schools, grocery stores, bars and gyms, Gov. Jay Insley said Thursday.

However, King County does not repeal it Mandate mask for indoor settings so far, according to public health – Seattle County spokeswoman and King Kate Cole. The agency, she said, will continue to monitor coronavirus-related indicators and reassess the mandate in the “coming weeks”.

Insley announced that on Thursday masks will still be in demand under certain conditions, and vaccine testing requirements will also be eased in both the state and King County.

Changes occur as omicron-induced coronavirus cases and hospitalizations decrease, and as school district overseers called on leaders to ease the requirements for school masks – a measure other states took recently.

Local governments still have the authority to extend or renew mask mandates, and private businesses may still require employees and customers to wear masks, the Inslee office said.

Read full story here.

-Amanda Zhou

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