COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
COVID-19 (Coronavirus; CDC graphic)

It’s time for anoth­er install­ment of of our spe­cial series COVID-19 Update, bring­ing you the lat­est devel­op­ments on the nov­el coro­n­avirus out­break that pub­lic health author­i­ties here and across the coun­try are work­ing to mitigate.

United States

On Tues­day, Novem­ber 2nd, the CDC rec­om­mend­ed that Pfizer-BioNTech’s low­er-dose COVID vac­cine be made avail­able to chil­dren five to eleven.

(Mod­er­na has a sim­i­lar vac­cine in final testing.)

As of Novem­ber 9th, over 900,000 chil­dren had been vac­ci­nat­ed, with anoth­er 700,000 set with appoint­ments to be vac­ci­nat­ed, out of twen­ty-eight mil­lion eli­gi­ble children.

On Fri­day, Novem­ber 19th, the CDC endorsed new rules regard­ing vac­cines and boost­ers. Under the new rules, any­one 18 or old­er can choose either a Pfiz­er or Mod­er­na boost­er six months after their last dose.

(The CDC had pre­vi­ous­ly autho­rized boost­ers for all recip­i­ents of John­son & John­son’s one-dose vac­cine, two months after their pri­ma­ry dose.)

Peo­ple can mix-and-match boost­ers from any manufacturer.

Most adults were already eli­gi­ble for the boost­ers, but few­er than 18% had received one, accord­ing to CDC data.

Many pub­lic health offi­cials felt the pre­vi­ous eli­gi­bil­i­ty require­ments were too com­pli­cat­ed, and a hand­ful of states such as New Mex­i­co and Cal­i­for­nia were already mak­ing boost­ers avail­able under what are now the new fed­er­al rules.

As of Mon­day, Novem­ber 22nd, over 90% of all fed­er­al employ­ees will have had at least one vac­ci­na­tion shot, with around 5% request­ing exten­sions or request­ing or hav­ing been giv­en exceptions.

On Tues­day, Novem­ber 23rd, the Biden Admin­is­tra­tion request­ed that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Cir­cuit, which was giv­en respon­si­bil­i­ty through a mul­ti-cir­cuit lot­tery, end a stay of its coro­n­avirus “vac­ci­na­tion or test­ing” require­ment for pri­vate busi­ness­es, the result of an ear­li­er rul­ing on Novem­ber 6th by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Cir­cuit, which heard and con­sol­i­dat­ed a num­ber of suits to halt the requirement.

The require­ment is sched­uled to take effect in Jan­u­ary 2022, but even though there is set­tled case law that allows gov­ern­men­tal inter­ven­tion in vac­ci­na­tion require­ments, it will like­ly be resolved by the Fed­er­al Supreme Court.

While over 92% of mil­i­tary per­son­nel have been vac­ci­nat­ed, with 4% hav­ing received exemp­tions, there are con­cerns regard­ing the high­er than aver­age like­ly refusal rate among the Marine Corps. That said, in recent years the mil­i­tary of the Unit­ed States has had an increas­ing issue with vac­cine hes­i­tan­cy.


On Thurs­day, Novem­ber 4th, two dozen city of Spokane fire­fight­ers who were pre­vi­ous­ly ter­mi­nat­ed for refus­ing to be vac­ci­nat­ed against COVID-19 were denied rein­state­ment to their jobs by a fed­er­al judge.

On Thurs­day, Novem­ber 11th, Repub­li­can State Sen­a­tor Doug Erick­sen of the 42nd Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict con­firmed he had con­tract­ed COVID-19 while in El Sal­vador and appealed to his col­leagues for help obtain­ing mon­o­clon­al antibodies.

On Mon­day, Novem­ber 22nd, Insur­ance Com­mis­sion­er Mike Krei­dler extend­ed two pre­vi­ous emer­gency orders. His order requir­ing health insur­ers to waive copays and deductibles for any con­sumer requir­ing test­ing for the coro­n­avirus (COVID-19) and his order pro­tect­ing con­sumers from receiv­ing sur­prise bills for lab fees relat­ed to med­ical­ly nec­es­sary diag­nos­tic test­ing for COVID-19 are both extend­ed until Wednes­day, Decem­ber 29th.

On Tues­day, Novem­ber 23rd, a dig­i­tal vac­ci­na­tion pass­port process, WA Ver­i­fy, was offi­cial­ly announced. (It had been imple­ment­ed and avail­able just over two weeks ear­li­er.) It pro­vides peo­ple who have been vac­ci­nat­ed in Wash­ing­ton state a QR code dates of vac­ci­na­tion that can be saved on mobile devices for access.

You need only input your name and date of birth, which are then run through the state’s record sys­tem. You’ll also need to cre­ate a four-dig­it PIN dur­ing the appli­ca­tion process, which you’ll need to retrieve your dig­i­tal vac­cine ver­i­fi­ca­tion. You can access your record via email or mobile phone.

