Editor’s note: This is a live account of COVID-19 updates from Monday, June 28, as the day unfolded. It is no longer being updated. Click here to see all the most recent news about the pandemic, and click here to find additional resources.

Seattle’s record-setting heat wave is expected to taper down this week — along with Washington’s economic restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Jay Inslee has long said the state will reopen at 100% capacity for businesses on Wednesday, June 30, even if the state does not hit its target of 70% of residents 16 years and older receiving at least one vaccine dose.

As of the end of last week, Washington stood close to its goal, with 68.2% of residents 16 years and older having received at least one vaccine jab, according to the state Department of Health data dashboard. But the vaccination rates have slowed, especially in conservative-leaning counties, despite enticements including $250,000 lottery prizes.

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 and the world.



Jacobs’ post-pandemic runway: Parading puffers in patterns

Marc Jacobs fall/winter 2021 fashion show projected on the exterior of Bergdorf Goodman department store on Monday, June 28, 2021, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)


NEW YORK — Theaters are dusting off the cobwebs and coming to life, the streets of midtown Manhattan are bustling, Bruce Springsteen is back on Broadway. And on Monday, the fashion world gathered to join another New York fixture, designer Marc Jacobs, and celebrate a return to live runway shows.

“Through the physicality of this shared experience, I hope to offer a moment of inspiration, curiosity, wonder and possibility,” Jacobs wrote in the program notes for his fall collection, an eye-popping parade of op-art-inspired puffers and glistening space-age sequins, held under the grand arches of the main branch of the New York Public Library.

Jacobs, whose inventive shows usually close out New York Fashion Week with a jolt of creative energy, chose not to wait for the next edition, which returns in September; he decided to launch this, his first collection after skipping two seasons during the pandemic, in the heat of a Manhattan summer. On a sweltering evening, he gave fans and passers-by a treat: The show was simultaneously projected onto the facade of Bergdorf Goodman, the luxury department store about 15 blocks up Fifth Avenue, where the collection will be sold exclusively.

The clothes themselves were an enticing mix of puffer jackers and coats in undulating stripes of black and white, some swishing along the floor like glamorous ballgowns on a ski slope — and huge, bright round sequins emblazoned on long dresses and skirts, sometimes with pants underneath. It felt like winter wonderland meets glitzy red carpet, with a refueling stop in another galaxy.

—Associated Press

King County will drop mask mandate Tuesday. But some aren’t ready to go barefaced

—Amanda Zhou

Malaysia announces $36B in aid after extending lockdown

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysia’s leader announced a 150 billion ringgit ($36.2 billion) financial package on Monday to help needy households and businesses and bolster vaccination efforts after a national coronavirus lockdown was extended indefinitely. 

The country has been under a near-total lockdown since June 1 that was due to expire Monday, but Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said over the weekend that it will not be eased until new infections fall below 4,000 a day and at least 10% of the population has been vaccinated. 

New daily coronavirus cases have come down from a peak of over 9,000 a month ago, but still remain high. The health ministry reported 5,218 new infections on Monday, bringing the country’s total to 739,266, including 5,001 deaths.

Muhyiddin said the financial package will include a 10 billion ringgit ($2.4 billion) fiscal injection. He said cash handouts will be given to 11 million households, senior citizens, a million workers who lost their jobs and another million small businesses.

—Associated Press

UK confident about July reopening despite soaring cases

LONDON — Britain’s new health secretary said Monday he is confident that England is on track to remove the country’s remaining coronavirus restrictions on July 19, stressing that the rapid vaccination rollout is “breaking the link” between soaring infection numbers and serious illnesses and deaths.

Sajid Javid told Parliament that all the figures he’s seen suggested that the country is “heading in the right direction,” and said that “the restrictions on our freedoms must come to an end.”

His confident tone came despite widespread concerns about a third surge in infections in the U.K. driven by the spread of the more contagious delta variant. Government figures on Monday showed another big spike in infections, with 22,868 confirmed cases. 

That’s the highest daily figure since late January, though the number was likely inflated by the fact that the previous day’s figure of 14,876 was artificially low because of incomplete data for England.

