Situation Report #143

January 5th, 2021 - Posted in Alerts, Uncategorized


Vashon EOC Situation Report #143, January 5

COVID-19 Vashon Situation Report 
The Vashon Emergency Operations Center produces this briefing for our emergency workers and for the community. The situation report is published Tuesday and Friday and includes information on Vashon community response actions and support.

You can read the full text of today’s report as a PDF and access older ones at:

Current Virus Statistics: 

Vashon Island COVID-19 Case Count as of 1/5/21:*
89 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases, 3 new cases since last Situation Report Tuesday, December 29
Date of last positive test: January 1
2 new positives in the past 7 days and 7 positives in the past 14 days  
3 people have been hospitalized. Date of last hospitalization: December 28
1 Vashon deaths on King County dashboard, last death reported 1/1/21, (1 Vashon death not yet posted)

King County COVID-19 Case Count as of 1/5/21:*
65,144 confirmed positive cases, 4,345 new since last Situation Report on Tuesday
1,110 deaths, 44 new since last Situation Report on Tuesday

Washington State COVID-19 Case Count as of 1/4/21:*
258,767 confirmed positive cases, 17,921 new since last Situation Report Tuesday
3,541 deaths, 172 since last Situation Report on Tuesday

Data Lag: A data reporting lag continues on the official dashboard of pandemic statistics maintained by Public Health — Seattle & King County. For example, although there have been two COVID-related deaths of Vashon residents to date, the PHSKC dashboard still shows only one death.

*Note 1:  The statistics above are from the Public Health – Seattle & King County dashboard as of the date listed. Numbers may not be complete, as data processing lags and the actual number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths may not yet match the dashboard.

Note 2: Federal law prohibits Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) from releasing the names of patients (HIPAA Act). For consistency of day-to-day data reporting for Vashon, the EOC uses only the Zip code data from the Public Health – Seattle & King County dashboard

Health Tips:

Assume Potential for Infection: Remarking on the pharmacy situation (see below), Medical Reserve Corps infectious disease specialist Dr. Zach Miller emphasized: “It’s very important to keep in mind that these exposures involved family gatherings with safety precautions, and still resulted in an infection.  Until the new vaccines have been given to many more people, we have one easy and inexpensive way for everyone to stay safe, and the safety measure works for all the virus variants, including the one that has now come to the United States from England.  It’s crucial for everyone to wear a mask, stay six feet apart, wash or sanitize hands, and avoid gatherings of any type outside your household. Everyone should just assume that whoever they encounter may possibly have COVID-19 and behave accordingly.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, expressed concern that the worst may still come in America’s battle against Covid-19, agreeing with President-elect Joe Biden’s recent assessment that the “darkest days” in fighting the virus lie ahead.”  Fauci continued: “…the reason I’m concerned, and my colleagues in public health are concerned also, is that we very well might see a post-seasonal, in the sense of Christmas, New Year’s, surge, and, as I have described it, as a surge upon a surge, because, if you look at the slope, the incline of cases that we have experienced as we have gone into the late fall and soon-to-be-early winter, it is really quite troubling”.  Everyone, Fauci said, has to be “honest and humble, nobody really knows for sure, but I think 70 to 85% [of population vaccinated] for herd immunity for Covid-19 is a reasonable estimate, and in fact, most of my epidemiology colleagues agree with me.”

Dr. Fauci predicted that normal life would not resume for most Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic until as late as next fall. “It’s going to take several months. … It’s not going to happen in the first few months,” Fauci said in an interview on MSNBC. “If we do it correctly, hopefully, as we get into the end of the summer, the beginning of the fall of 2021, we can start to approach some degree of normality.”  That timeline, he warned, will be contingent upon the U.S. “efficiently, quickly and effectively” implementing vaccination programs that have thus far lagged behind schedule, as well as “a rather strict adherence” to personal mitigation measures such as hand washing, mask wearing and social distancing.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests wearing a mask – even under a scarf when outside – and staying at least 6 feet apart, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, washing hands, staying home if sick, and getting a seasonal flu shot as soon as possible.

