TVW screenshot

A Washington legislative committee heard testimony Wednesday on a bill that would allow businesses shuttered by the pandemic to partially reopen.

More than 1,600 people signed up to weign in on legislation that takes aim at Governor Inslee’s latest re-opening plan.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Spokane public health officials say a Covid mass vaccination site at the Spokane Arena could be up and running by next Monday.

Last Monday, Governor Jay Inslee announced the arena would be one of a handful of sites outside the Seattle metro area that would open to vaccinate large numbers of people.

Supply Worries Hang Over Expanded Vaccination Plans

Jan 19, 2021
Washington Governor's Office

The push to vaccinate more people against Covid in Washington is putting health care providers in an interesting situation.

Dr. Chris Dale, the chief quality officer at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, says the uncertainty about supply has some hospitals holding onto Covid vaccines so they have enough to administer second doses, while others are giving as many first shots as they can.

Central Valley Schools Ask Voters To Approve Levy

Jan 19, 2021
Courtesy of Central Valley levy committee

Spokane’s Central Valley School District is one of 14 local districts that are asking voters for tax money on the February 9 ballot. The district’s three-year proposal would replace CV’s existing levy.

The last few years have been turbulent for school districts in Washington. They’ve had to adapt to fundamental changes in the way the state funds public schools. Then came the Covid pandemic.

UW Vaccine Expert To Present Live Webinar Thursday

Jan 18, 2021
Courtesy of the University of Washington

On Thursday [1/21], University of Washington microbiologist and vaccinologist Deborah Fuller will give a virtual presentation about how vaccines are made and how they work. Her talk is sponsored by UW Medicine and open to the public.

Doug Nadvornick recently talked with Dr. Fuller about Covid vaccines, starting with the question of whether she’s been surprised by anything that had led up to our current situation.

Idaho Reaches Transition Point In Covid Vaccination

Jan 14, 2021
Courtesy of State of Idaho

The Covid inoculation effort in Idaho is picking up steam. Right now, it's in a transition point, says state public health administrator Elke Shaw-Tulloch.

“The health care personnel, long-term care facility will continue to go forward as we continue to work through our vaccines. But now it’s time to start opening up to front line essential workers and people age 65 and over,” she said.

Idaho Clarifies Who Will Get The Covid Vaccine Next

Jan 12, 2021
State of Idaho

Idaho state officials have announced which groups of people are next in line for coronavirus vaccines.

Governor Brad Little made the announcement on Tuesday.

Idaho Public TV screenshot

A new Idaho legislative session has begun with a tradition done in a different way.

In normal times, Governor Brad Little would appear before a joint session of the legislature on opening day and deliver his State of the State address. But in this pandemic, he gave his 30-minute speech in a television studio with no interruptions for applause.

Spokane Schools To Begin Covid Testing On Monday

Jan 10, 2021
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Covid testing will begin today [Monday] in Spokane’s public schools.

The district hopes eventually to institute regular surveillance testing for all students and staff members.

“Even if they’re not symptomatic, they don’t know of any exposures, they can test every week or every two weeks on a regular schedule. It’s just a way to pick out people, they test positive, even though they didn’t know they had it," said Becky Doughty, the district's director of health services.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

A Washington state committee says dentists should be allowed to administer coronavirus vaccines if needed.

The Dental Quality Assurance Commission voted last month to give dentists that authority. But on Thursday, it added language that requires dentists to get hands-on training from a medical professional before actually giving shots.

Courtesy of Novavax

The Spokane area will soon be a part of a clinical trial for a new Covid vaccine.

Novavax has picked MultiCare to administer the third phase of the vaccine trial at the company’s Rockwood Clinic in Cheney. The trial’s principal investigator, Dr. Jonathan Staben, is recruiting about 300 adults to participate.

Screenshot from Facebook Live

Washington health secretary Umair Shah says he’s not in favor of Covid vaccinators around the state changing the dose or skipping out on the second shot.

Those measures have been suggested as a way to get some protection to more people in a faster manner or as a way to maximize the vaccines’ effectiveness.

Courtesy of Ferry County Memorial Hospital

It’s the third week of Covid vaccinations in Washington. Hospitals and other health care facilities are making varying degrees of progress.

In Republic, local hospital officials expect to begin administering second doses of the two-dose regimen this week, perhaps as early as Wednesday.

WA Governor Announces New Covid Reopening Plan

Jan 5, 2021
Washington Governor's Office

Governor Jay Inslee announced today [Tuesday] Washington will take measures to begin easing its restrictions again on activities related to the coronavirus.

“It includes a small resumption of activities statewide. This includes live entertainment with very tight restrictions. We’re talking about ticketing groups of 10, as well as certain fitness programs," Inslee said.

Courtesy of Cathy McMorris Rodgers' office

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Washington) says Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi should be removed from the speakership.