(NOTE: If you cre­ate your dig­i­tal vac­ci­na­tion pass­port before you have received your boost­er, you will need to repeat the process for the new date to appear.)

On Wednes­day, Novem­ber 24th, it was announced that King Coun­ty’s vac­ci­na­tion man­date, in place since Octo­ber for larg­er busi­ness­es, which are required to ver­i­fy that their cus­tomers have either been vac­ci­nat­ed against COVID-19 or who can present proof of a neg­a­tive COVID test with­in the last sev­en­ty-two hours, will be extend­ed to small restau­rant and bar own­ers as of Decem­ber 6th.

On that same day, it was announced that the lat­est in a series of COVID out­breaks at the Yaki­ma Coun­ty Jail had infect­ed over fifty pris­on­ers and staff.

Also on the same day, like­ly in response to the severe weath­er occur­ring peri­od­i­cal­ly of late with­in the Puget Sound region, Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee amend­ed vac­ci­na­tion require­ment procla­ma­tion 21–14 to address poten­tial life-threat­en­ing cir­cum­stances in 247 facil­i­ties by allow­ing use of the ser­vices of con­trac­tors whose full vac­ci­na­tion sta­tus has not been ver­i­fied in in the event that con­trac­tors with ver­i­fied vac­ci­na­tion sta­tus aren’t available.

Those cir­cum­stances are emer­gent events or con­di­tions that are unan­tic­i­pat­ed, dis­crete, tem­po­rary, and like­ly to result in death or seri­ous bod­i­ly harm if the con­trac­tors’ prompt actions are not taken.

Here is a recent update of eli­gi­bil­i­ty for vac­cines and boost­ers in Wash­ing­ton state, and here is the best site to keep track of where you and your loved ones can be test­ed if necessary.


On Wednes­day, Novem­ber 3rd, it was announced that one hun­dred and six­ty-three employ­ees at Asante Hos­pi­tal in Med­ford had resigned or been fired from their jobs, in order to be in com­pli­ance with the state vac­cine man­date that all med­ical work­ers with­in a health facil­i­ty be vac­ci­nat­ed by Mon­day, Octo­ber 18th.

On Mon­day, Novem­ber 8th, a Dou­glas Coun­ty man who near­ly lost his life from COVID-19 pub­licly urged those still unvac­ci­nat­ed to get the shot.

On Fri­day, Novem­ber 12th, the Adri­an School Dis­trict in East­ern Ore­gon was fined for fail­ing to uphold the state indoor mask man­date and relat­ed vio­la­tions. In August, their Super­in­ten­dent was fired for refus­ing to vio­late the mandate.

On Tues­day, Novem­ber 23rd, the Ore­gon Health Author­i­ty lift­ed the require­ment for out­door mask wear­ing in crowd­ed set­tings, which had been imposed in August of this year amid the surge in more con­ta­gious delta vari­ant cases.

On that same day, the Ore­gon Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion announced its imple­men­ta­tion of a “test to stay” pol­i­cy, which would allow stu­dents, vac­ci­nat­ed or not, to stay in class­es and not have to be quar­an­tined at home, thanks to the avail­abil­i­ty of free COVID-19 test­ing kids at schools across the state.

On that same day, famous sad­dle­mak­er and for­mer mem­ber of the Pen­del­ton Round Up’s board of direc­tors, Randy Severe, died of COVID-19, like­ly the vic­tim of an out­break dur­ing this year’s Round Up.

If you or your loved ones need to be test­ed for COVID, here is were to check for test loca­tions with­in the state near­est where you live.


The lead­er­ship of the Domin­ion­ist Christ Church in Moscow, Ida­ho, while rail­ing against var­i­ous COVID mit­i­ga­tion man­dates and vac­cines, has applied for and received access to loans designed to com­pen­sate busi­ness­es for the impact of coro­n­avirus restric­tions through the pandemic.

On Tues­day, Novem­ber 16th, Ida­ho leg­is­la­tors passed sev­en bills regard­ing COVID-19, one of which would pro­vide worker’s com­pen­sa­tion for employ­ees who have side effects after being vac­ci­nat­ed, and anoth­er of which would pro­hib­it employ­ers from ques­tion­ing the sin­cer­i­ty of those seek­ing reli­gious exemp­tions for the vaccine.

On Mon­day, Novem­ber 22nd, Cri­sis Stan­dards of Care were deac­ti­vat­ed for all parts of Ida­ho except the north­ern Pan­han­dle area, which has over sev­en thou­sand surg­eries in lim­bo due to the num­ber of peo­ple fill­ing local hos­pi­tals on account of COVID infections.

On Wednes­day, Novem­ber 23rd, Gov­er­nor Brad Lit­tle held what is like­ly to be his last pan­dem­ic-relat­ed town hall this year, urg­ing cit­i­zens to be vaccinated.

Ear­li­er that same day, the Ida­ho Supreme Court declared that jury tri­als may resume start­ing the week of Decem­ber 6th under spe­cif­ic con­di­tions over­seen by the state’s sev­en local judi­cial districts.

