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5 things to know this Monday

Air advisory; Air quality not too bad yet; Overloaded IRS; COVID study; New I-5 bridge designs.

Air Stagnation Advisory issued through mid-week

What was already feeling like an unusual winter felt more unusual Sunday when an Air Stagnation Advisory was issued by the National Weather Service.

Stagnant air is allowing dense fog to easily form throughout the Puget Sound region. But a more important issue is less obvious: the impact on air quality. Smoke, dust, gasses and other pollution can become trapped in low-lying areas when air becomes stagnant. 

If this continues, air quality could continue to diminish and cause health issues for some. Read more about the Advisory

Air quality in Puget Sound region isn't 'too bad yet'

A meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle says they'll be monitoring conditions in the Puget Sound region with stagnant air expected for a few days.

"The air quality is not too bad yet, but we might see it degrade over the next few days," said Mike McFarland, National Weather Service (NWS) meteorologist. Read more

Taxpayers face overloaded IRS as filing season opens Monday

An IRS worker shortage, an enormous workload from administering pandemic-related programs and stalled legislation that would have given the agency billions of dollars for more expeditiously processing returns will combine to cause taxpayers pain this filing season.

“The IRS right now has unacceptable backlogs and the customer service that people are receiving is not what the American public deserves,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki acknowledged Friday. “The agency has not been equipped with the resources to adequately serve taxpayers in normal times, let alone during a pandemic.” Read more

Breakthrough infections elicit similar immune response to getting a booster shot, UW study suggests

Getting a booster shot and having a breakthrough COVID-19 case elicit similar immune responses, a new study by researchers from the University of Washington suggests.

Researchers learned the degree of antibody response depended on how many times a person has been exposed to the spike protein of COVID-19, whether through infection, vaccination or a mixture of the two. Read more

First images released of possible I-5 bridge replacement designs

People are getting their first look at possible designs for replacing the Interstate Bridge, which connects Vancouver to Portland, in newly released 3D renderings, and it seems there are two main design options so far.

Both options relate to how traffic will move. One design shows two side-by-side spans like the current Interstate Bridge. The other is a double-decker design. Read more

Also see: Seattle local forecast

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