Gov. Inslee said to Washingtonians, “Our consistent mission has been keeping Washingtonians safe and ensuring health care system and hospital capacity.  We understand the profound impact COVID is having on our healthcare system, families, and businesses, but I am heartened by the number of Washingtonians who continue to do the right thing.  If we continue distancing from others, wearing facial coverings and avoiding social gatherings, we will make it to the other side of this pandemic together.”  

Vashon Vaccine Availability: 

Dozens of Phase 1a vaccinations have been administered over the last two weeks on Vashon. Phase 1a includes frontline health care workers as well as residents and staff of care facilities. As reported last week, VCC has vaccinated nearly 60 residents and staff with the first dose of the vaccine. Executive Director Wendy Kleppe expects both doses of vaccine to be administered to all residents and staff by the end of February. Some additional island Phase 1a category individuals are also receiving injections thanks to Sea Mar clinic offering to share its very limited number of doses (see below). 

The state Department of Health has not yet officially defined those who would get vaccinated in Phase 1b. But, it is expected that Phase 1b will include some types of essential workers and people over aged 75. That information is expected to be available this week. A rough consensus among island providers and state officials suggests that Phase 1b inoculations could be available on Vashon by the end of this month.

vaccine eligibility tool is on the way to help people understand when they are able to receive the vaccine shots. Based on that tool, Washington state will rely on an honor system to determine eligibility for COVID-19 vaccinations. The state plans to launch an online questionnaire called PhaseFinder. The objective is to satisfy concerns coming from providers that they do not want to be vaccination police, attempting to sort out who qualifies at a vaccination site, especially since the qualification process will become increasingly complex as distribution widens to include more and more categories of people. The PhaseFinder tool will include questions about age, ZIP code, pre-existing conditions, occupation, and household situation. The tool will come in multiple languages.   

Vaccine Note: It is important to be aware that no other vaccines should be taken within two weeks before and after the COVID-19 vaccination. Thus, people considering vaccinations such as seasonal flu, shingles, etc. should hurry to get them now so they can be sure to have a full two weeks wait time logged before the opportunity comes up for a COVID-19 vaccinationFor more information on flu vaccination providers, go to our English/Spanish Flu Vaccine Provider Directory at:   

Vashon Vaccine Availability Survey #3:
There will be three primary providers of vaccinations on Vashon: Sea Mar clinic, Vashon Pharmacy, and Vashon Natural Medicine. All of the providers have been receiving many calls asking for vaccination information. This Vaccine Availability Survey will be frequently updated and widely distributed. In addition, the Vashon EOC Community Engagement Team has started work on an information campaign, including a dedicated webpage, to help Vashon residents stay up to date on when and where vaccinations will be available on the island.  
Sea Mar clinic at Sunrise Ridge: Senior Vice President Jesus Sanchez says the Sea Mar clinic received a limited supply of 100 Moderna vaccine doses. After vaccinating frontline caregivers at the Sunrise Ridge clinic, Sea Mar has begun offering vaccination to other Phase 1a providers such as island clinicians, the Medical Reserve Corps testing site volunteers, dentists and others.
Vashon Pharmacy: Owner Tyler Young has not yet received any vaccine doses. He has requested 7,500 courses [3,750 persons with two shots] of vaccine, an estimate of need based on response to the recent seasonal flu vaccination effort. He has begun working with the Emergency Operations Center, Medical Reserve Corps, and Community Engagement Team to plan communications and logistics support for a high volume vaccination program, possibly a drive-through or other form of outdoor operation.
Vashon Natural Medicine: Clinic owner Kelly Wright reports they have not yet received a supply of vaccine. The clinic has plans to notify its patients in the order prescribed for the various phases as outlined by the state Department of Health.

Local COVID Activity:

There has been a second COVID-19 related death of a Vashon resident. Longtime islander Marvin Benham, age 94, father of island resident Donna Benham Donnelly, died on Tuesday, December 29th. “He made it through 10 long months of isolation at VCC and was days away from the vaccine, but made a short trip to the hospital in mid-December, which is where he contracted the virus,” according to his granddaughter Nicole Donnelly Martin. The patient’s positive COVID test result had been reported in an earlier Situation Report, but his name was not revealed at that time, in compliance with privacy laws. The family encouraged the publishing of his name now, with an appeal to maintain COVID safety: “We were only able to say goodbye to Baba Marv on the phone,” his granddaughter reported. “We’re gutted about how his life ended, and that we weren’t able to be with him. Please, everyone, stay home and wear masks, if for nothing else than to protect the vulnerable and show support for those that have lost their loved ones. We’re so close to no more telephone goodbyes and heartbreaking loss.”  