There isn’t, unfor­tu­nate­ly, a state-spe­cif­ic site for where test­ing for COVID-19 is avail­able. This site appears to be what is rec­om­mend­ed by the state of Idaho.

British Colum­bia

On Fri­day, Novem­ber 5th, in order to elim­i­nate inter-trans­mis­sion with humans and poten­tial fur­ther muta­tion of the SARS-CoV­‑2 virus, provin­cial health offi­cer Dr. Bon­nie Hen­ry and B.C. Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Lana Popham announced Fri­day a per­ma­nent ban on breed­ing mink, with all oper­a­tions closed by 2025.

In the after­math of dev­as­tat­ing storms over the week­end of Novem­ber 14th, the fed­er­al Cana­di­an gov­ern­ment grant­ed an exemp­tion for Cana­di­ans trav­el­ing to get gas and food in the Unit­ed States to the cur­rent law requir­ing a neg­a­tive mol­e­c­u­lar COVID-19 test for re-entry into Canada.

On Fri­day, Novem­ber 19th, provin­cial health offi­cials approved use of the Pfizer-BioNTech’s low­er-dose COVID-19 vac­cine be avail­able to chil­dren 5 to 11.

On Tues­day, Novem­ber 22nd, they con­firmed that the provin­cial gov­ern­ment will begin con­tact­ing fam­i­lies to make appoint­ments next week for chil­dren reg­is­tered into a data­base to be eli­gi­ble for the vaccine.

About one in four chil­dren have been already entered into the sys­tem, and this num­ber is expect­ed to rise with the avail­abil­i­ty of the chil­dren’s vaccine.

On Wednes­day, Novem­ber 24th, through a series of tweets, health author­i­ties declared that there was no truth to social media rumors that more than a dozen still­births had occurred with­in the last twen­ty-four hours among vac­ci­nat­ed preg­nant moth­ers at Lions Gate Hos­pi­tal in North Van­cou­ver, B.C.

On Wednes­day, Novem­ber 17th, North­ern Health Med­ical extend­ed indef­i­nite­ly COVID-19 health orders that were due to expire on Fri­day, Novem­ber 19th. The orders restrict indoor and out­door per­son­al gath­er­ings to no more than twen­ty-five ful­ly vac­ci­nat­ed peo­ple over most of North­ern Health’s juris­dic­tion, with some exceptions.

Here is a focal point for test­ing pro­vid­ed by the provin­cial government.

The hard, cold numbers (plus vaccinations)

Wash­ing­ton has had 771,525 cas­es and 9,261 attrib­ut­able deaths.

The state has the forty-fifth worst infec­tion rate among the fifty states, the Dis­trict of Colum­bia and Puer­to Rico per mil­lion population.

The state has the forty-fifth worst death rate among the fifty states, the Dis­trict of Colum­bia and Puer­to Rico per mil­lion population.

9,842,443 tests have been recorded.

  • Dos­es of vac­cine dis­trib­uted to the state: 13,841,085
  • Dos­es admin­is­tered: 111,192,709 (80.87%)

Ore­gon has had 387,485 cas­es and 5,116 attrib­ut­able deaths.

The state has the forty-sixth worst infec­tion rate among the fifty states, the Dis­trict of Colum­bia and Puer­to Rico per mil­lion population.

The state has the forty-sixth worst death rate among the fifty states, the Dis­trict of Colum­bia and Puer­to Rico per mil­lion population.

7,999,746 tests have been recorded.

  • Dos­es of vac­cine dis­trib­uted to the state: 7,921,355
  • Dos­es admin­is­tered: 6,083,982 (76.8%)

Ida­ho has had 305,133 cas­es and 3,891 attrib­ut­able deaths.

The state has the sev­en­teenth worst infec­tion rate among the fifty states, the Dis­trict of Colum­bia and Puer­to Rico per mil­lion population.

The state has the thir­ty-fourth worst death rate among the fifty states, the Dis­trict of Colum­bia and Puer­to Rico per mil­lion population.

2,252,817 tests have been recorded.

  • Dos­es of vac­cine dis­trib­uted to the state: 2,732,430
  • Dos­es admin­is­tered: 1,854,048 (67.85%)

British Colum­bia has had 216,758 cas­es and 2,316 attrib­ut­able deaths.

4,607,884 tests have been recorded.

British Colum­bia has the sixth worst infec­tion rate and the sixth worst death rate among the thir­teen Cana­di­an provinces and ter­ri­to­ries per hun­dred thou­sand pop­u­la­tion. (If it were an Amer­i­can state, it would be fifty-third and fifty-third, respec­tive­ly, out of fifty-three.)

  • Dos­es of vac­cine dis­trib­uted to the province: 9,005,050
  • Dos­es admin­is­tered: 8,609,643 (95.61%)

That does it for this install­ment of COVID-19 Update. Stay safe and well!

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