The Perfect Enemy | Live: Coronavirus daily news updates, June 21: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the world
July 6, 2022

Live: Coronavirus daily news updates, June 21: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the world

Live: Coronavirus daily news updates, June 21: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the world  The Seattle TimesView Full Coverage on Google News

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Washington has been preparing to administer COVID-19 vaccines to children under 5, though Department of Health officials have urged patience, saying sudden demand after federal approval for the vaccinations may outstrip the immediate supply.

Nationally, fewer people are dying of COVID-19 even as infection rates rise, breaking the previous pattern of rising death rates closely following surges in virus prevalence. Scientists say COVID deaths remain low because so many Americans have been vaccinated, previously infected, or both — though the virus is still killing an average of over 300 Americans each day.

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.

11:15 am

Arbitrator orders Chrysler and Dodge manufacturer to end its Canadian vaccine mandate

Chrysler and Dodge maker Stellantis NV must end its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for Canadian employees after an arbitrator determined the policy is now unreasonable because of waning efficacy against the omicron variant.

The decision issued Saturday has the potential to affect more than 300 employees who have been placed on unpaid leave since January for being unvaccinated or declining to disclose their vaccination status, according to the arbitrator’s decision.

After Stellantis announced the requirement for employees and visitors at its Canadian facilities in October alongside General Motors and Ford Motor, it was implemented on Dec. 17 after discussions with Unifor, the Canadian autoworkers union. Unifor Local 444 and Local 1285, which represent employees making the Chrysler Pacifica minivan at Windsor Assembly Plant and Dodge muscle cars and Chrysler 300 sedan at Brampton Assembly Plant in Ontario, respectively, filed a grievance over the policy.

Read the full story here.

—Breana Noble, The Detroit News

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9:45 am

How China’s COVID lockdowns may be saving Americans money

Warehouses in China and the U.S. are stuffed with unsold televisions, refrigerators and sofas, a shared sign of diverging pandemic recoveries that could herald renewed pressure on global supply chains and shake up the selection of goods in American stores.

Merchandise is piling up for different reasons in each country.

In the U.S., consumers are spending more on in-person experiences like restaurant meals rather than on accumulating goods, as they did last year, a switch that left retail stockpiles at a record high.

Chinese inventories are rising due to the government’s “zero-COVID” policy, which depressed consumer spending in recent months while allowing factories to keep producing. Inventories of finished goods in April equaled more than 21 days of sales for the first time in at least 12 years, according to Capital Economics, a research consultancy.

Read the full story here.

—David J. Lynch, The Washington Post

8:15 am

U.S. children can get COVID vaccines Tuesday, but hurdles remain

Parents who experienced more than two years of anxiety may feel some relief Tuesday, as much of the U.S. begins administering coronavirus vaccines to children younger than 5, allowing babies and toddlers to more safely explore the world.

“We’re very excited,” said Rachel Lumen, a lawyer in Kent, and the mother of Athena, who is almost 3, and Ozette, who is 7 months old. “The faster it happens, the faster we’re able to get out there.”

Last week, after multiple delays, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed off on Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for children as young as 6 months, expanding immunization to almost all Americans.

“It marks an important moment in the pandemic because it was the last group, the last demographic, that had not had the opportunity to keep themselves maximally safe,” said Dr. Bob Wachter, chair of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. “It’s not likely to turn the tide in terms of where we are generally in the pandemic, but for the parents of those kids, it’s an important watershed.”

The start of vaccination for young children is a milestone, but that group never faced as much risk from COVID-19 as older Americans, and this phase of the nation’s immunization effort has been met with mixed emotions.

Read the full story here.

—Jill Cowan, The New York Times