—Associated Press

Brazil passes 500,000 COVID deaths, a tragedy with no sign of letup

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilians were recovering from Carnival in the heady days of February 2020 when the first known carriers of the new coronavirus flew home from Europe, planting the seeds of catastrophe.

In Brazil, Latin America’s largest nation, the virus found remarkably fertile ground, turbocharging the outbreak that has turned South America into the hardest-hit continent in the world.

Brazil recently surpassed 500,000 official COVID-19 deaths, the world’s second-highest total behind the United States. About 1 in every 400 Brazilians has died from the virus, but many experts believe the true death toll may be higher. Home to just over 2.7% of the world’s population, Brazil accounts for nearly 13% of recorded fatalities, and the situation there is not easing.

President Jair Bolsonaro has led a strikingly lackadaisical, dismissive and chaotic response to a coronavirus crisis that has left Brazil poorer, more unequal and increasingly polarized. Social distancing measures have been spotty and badly enforced, the president and his allies have promoted ineffective treatments, and for months the government failed to acquire a large number of vaccines.

—The New York Times

Inslee to celebrate end of COVID-19 restrictions with stops in Seattle, Tacoma and Spokane

OLYMPIA — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is set to raise a flag above the Space Needle to celebrate the lifting of most of the state’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Thursday’s hoisting of a “Washington Ready” flag over the iconic Seattle structure is part of a mini-tour the governor has scheduled to commemorate the end of most restrictions intended to curb the pandemic.

Those restrictions, which are expected to officially end starting at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, include 50% occupancy limits on indoor spaces.

The week’s celebration will begin in Tacoma. Late Wednesday morning, the governor is scheduled to attend a community celebration at Wright Park in Tacoma along with Mayor Victoria Woodards.

Read the full story here.

—Joseph O’Sullivan

State health officials report 194 new coronavirus cases

The state Department of Health (DOH) reported 194 new coronavirus cases and 9 new deaths on Monday.

The update brings the state’s totals to 450,930 cases and 5,911 deaths, meaning that 1.3% of people diagnosed in Washington have died, according to the DOH. The data is as of 11:59 p.m. Sunday. Tallies may be higher earlier in the week because new state data isn’t reported on Sundays and COVID-related deaths aren’t reported on the weekends.

In addition, 25,424 people have been hospitalized in the state due to the virus — 41 new hospitalizations. In King County, the state’s most populous, state health officials have confirmed a total of 112,453 COVID-19 diagnoses and 1,652 deaths.

Since vaccinations began in mid-December, the state and health care providers have administered 7,795,522 doses and 49.9% of Washingtonians have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to vaccination data, which the state updates on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Providers are currently giving an average of about 18,467 vaccine shots per day.

The DOH says its daily case reports may also include duplicate test results, results assigned to the wrong county, results that are reported for today but are actually from a previous day, occasional false positive tests and other data discrepancies. Because of this, the previous day’s total number of cases plus the number of new daily cases does not add up to the new day’s total number of cases. State health officials recommend reviewing the dashboard’s epidemiologic curves tab for the most accurate representation of the state’s COVID-19 spread.

Puerto Rico to receive nearly $4B in US pandemic funds

U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said Monday that Puerto Rico will receive nearly $4 billion in federal education pandemic relief funds to help boost the U.S. territory’s fight against COVID-19.

The announcement was made during Cardona’s official three-day trip to Puerto Rico, the first for a Biden administration Cabinet member. It marks the first time the island has full access to those funds.

Roughly half of the nearly $4 billion will be released as part of the American Rescue Plan Act, which was signed into law in March to help offset the pandemic’s impact on the economy and public health.

For more than a year, many teachers and students have struggled with ongoing power outages and unreliable or nonexistent internet connections amid virtual learning. Some 24,000 students failed their classes this year, with 13,000 receiving an ‘F’ in all their courses, prompting the island’s Department of Education to hold summer courses to help them with the help of $210 million in previously approved federal funds.

Read the story here.

—Danica Coto, The Associated Press

Amish put faith in God’s will and herd immunity over vaccine

People in Amish country prepare a horse team to work on a farm in Pulaski, Pa., Wednesday, June 23, 2021. The vaccination drive is lagging far behind in many Amish communities across the U.S. following a wave of virus outbreaks that swept through their churches and homes during the past year. ​(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)


When health care leaders in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country began laying out a strategy to distribute COVID-19 vaccines, they knew it would be a tough sell with the Amish, who tend to be wary of preventive shots and government intervention.

