The Biden administration issued new guidelines on Tuesday requiring federal agencies to test unvaccinated employees on a weekly basis starting February 15. Non-compliant employees will first be counseled, then suspended without pay and potentially terminated unless they are vaccinated, according to the new guidelines.
The guidance comes as U.S. officials predict COVID-19-related hospitalizations will surpass the previous record of 141,385 and reach numbers between 275,000 and 300,000 this month.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization has announced that COVID-19 cases in Europe have doubled in just two weeks. The agency reported more than 7 million new cases of the latest variant in the region during the first week of January.
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.