Coronavirus daily news updates, October 13: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the world

The U.S. will reopen its borders with Canada and Mexico next month for fully vaccinated people taking nonessential trips, ending a 19-month freeze. Here’s what travelers can expect.

Unvaccinated Boeing workers will need to act quickly to keep their jobs under the timeline for the company’s new vaccine mandate, announced Tuesday. But “our members are polarized on this issue,” the head of the Machinists union says.

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 previous days’ live updates and all our other coronavirus coverage, and here to see how we track the daily spread across Washington.


‘It’s not Satanism’: Zimbabwe church leaders preach vaccines

Members of an Apostolic Christian Church group gather for a prayer meeting on the outskirts of the capital Harare, Friday, Sept. 10, 2021. The Apostolic church is one of Zimbabwe’s most skeptical groups when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines. Many of these Christian churches, which combine traditional beliefs with a Pentecostal doctrine, preach against modern medicine and demand followers seek healing or protection against disease through spiritual means like prayer and the use of holy water. To combat that, authorities have formed teams of campaigners who are also churchgoers to dispel misconceptions about the vaccines in their own churches. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Yvonne Binda stands in front of a church congregation, all in pristine white robes, and tells them not to believe what they’ve heard about COVID-19 vaccines.

“The vaccine is not linked to Satanism,” she says. The congregants, members of a Christian Apostolic church in the southern African nation of Zimbabwe, are unmoved. But when Binda, a vaccine campaigner and member of an Apostolic church herself, promises them soap, buckets and masks, there are enthusiastic shouts of “Amen!”

Apostolic groups that infuse traditional beliefs into a Pentecostal doctrine are among the most skeptical in Zimbabwe when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines, with an already strong mistrust of modern medicine. Many followers put faith in prayer, holy water and anointed stones to ward off disease or cure illnesses.

The congregants Binda addressed in the rural area of Seke sang about being protected by the holy spirit, but have at least acknowledged soap and masks as a defense against the coronavirus. Binda is trying to convince them to also get vaccinated — and that’s a tough sell.

Read the story here.

—Farai Mutsaka, The Associated Press

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‘We’ve lost the war’: Idaho doctor says COVID is there to stay as state adds more cases, deaths

With the pandemic in its 19th month, Idaho intensive care units still have high numbers of COVID-19 patients.

As of Thursday, there were 185 COVID-19 patients in ICUs at Idaho hospitals, according to data from the Department of Health and Welfare. And there were 705 patients hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19.

Health experts have long argued that if the state’s and/or the nation’s vaccination rate did not reach a high enough level, COVID-19 would become endemic, meaning it would be regularly found and not eradicated. On Tuesday, Dr. Steven Nemerson, chief clinical officer at Saint Alphonsus Health System, told reporters at a Health and Welfare briefing that the virus is here to stay.

“Today I’m here to tell you that we’ve lost the war,” Nemerson said. “The reason it is here to stay is because we cannot vaccinate enough of the public to fully eradicate the disease. And absent being able to do that … we now need to move into the phase of recognizing that COVID is going to be a disease to be managed for the long-term future.”

As of Tuesday, 53.3% of the state’s eligible population (12 and older) is vaccinated against COVID-19, lower than the nationwide average of 66%.

Read the story here.

—Ian Max Stevenson, Idaho Statesman

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—Kris Higginson

Article Source: The Seattle Times