Live: Daily coronavirus updates, May 14: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and around the world

The day many have been waiting for – a widespread easing of COVID-19 restrictions – has finally arrived, with an announcement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention allowing fully vaccinated Americans to stop wearing masks outside in crowds and in most indoor environments. President Joe Biden called Thursday a “great day for America.”

In Washington, Gov. Jay Inslee followed suit by easing guidelines: the state will lift its broad COVID-19 economic restrictions by June 30, or sooner if 70% or more of the state’s residents over 16-year-olds have had at least their first injection. before this date.

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 are tracking the daily spread in Washington and around the world.

(Jennifer Luxton / The Seattle Times)

Catch up on the last 24 hours

Gov. Jay Inslee eased mask rules for those vaccinated and put Washington on track to lift its broad COVID-19 restrictions by June 30, if not sooner. Here’s how that leap to normality will work, and a breakdown of what you can and can’t do as of Tuesday, when all counties are in phase three of the reopening.

What to do with the new mask guide: The CDC’s announcement that vaccinated Americans can largely ditch their masks helps pave the way for much of normal life, but braces for a lot of confusion. Here is some help to understand what it means and how it could play out. Many stunned epidemiologists, who had expected to wear a mask for at least a year, are not taking them off yet. And some Americans may send them away when the flu and cold weather arrives.

As some Seattle business owners jump for joy and are scrambling to find more workers, others are worried that Inslee’s plan to reopen puts them in deep trouble over masks and vaccines. And many large national retailers share this “damn if you do, damn if you don’t” sentiment. Here’s what we know about their mask policy plans.

What families should know by now that young teens can get the vaccine: The youngest cohort approved for vaccination presents a different set of needs and challenges. Our FAQs detail what you need to know about consent and where to vaccinate a child aged 12 to 15.

Washington Schools Should Open Full with in-person learning in the fall, the state’s top education official said yesterday, but it may not sound like The Before Times.

Just over two months before the Olympics, Japan locks in harder today as COVID-19 rises “extremely rapidly”. Less than 2% of its population is fully vaccinated, for reasons that go back decades.

—Kris Higginson

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