Live: Coronavirus daily news updates, January 10: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the world

Professors at the University of Washington can choose to run their courses remotely until January. Professors who choose to teach in person should welcome students participating remotely.

Meanwhile, coronavirus cases continue to hamper daily life. In Olympia, Washington State Senate Chief Andy Billig, D-Spokane, and Washington Senator John Lovick, D-Mill Creek, announced they had tested positive for the coronavirus with mild symptoms .

Two weeks after vacation trips were disrupted by both winter weather and understaffing, flights also continued to be canceled without any sign of stopping.

We are updating this page with the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the Seattle area, the United States, and the world. Click here to see live updates from previous days and all of our other coronavirus coverage, and here to see how we’re tracking the daily spread across Washington.

COVID tests spikes in disinformation as well as the spread of the omicron

On December 29, The Gateway Pundit, a far-right website that often disseminates conspiracy theories, published an article falsely suggesting that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had withdrawn the authorization of all PCR tests for detect COVID-19. The article garnered 22,000 likes, comments and shares on Facebook and Twitter.

On TikTok and Instagram, videos of home COVID-19 testing showing positive results after being soaked in drinking water and juice have gone viral in recent weeks and have been used to push the false narrative that the tests coronavirus rapid do not work. Some household fluids may give a positive result on a test, according to health experts, but the tests remain accurate when used according to directions. A TikTok video showing a home test that came back positive after being placed under running water has been shared at least 140,000 times.

And on YouTube, a video titled “Rapid Antigenic Tests Debunked” was posted Jan. 1 by the far-right Canadian website Rebel News. It generated over 40,000 views and its comments section was a hotbed of misinformation. “The direct aim of this test is to keep the number of cases as high as possible to maintain fear and the incentive for more restrictions,” said a comment with over 200 likes. “And of course Profit.”

Misinformation about COVID-19 testing has increased on social media in recent weeks, researchers say, as coronavirus cases have again increased around the world due to the highly infectious variant of omicron.

Read the story here.

—Davey Alba, The New York Times

Italy targets unvaccinated with new virus restrictions

Italy has targeted the unvaccinated with a slew of new coronavirus restrictions on Monday, with proof of vaccination or recovery from recent infection required to enter public transport, cafes, hotels, gyms and d ‘other daily activities.

The new ‘super’ health card requirement, which eliminates the possibility of presenting a single negative test to access services, comes as many Italians return to work and school after the Christmas and New Year holidays. It came as COVID-19 infections surpass 100,000 per day in Italy.

Italians have generally supported the restrictions, which in recent months have also included outdoor mask warrants and a standard sanitary pass to enter workplaces. Many welcomed the new restrictions, which were enforced on Monday by police deploying to train stations to check the immunization status of passengers and ensure they wore the more protective Ffp2 face masks, which were required on public transport in from Monday.

Read the story here.

—Nicole Winfield, The Associated Press

Catching up in the last 24 hours

So you tested positive. Now what? This guide includes the CDC’s latest guidelines on how long in isolation, as well as what other members of your household should do and more. But be aware that these new, shorter isolation guidelines attract fire.

As of this week, some Americans at risk can get a fourth hit. So are we still going to try to get out of this pandemic? This is unrealistic, say scientists. Some describe different strategies to “get us out of this kind of situation that keeps getting worse”.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has COVID-19 after the New York lawmaker took a vacation that drew criticism.

Others who have tested positive include Washington State Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig and Senator John Lovick.

“My name is Kovid and I am not a virus.” Some people who share their name with the pandemic soured their name, but others are making good-natured lemonade from the situation. That’s what it’s like to be a Kovid – and they’re not the only ones with names that have been affected by the evolution of our pandemic vocabulary.

—Kris Higginson

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