By May, two rural vaccination clinics had opened at a fire station and a social services center, both familiar places to the Amish in Lancaster County. During the first six weeks, 400 people showed up. Only 12 were Amish.

The vaccination drive is lagging far behind in many Amish communities across the U.S. following a wave of virus outbreaks that swept through their churches and homes during the past year. In Ohio’s Holmes County, home to the nation’s largest concentration of Amish, just 14% of the county’s overall population is fully vaccinated.

While their religious beliefs don’t forbid them to get vaccines, the Amish often rely on accepting God’s will in times of illness or death. Experts say the low vaccination rates are a reflection of both the nature of the Amish and the general vaccine hesitancy found in many rural parts of the country.

Read the story here.

—John Seewer, The Associated Press

Spain isolates 5,000 after school students party in Mallorca

Almost 5,000 people are in quarantine after vacationing high school students triggered a major COVID-19 outbreak on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca, a senior official said Monday.

Authorities have confirmed almost 1,200 positive cases from the outbreak, Spain’s emergency health response coordinator, Fernando Simón said.

The partying teens celebrating the end of their university entrance exams last week created a “perfect breeding ground” for the virus as they mixed with others from around Spain and abroad, Simón told a news conference.

Mallorca health authorities carried out mass testing on hundreds of students after the outbreak which is believed to have spread as hundreds of partying students gathered at a concert and street parties.

More than 900 COVID-19 cases in eight regions across mainland Spain traced to the outbreak.

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press

UK’s new health chief to brief lawmakers as virus cases soar

Britain’s new health secretary is set to brief lawmakers on Monday on plans for easing COVID-19 restrictions as government figures on Monday showed another big spike in infections, with 22,868 confirmed cases.

Sajid Javid was named to the post Saturday after Matt Hancock stepped down.

Javid will appear before lawmakers to update the timetable for easing coronavirus restrictions in England. The government has said it will review pandemic data to see if the remaining restrictions on social contact can be lifted before the scheduled date of July 19.

The U.K. is experiencing a third surge in the pandemic as a result of the spread of the more contagious delta variant. A large proportion of the cases being reported are among younger age groups.

Read the story here.

—Danica Kirka, The Associated Press

Japan ups health controls as Olympic athlete tests positive

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga pledged Monday to strengthen health controls at airports after a Ugandan Olympic team member tested positive for COVID-19 at the town hosting their training camp, triggering concerns that the upcoming games will spread infections.

A Ugandan team member, reportedly a coach, tested positive on Saturday at Tokyo’s Narita airport and was quarantined there. But the rest of the nine-person team was allowed to travel more than 500 kilometers (300 miles) on a chartered bus to their pre-Olympics camp in the western prefecture of Osaka.

Three days later, a second Ugandan also tested positive for the virus, forcing seven town officials and drivers who had close contact with the team to self-isolate. The team members were quarantined at a local hotel.

Concerns escalated after it was announced that both Ugandans had the delta variant of the virus, which is believed to spread more easily.

In response to criticism of the case, Suga rushed to Tokyo’s Haneda international airport to inspect virus testing for arrivals and vowed to ensure appropriate border controls as growing numbers of Olympic and Paralympic participants enter Japan ahead of the July 23 opening of the games.

Read the story here.

—Mari Yamaguchi, The Associated Press

With travel restrictions barely easing, U.S.-Canada border towns stuck in economic limbo

t Border Mailbox and Parcel, just minutes from the U.S.-Canada border, owner Doug Hornsby all but trips over the economic fallout of the pandemic every time he comes to work.

Before COVID-19, Hornsby’s customers were primarily Canadians who used his Blaine address for their online purchases to take advantage of cheaper U.S. shipping.

But that bit of globalization ground to a halt in March 2020, when the pandemic shut the border to nonessential travelers — and turned Hornsby’s shop into a kind of package purgatory, with thousands of unretrieved purchases.

“I have stuff that’s been here 16 months,” the 71-year-old grouses as he steps around a 65-inch flat screen TV that showed up last spring and hasn’t moved since.

