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| 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:
Vashon Vaccine Availability:
Overall, the availability of COVID-19 Vaccine on Vashon has been improving. However, the number of doses allocated to the island remains low and uncertain — well below the current level of demand. The providers are at the mercy of the allocation decisions being made by the state Department of Health, and providers are not informed about their weekly supply until the day before they would have received vaccine supply. All providers must follow the state Department of Health directives for eligibility. Failure to do so could jeopardize future vaccine allocations.
Despite the challenges, a total of 1,740 vaccinations have been dispensed in the last two weeks, 1,440 at the Vashon Pharmacy site and 300 at Sea Mar. The total of 1,740 equals roughly one-fifth of the adult population of the island. However, some of those are mainland residents coming to get vaccinated on Vashon. Conversely, many Vashon residents have been vaccinated at off-island providers. Therefore it is not possible at this time to precisely estimate the vaccinated percentage of island residents.
VashonBePrepared continues to support the three providers who are approved by the state to do vaccinations on Vashon. They are Vashon Pharmacy, Sea Mar at Sunrise Ridge, and Vashon Natural Medicine. The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) recommends that you check the following four websites to see if there is updated information beyond what we compile in these Situation Reports, which are published Tuesday and Friday.
It is important to understand that the island’s three potential vaccination providers cannot plan more than one week ahead because of the timing cycle of the state’s vaccine allocation process described above. That inflexibility creates extreme pressure from patients who feel they must engage in what some have called “Hunger Games” competition to get their vaccine. If long-range planning was possible, the providers could spread out the load by offering patients a choice of appointments over two or three weeks, instead of squeezing all the demand into a single week. All providers have been inundated with phone calls and emails, and they beg your patience.
At this writing, the Pharmacy has not yet received word from the state Department of Health on whether it will receive vaccine again for next week. If vaccine supplies are made available by the state Department of Health, the online reservation system will open again on Monday evening. You will be able to learn about vaccine availability at VashonPharmacy.com/covid and VashonBePrepared.org/COVID-Vaccine. In the meantime:
The online reservation system has again been upgraded and retested. New programming will spread out the saturation load across several parallel databases. A higher capacity plan has also been purchased from the online vendor.
A new Vax Access Program has been brought online by the Emergency Operations Center. Already, the program has cleared a backlog of 60 paper forms that were filled out and left at the Pharmacy by people who were daunted by the online, computerized vaccination appointment system.
Portable fabric garages have been erected over some of the vaccination lanes in order to protect the vaccinator teams from rain and snow, so vaccination operations can continue even in challenging weather.
Have your info ready to smooth the online registration experience. When the Pharmacy vaccination portal opens again (VashonPharmacy.com/covid), be prepared with the information you will find helpful in filling out the online form. If you have health insurance, be ready to provide it. (Vaccination is free to all, including those with no insurance.) You will also want to be ready to provide your date of birth and medical history to answer questions on the screening form.
Keep in mind, you will be making two appointments. Once you make the first one, the form offers a second reservation date taking into account the required waiting period before the second shot. You will want to have your calendar out in order to respond quickly while online. That second appointment is essential so the Pharmacy can plan to hold a vaccine dose to cover your second shot. So, you will not be done and your first appointment will not be saved until you complete the requirement to make both appointments. Don’t quit the screen until you see the green confirmation check-mark.
Sea Mar at Sunrise Ridge:
Manager Kerry Barnes says she has been told that the clinic will receive vaccine next week. However, the vaccine has been allocated to cover the second dose needs of those previously vaccinated at Sea Mar. You can check for any updates at: SeaMar.org/covid-vaccine
Vashon Natural Medicine:
Owner Kelly Wright says her clinic has not received any vaccine so far and has no information on when stocks might be expected. VashonNaturalMed.com currently refers people to the Pharmacy drive-through operation. They plan to notify their patients directly if vaccine becomes available.