Vashon Community Care went into a required lockdown after receiving Marvin Benham’s initial positive test results on Christmas Eve. A rigorous testing protocol went into effect at that time and continues. All tests since then have come back negative. In addition, Public Health (PHSKC) has determined that the infection was not acquired at VCC. 

Vashon Pharmacy has implemented a COVID-19 safety protocol for testing and quarantine, in collaboration with the Vashon Medical Reserve Corps. The safety steps are being taken because of two unrelated exposure situations, involving staff on free time outside of the pharmacy workplace. Based on information gained so far from the contact tracing investigation, the pharmacy remains open at this time to fill prescriptions and perform its other services to the community. Even though a staff member has tested positive, fortunate timing of the holidays and days off likely prevented any spread of the disease among staff members, and it’s extremely unlikely that any customers have been exposed. The contact tracing investigation has included interviews with staff members and viewing of store security videos. “We realize that anyone in the healthcare field must go beyond normal standards of caution,” said Vashon Pharmacy owner Tyler Young. “We are grateful that the timing of holiday store closure and days off for staff broke in our favor in this situation, but we must take extra care of public safety, so several members of the pharmacy team are being tested and have gone into voluntary 14-day quarantine.”

Mica’s Kitchen has closed awaiting COVID test results. Owner Michaella Olavarri, announced the precautionary self-quarantine because of some cold-like symptoms. Test results are expected in the next 48 hours.

New Developments since Last Report:

Governor Inslee has extended the Stay Safe Stay Healthy restrictions by one week, at least through January 11th. The restrictions ban indoor dining, and ordered closure of gyms and fitness centers, in addition to shutting movie theaters and museums. The original restrictions had been scheduled to expire in mid-December, but have been extended several times in response to the rising case numbers. Wedding and funeral ceremonies are limited to 30 people, and no receptions are allowed. The Governor’s office promised an updated plan soon to “provide a pathway for businesses and workers to reopen safely.”  

Governor Jay Inslee announced a new COVID-19 safety plan Tuesday afternoon that will focus its efforts on regions within Washington state instead of counties.  The plan called “Healthy Washington” will begin Jan. 11 and will allow a small resumption of activities statewide, Inslee said. Live entertainment events with a “very tight capacity” restriction and certain fitness programs will be allowed. Each region will need to meet four metrics, which include a 10% decreasing in the 14-day trend in case rates; a 10% decrease in COVID-19 hospital administration rates; an ICU occupancy rate that’s less than 90%; and a test positivity rate of less than 10%. More details will be released later this week.

Deductibles and co-pays for COVID-19 vaccines are being waived by most health insurers in Washington State. Policyholders will be covered regardless of where they receive the vaccination. The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act directs health insurers to waive copays and deductibles for COVID-19 vaccinations after Jan. 1, 2021. In Washington state insurers are covering the vaccinations regardless of whether the provider offering the vaccine is in the plan’s network. The link has a list of participating insurers. 

Still time to enroll for health insurance – open enrollment ends on Jan 15, 2021.  King County residents can choose from seven insurance carriers offering multiple plan options on Washington Healthplanfinder. Cascade Care plans, newly available for 2021 coverage, expand access, choice and value. These plans offer more upfront services without having to meet a deductible. Visit: 

The Chamber of Commerce Ask An Expert for unemployment and tax stimulus will continue to provide free assistance in 2021.  As soon as the IRS announces that Free File is open, Deborah will be accepting phone appointments to prepare and file 2020 federal income tax returns electronically. Priority will be given to those with Form 1099-G Unemployment Benefits and W-2 wages or a simple Schedule C. Time permitting, Deborah will also be available to prepare returns beyond the Free File income threshold ($72,000 adjusted gross income) and answer tax questions for those preparing their own returns. If you are not already on Deborah’s unemployment-tips list, email to be notified when she will be accepting tax-preparation appointments. Note: AARP Tax Aide will also be offering free tax preparation starting in early February, but you must have a computer and GoogleMeets capability to use their service. 