Nor is it clear when it will move. Canada recently announced it will start easing some border restrictions, on July 5. But other restrictions have been extended through July 21 and a full reopening won’t happen until 75% of Canadians are fully vaccinated, which is likely many months away.

Those delays mean more economic pain and uncertainty for Blaine’s 10 or so mailbox service firms, along with the many other Canadian-dependent businesses in this charming community of some 5,000 residents.

Read the story here.

—Paul Roberts

Australia battles several clusters in new pandemic phase

Australia was battling to contain several COVID-19 clusters around the country on Monday in what some experts have described as the nation’s most dangerous stage of the pandemic since the earliest days.

A woman receives a COVID-19 test at a testing station in Nelson Bay, Australia, Monday, June 28, 2021. Australia was battling to contain several COVID-19 clusters around the country on Monday in what some experts have described as the nation’s most dangerous stage of the pandemic since the earliest days. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)


Sydney in the east and Darwin in the north were locked down on Monday. Perth in the west made masks compulsory for three days and warned a lockdown could follow after a resident tested positive after visiting Sydney more than a week ago.

Australia has been relatively successful in containing clusters throughout the pandemic, registering fewer than 31,000 cases since the pandemic began. But the new clusters have highlighted the nation’s slow vaccine rollout with only 5% of the population fully vaccinated.

Most of the new cases stem from a Sydney limousine driver who tested positive on June 16 to the delta variant, which is thought to be more contagious. He was not vaccinated, reportedly did not wear a mask and is suspected to have been infected while transporting a foreign air crew from Sydney Airport.

Read the story here.

—Rod McGuirk, The Associated Press

Young Greeks promised cash to get vaccinated

Greece will give young adults 150 euros ($180) in credit to get vaccinated as it launches a two-tier access policy over the summer, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Monday.

Mitsotakis said that starting July 15, Greek citizens under age 26 would be eligible for the credit in a digital wallet after receiving the first dose of their COVID-19 vaccination.

“We hope that young people will take advantage of this opportunity. The state thanks you for acting responsibly and doing something that I am certain you would have done anyway,” Mitsotakis said in a televised speech.

Heavily reliant on tourism, Greece is looking for ways to fully reopen its economy after recently making the vaccination available to all adult age groups.

Kyriakos Pierrakakis, a minister for digital policy, said the digital wallet scheme will focus on the tourism and entertainment industry.

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press

Pfizer, Moderna COVID vaccines likely to produce long-lasting immunity, study suggests

The vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna set off a persistent immune reaction in the body that may protect against the coronavirus for years, scientists reported Monday.

The findings add to growing evidence that most people immunized with the mRNA vaccines may not need boosters, so long as the virus and its variants do not evolve much beyond their current forms — which is not guaranteed. People who recovered from COVID-19 before being vaccinated may not need boosters even if the virus does make a significant transformation.

“It’s a good sign for how durable our immunity is from this vaccine,” said Ali Ellebedy, an immunologist at Washington University in St. Louis who led the study, which was published in the journal Nature.

Read the story here.

—Apoorva Mandavilli, The New York Times

Hong Kong to ban passenger flights from UK to curb virus

FILE – In this Oct. 1, 2019, file photo, a group of Hong Kong residents waving U.K. flags demonstrate requesting right to British residency outside the British embassy in Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s government says it will ban all passenger flights from the U.K. starting Thursday, July 1, 2021, as it seeks to curb the spread of new variants of the coronavirus. The ban comes amid heightened tensions between the U.K. and China over semi-autonomous Hong Kong, which was a British colony until it was handed over to China in 1997. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe, File)


Hong Kong says it will ban all passenger flights from the U.K. starting Thursday as it seeks to curb the spread of new variants of the coronavirus.

It said in a statement Monday that the U.K. has been classified as “extremely high risk“ because of the “recent rebound of the epidemic situation in the U.K. and the widespread delta variant virus strain there.”

Under the classification, people who have stayed in the U.K. for more than two hours will be restricted from boarding passenger flights to Hong Kong.

It is the second time that the Hong Kong government has banned flights from the U.K., following a restriction imposed last December.

Read the story here.

—Zen Soo, The Associated Press