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5 things you need to know this Tuesday

Omicron subvariant; Hospitalizations in King County; AG suing Google; What to know about tax season; JBLM soldier gets highest honor.

New COVID-19 omicron subvariant BA.2 in Washington state

A descendent of the COVID-19 omicron variant is now in Washington state.

BA.2, a subvariant of omicron, was detected in two cases in the state earlier this month. Omicron is believed to be the cause of the spike in cases throughout the country.

Though research into the subvariant continues, current information shows BA.2 is different from that of its predecessors. That can mean different properties, including infectiousness, as well as vaccine efficiency. 

Early analysis shows little difference in the hospitalization rate with BA.2. Read more

COVID-19 hospitalizations increase 700% over one month in King County

In its latest swipe at the local health care system, the COVID-19 pandemic drove hospitalizations up more than 700% in King County alone over the last month, according to the health department.

The daily hospitalization rate went from just eight people a day before the omicron variant surge to 70 people a day. The wave of new patients hit as hospitals backed up amidst staff shortages and a growing subset of patients no longer needing hospital care but having nowhere else to go. Read more

Washington attorney general to sue Google for 'secretly tracking' customer locations

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Monday that he plans to sue tech giant Google for allegedly deceiving consumers and secretly tracking their location.

The AG’s office said Google was deceiving consumers by leading them to believe they “have control over how their location data is collected and used” by the company. Read more

Here's what you need to know about the 2022 tax season

Tax season is upon us again, but 2022 is expected to bring new wrinkles to the annual calculations. 

For one, the season started early on Jan. 24. Last year, it started in February, but the Internal Revenue Service announced earlier this month that they would push it forward in an attempt to get ahead of problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Read more

JBLM soldier ‘humbled’ by top military honor

Medal of Honor recipient Master Sgt. Earl Plumlee did not sign up for the military to receive awards.

”I came here for a purpose. It was to keep the country strong and play my part in it,” said Plumlee, who received the military’s top honor from President Joe Biden last December.

Plumlee said he was humbled to be honored for his actions in August 2013 in Afghanistan. Read more

Also see: Seattle local forecast

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