Gov. Jay Inslee formally issued an extension of the eviction moratorium, extending all existing provisions and making adjustments to provide additional support for landlords and property owners. The proclamation extends state rental assistance programs to incorporate the newly approved federal funding for rental assistance. Furthermore, the stated goal of these rental assistance programs is modified to provide a path for landlords, property owners, and property managers to initiate an application for rental assistance. The proclamation also clarifies that landlords and property owners may communicate with tenants in support of their applications for rental assistance. The eviction moratorium is extended through March 31, 2021. 

Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released guidance to shorten the 14-day Covid-19 quarantine to seven to 10 days. However, in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the CDC concludes that this move “carries a risk” to further spread the virus, particularly the risk posed by household contacts. Interim data from a CDC-supported study of household transmission of Covid-19, showed that among 185 people who lived in households with someone who was sick with Covid-19, 109 of them ended up getting Covid-19 themselves. Of those 109 people, 12% tested positive after the 10th day that a person they were living with first felt sick. This shows that there is a potential for transmission of the virus from household contacts released from quarantine before 14 days, according to the report. The report said this suggests that reducing quarantine to less than 14 days might decrease but not eliminate the risk for spreading the virus. Many of our local medical professionals, including island MRC doctors continue to strongly recommend the full 14 day quarantine period.  

According to data from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), more people have died across the US than anywhere else: nearly 348,000 Americans since the pandemic’s start. Their projections indicate that about another 115,000 could die over the next month. The IHME reference scenario model, which represents what they think is most likely to happen, projects 567,000 cumulative deaths on April 1, 2021. This represents 252,000 additional deaths from December 20 to April 1, with daily deaths peaking at 3,890 on January 11, 2021. By April 1, 2021, the model projects that 33,200 lives will be saved by the projected vaccine rollout.  If rapid rollout of vaccine is achieved, 45,000 lives will be saved compared to a no-vaccine scenario. As compared to a no-vaccine scenario, rapid rollout targeting high-risk individuals only could save 54,000 lives. If universal mask coverage (95%) were attained in the next week, the model projects 49,000 fewer cumulative deaths compared to the reference scenario by April 1, 2021. Full report at  

Progress on Community Support Operations:

Emergency Operations Center (EOC): The EOC activated in response to the pandemic emergency on March 12th, nearly ten months ago (300 days). Four operational priorities remain our goals: health, food security, housing security and economic recovery.

EOC/MRC/Community Engagement Team: Planning has started for supporting island care providers who will be administering COVID-19 vaccine at the various phases of the rollout. Support will include public education and communications about where and how to get vaccinated. A team of physicians met with Vashon Pharmacy yesterday to work on details of a high volume vaccination clinic, possibly in a drive-through format if safety protocols can be worked out. (See the Vaccine Survey #3 item above.)

COVID Relief: The EOC Team continues work with our Chamber of Commerce partner to track the status of the new federal stimulus package that has been signed into law, as well as details on the one-time relief payment coming from Washington State.

Community Care Team/Community Engagement Team: The launch of the Creating Strength mental health and resilience campaign, a nine-week series of tips and videos, has been delayed until January 12th. The schedule change will allow the campaign to synchronize communications with the upcoming Hope 2021 publication.

Volunteers: A total of 33 volunteers contributed 264 hours of work to VashonBePrepared’s pandemic emergency response in the most recent reporting period and the total volunteer time has now crested over 20,000 hours. At the FEMA reimbursement grant rate of $31.72/hour, which means VashonBePrepared volunteers have logged over $645,000 of in-kind value that can be applied to reimbursement grant applications. The total includes hours contributed by the Vashon EOC Team, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), and Community Care Team (CCT). VashonBePrepared also gives thanks for the many hours of work in support of the Vashon community by the staff and volunteers at local social services agencies.


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Vashon-Maury Island Emergency Alerts    Alerts are broadcast on 1650AM, KVSH 101.9FM and the VoV free streaming app. They are published in text here, as well as VashonBePrepared.organd, and the VoV Facebook page.
We encourage you to develop your 1650AM listening habit because an AM radio signal may be your only source of information in a serious island emergency.

Voice of Vashon thanks Windermere Vashon Real Estate for their support making 1650AM and this alert possible.

~ Your Emergency Alert Team