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5 things you need to know this Wednesday

Fred Meyer, QFC ditch mask mandate; Myocarditis cases in Washington; Seattle 911 becoming civilian-led; Sea-Tac Airport improvements; Cayuse, Chinook passes.

Fred Meyer, QFC drop mask mandate for fully vaccinated people

Fred Meyer and QFC have updated their mask policy to align with Washington state and federal health guidance, allowing some customers and associates to go mask-free.

As of Tuesday, fully vaccinated shoppers and most fully vaccinated workers do not need to wear masks unless a local mandate is in place.

Non-vaccinated associates, as well as associates in pharmacy and clinic locations, will still be required to wear masks. Non-vaccinated customers should also continue to mask up. Read more

Rare heart problem detected in some Washington COVID-19 vaccine recipients

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Panel said it is looking into reports that a few young people who have received the COVID-19 vaccine are experiencing rare cases of heart inflammation, also called myocarditis.

Dr. John Lynch with UW Medicine explained it's an inflammation of the heart muscle and can be caused by lots of viruses. He said doctors are seeing a small number of these cases in Washington.

The CDC said a majority of the cases were reported after the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine – and most cases appear to be mild. Read more

Seattle 911 dispatch moving from police department to civilian-led center

The Seattle City Council voted to move 911 dispatch control from the police department to a new civilian-led call center.

The ordinance, which was approved Monday by a vote of 7-0, will transfer 140 positions from the Seattle Police Department’s 911 dispatch center to the new Community Safety and Communications Center, according to a staff memo.

Most 911 dispatchers are not sworn officers. While the vote was unanimous, council members were divided over whether it will change police response. Read more

Sea-Tac Airport's North Satellite project nears completion

After several years of construction, officials at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport are gearing up to unveil the new and updated North Satellite just in time for summer travel.

Phase 1 of the multi-year project was completed in 2019. Gates opened for travelers while Phase 2 of the old facility was under construction.

Travelers will start to see updates this week, with Phase 2 expected to be fully completed at the end of June. Read more

Chinook, Cayuse passes through Mount Rainier National Park reopening

Chinook and Cayuse passes through Mount Rainier National Park will reopen by 8 a.m. Friday, May 28.

Maintenance crews are in the final stages of clearing both passes ahead of Memorial Day weekend.

When gates open, park visitors can travel over Chinook Pass via State Route 410 between Crystal Mountain Boulevard and Morse Creek. Cayuse Pass via State Route 123 will open within park boundaries between Stevens Canyon Road and the State Route 410 junction. Read more

Also see: Seattle local forecast

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