The remark made today [Tuesday] came in response to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to allow a Democratic House member who had been in Covid quarantine to come onto the floor of the House on Sunday.

Courtesy of Gilead

Health care providers in Washington hope this will be the week the state announces which people will be in the next group eligible for Covid vaccines.

The so-called 1-B group is widely expected to include older people, especially those with underlying health conditions. It may also include people considered frontline essential workers.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Some Washington health care workers who have received their first Covid vaccine shot say they’re participating in a study that’s tracking how they respond to the vaccine.

The V-Safe program from the Centers for Disease Control allows health care workers to report any side effects they suspect could be from the vaccine.

Courtesy of Food Network

Eva Roberts is getting her 15 minutes in the spotlight.

The owner of Spokane’s Just American Desserts has been featured this fall in the Food Network’s Holiday Baking Championship.

“I am making a pumpkin spice toaster pastry with a dipping sauce that’s going to be spice pumpkin latte. My dipping sauce is white chocolate, cream and coffee and pumpkin spice for the filling," she said in an excerpt from an episode from the series.

Washington Department of Health screenshot

About 60,000 Washington highest-risk health care workers have received doses of one of the two Covid vaccines.

“There are some communities here in Washington that have already completed or are very near to completing vaccination of their high-risk workers in health care environments," says Washington Deputy Secretary of Health Lacy Fehrenbach.

Health Care Covid Vaccinations, Challenges and Who's Next

Dec 29, 2020
Screenshot from Providence Health Care

Health care organizations around the Northwest are in various stages of inoculating their employees with the new Covid vaccines.

That brings different levels of complications. Those complications include finding enough vaccine to get doses for everyone and then getting them scheduled for shots.

Norwegian Disappointment: Covid Postpones Lutefisk Feasts

Dec 28, 2020
Courtesy of Lois McKinnell

Covid has taken a bite out of a Norwegian holiday tradition. Lutefisk is the focal point of many Norwegian community celebrations here in the Northwest, including Seattle, with its large Scandinavian population. But most of those events, including one in Spokane, were cancelled this fall.

For Norwegians like Lois McKinnell, lutefisk is one of the things that most reminds them of their ancestral home.

Franz Works To Engage WA Legislators On Wildfire Issues

Dec 27, 2020
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Covid-related aid and police reform will be two of the major issues before the Washington legislature when it convenes next month.

But newly-reelected Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz hopes legislators will also consider dedicating more funding for wildfire and forest health projects.

Psychologist Urges Us To Overcome "Pandemic Apathy"

Dec 27, 2020

Christmas and other holiday celebrations have been much different this year due to Covid. Health officials have urged families not to gather and, if they must, to do it in places that minimize the spread of the virus, like backyards.

The call for holiday restraint comes at a time when our society as a whole yearns for physical contact.

Washington Department of Health psychologist Kira Mauseth is counseling people how to deal with the isolation.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Here in this holiday season, when people are discouraged from gathering with family and friends, contact tracers are providing friendly voices for people isolated with the coronavirus. They can play an important role during a season when people are struggling with mental health.

CHAS Remembers People Who Are Homeless With Video

Dec 21, 2020
Screenshot from CHAS video

Spokane’s CHAS Health normally holds an in-person ceremony on the Winter Solstice honoring people who are homeless. It’s officially the first day of winter and the longest night of the year.

This year, because of Covid, CHAS produced a video instead which features the voices of people on the streets.

Cascade Medical Center

Hospitals around the Northwest are busy vaccinating their highest-risk employees.

The Providence Health System in Spokane began that work last Friday. Spokeswoman Beth Hegde says inoculations will continue all week at Sacred Heart.

TVW screenshot

The group of Western scientists that reviews Covid vaccine decisions made by the Food and Drug Administration has approved the new Moderna vaccine.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced Sunday the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup has voted unanimously to put this second vaccine on the market.

Inslee’s office says the governor expects the first doses of the Moderna vaccine to begin arriving in Olympia this week.

Spokane Businesses Eligible To Pick Up Free PPE Tuesday

Dec 20, 2020
Courtesy of Spokane County/Greater Spokane

Spokane County and Greater Spokane will distribute more personal protective equipment to small businesses and non-profits Tuesday at the Fairgrounds.

Cara Coon from Greater Spokane says the county bought these supplies for businesses earlier this year with federal CARES Act dollars.

Covid Vaccinations Begin In Inland Northwest

Dec 18, 2020
Screenshot from Providence Health Care

Health care organizations have begun to inoculate their employees with the new Pfizer Covid vaccine.

Early Friday morning, transplant surgeon Dr. Okechukwu Ojogho became the first Providence Health Care employee to receive an injection.

Courtesy of Stevens County Fire District 1

The people at the top of the Covid vaccine pyramid are health care workers in high-risk situations and people associated with long-term care facilities.


But first responders are high on the list too. In fact, firefighters in Stevens County will receive the Covid vaccine in a matter of days.