You do have off-island options for vaccination. Many major medical providers are offering vaccination appointments to their patients, including Kaiser, MultiCare, Polyclinic, CHI Franciscan, and the drugstore chains. In addition, King County will open two vaccination sites on Monday in Kent and Auburn. Patients must qualify under state guidelines, and appointments are required: https://tinyurl.com/y6nr33t9 Also, Vashon Natural Medicine reports that a number of Vashon residents have elected to drive to the east side of the Cascades to get vaccinated at one of the four state-operated sites in Spokane, Ridgefield, Wenatchee, or Kennewick. Reservations are required: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Newsroom/Articles/ID/2583/Four-mass-vaccination-sites-opening-statewide-this-week
If you have not yet found a vaccination slot, or are not eligible yet, you have some very effective ways to keep safe in the meantime. Stick with the basic rules we all know about by now. Wear a mask. Keep your distance. Clean your hands. Don’t get together with people from outside your household, no matter how much you miss them. And keep in mind that a clean test is a snapshot in time, not a get out of jail free card. These steps are the next best thing to a vaccination, until everyone who wants one can get one.
Current Virus Statistics:
Vashon Island COVID-19 Case Count as of 1/29/21:*
98 confirmed positive cases, 3 new cases since last Situation Report on Tuesday
Date of last positive test: January 29
3 new positives in past 7 days and 4 positives in the past 14 days
3 people have been hospitalized. Date of last hospitalization: December 28
2 Vashon deaths on King County dashboard, last death reported 1/1/21
King County COVID-19 Case Count as of 1/29/21:*
76,345 confirmed positive cases, 1,444 new since last Situation Report on Tuesday
1,249 deaths, 9 new since last Situation Report on Tuesday
Washington State COVID-19 Case Count as of 1/27/21:*
307,809 confirmed positive cases, 5,668 new since last Situation Report Tuesday
4,243 deaths, 95 since last Situation Report on Tuesday
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.
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
Local COVID Activity:
Vashon Island School District was notified of two new positive COVID-19 cases, one at Vashon High School and the second at Chautauqua Elementary School. The new positive cases did not result from participation in any school program or activity. The individuals who tested positive are safely isolating at home. Public Health — Seattle & King County and Vashon Medical Reserve Corps are informed and any close contacts of the individuals were notified and advised as appropriate. Anyone who has not been directly contacted, but is concerned about possible exposure, should visit Washington State’s Department of Health website at www.doh.wa.gov for guidance on what to do if you were potentially exposed to someone with confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
New Developments since Last Report:
The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) announced that the Puget Sound region (King, Snohomish and Pierce) has been moved into Phase 2 of the Governor’s newly defined Roadmap to Recovery plan. This change will be effective on Monday February 1, and remain in effect until Monday February 15. To continue in the Phase 2 recovery plan, the Puget Sound region will need to meet any three of the four metrics outlined in the Roadmap to Recovery. Moving into Phase 2 means several restrictions are loosened:
Social and at-home gatherings – indoors a max of 5 persons from 2 households
Social and at-home gatherings – outdoors a max of 15 persons from 2 households
Restaurants can have indoor dining up to 25% capacity with alcohol service ending at 11pm
Phase 2 also relaxes restrictions on indoor wedding and funerals; outdoor sports; and indoor and outdoor entertainment. See the full guidance at https://kingcounty.gov/elected/executive/constantine/covid-response/current-guidance.aspx or https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/HealthyWashington.pdf
President Joe Biden has promised to make healthcare more affordable and available. His executive order takes one immediate step in that direction. The Department of Health and Human Services will reopen enrollment on the federal Affordable Care Act exchange between February 15 and May 15. This would give Americans who missed the most recent sign-up period, which ended December 15, access to Obamacare insurance — and to federal assistance to pay for it. For Washington residents, the site is https://www.wahealthplanfinder.org
On Vashon, the Brown Agency is one of the Chamber of Commerce Ask the Expert providers. The agency offers free health insurance consultations and assistance for applications and coverage options through the Affordable Care Act or Washington Apple Health. Call (206) 567-4600
Vashon Island School District leadership will have a planning session next week to continue work on its strategy to re-open some classroom teaching. The planning session includes collaborations with Vashon’s Medical Reserve Corps physicians, the Vashon Pharmacy management, and a representative of the Vashon Emergency Operations Center. Also included are union representatives of School District teachers and staff, as well as Public Health – Seattle & King County.
Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal announced a new ‘Get Ready’ plan for vaccinating Washington educators and school staff. The Get Ready plan provides for 14 to 20 vaccination locations along the I-5 corridor and in Spokane where Kaiser Permanente would provide vaccinations. These sites would, according to Reykdal, be able to vaccinate 80% of the state’s school employees. They are working on distribution plans for other parts of the state. “Keeping our educators and school staff safe is very important to me,” said Governor Jay Inslee. “This announcement does not allow educators to move ahead in the current prioritization, it means when it is their turn, we are ready to move ahead.” The current vaccination Phase 1b1 allows vaccination of all over the age of 65, as well as individuals 50 and older living in multi-generational households. The move to Phase 1b2 would open vaccination to essential workers aged 50 and above. There has been some discussion of opening vaccination under some circumstances to all school employees when the Governor moves the state to vaccination phase 1b2. This announcement today from Olympia may be an important factor in Monday’s planning meeting at the Vashon Island School District.
The state Department of Commerce Public Safety program has opened a funding opportunity for Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding (CESF) that allows for a wide range of applications focused on preventing, preparing for, and/or responding to the coronavirus. Funds available for Tribes, non-profit organizations, and for local governments. Some examples of eligible services include advocacy and emotional support; mental health counseling; participation in civil and criminal justice systems; peer support groups; and transportation to receive services that address impacts of the coronavirus. Applications are due to Commerce by 5 p.m. on Feb. 26. https://www.commerce.wa.gov/serving-communities/crime-victims-public-safety/office-of-crime-victims-advocacy/ocva-grants-and-funding
Creating Strength, the mental health and resilience campaign, features ‘Accept’ this week. The nine-week campaign of mental health communications and videos is produced by VashonBePrepared’s Community Care Team/Community Engagement Team. Mental health tips and videos are available online at: https://vashonbeprepared.org/creatingstrength
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) reopened the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for First Draw PPP Loans the week of Jan. 11. SBA began accepting applications for Second Draw PPP Loans on Jan. 13. You can find more information regarding application requirements and technical guidance at the https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options
The Chamber of Commerce’s Ask the Expert is available for free consultations, and will guide you on how to proceed, if you need help filing for unemployment, PPP loans, or tax returns. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (206) 200-3236.
The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) released the latest statewide situation report on COVID-19. The report found declining COVID-19 transmission in Washington State, which will provide an opportunity to get case and hospitalization rates under control before the faster-spreading B.1.1.7 variant takes hold in the state. The goal is to maintain a reproductive number well below one—meaning COVID-19 transmission is declining—for a substantial amount of time. The report found that case rates are still high across the state, but are moving in the right direction. Many counties (including King and Pierce) saw sharp declines in case counts after the first week in January, returning to early to mid-November levels. Additionally, hospital bed occupancy plateaued in late December and early January, then started to decline slightly in mid-January. https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1600/coronavirus/data-tables/820-114-SituationReport-01272021.pdf
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published new data on vaccines and allergic reactions and the incidence of allergic reactions following vaccination. The CDC reported 50 incidents of anaphylaxis after vaccination with the Pfizer product and 21 instances after receiving the Moderna vaccine, which corresponds to approximately 5 reactions per million doses for the Pfizer vaccine and 2.8 per million doses for the Moderna vaccine. Notably, the rate for the Pfizer vaccine is less than half what it was in late December (11.1 per million), although the rate for the Moderna vaccine increased slightly compared to the data reported through January 10 (2.5 per million). To date the CDC has reported no deaths due to an allergic reaction following vaccination. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7004e1.htm
Vaccine allocation is based on population in each state. Given the limited supply of COVID vaccine available at this time and Washington’s commitment to equitable and fair access, those seeking COVID-19 vaccines in the 4 mass vax sites (Ridgefield, Spokane, Kennewick, & Wenatchee) must either live or work in WA State. Regardless of citizenship or immigration status, all eligible people living or working in Washington State should get vaccinated. Washington and Oregon are taking different approaches to vaccine prioritization, but agree on one thing: people need to get vaccinated in the state where they live and work.
Beware of alcohol-based sanitizers from Mexico. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an alert on alcohol-based sanitizers from Mexico: many have been found to contain a toxic substance known as methanol (wood alcohol). Methanol can cause serious health problems such as blindness and even death. Signs and symptoms of methanol poisoning include headache, blurred vision or blindness, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, loss of coordination, and decreased alertness. Check your hand sanitizer. Stop using it immediately if it’s on this list: http://bit.ly/sanitizeralert
A new study confirms pregnant people with COVID-19 appeared to be at higher risk for serious illness and hospitalization than previously reported, suggesting the peril to pregnant patients continues to be underestimated across the country. The analysis found the COVID-19 mortality rate among them was more than 13 times higher than among those of similar ages who were not pregnant. Those pregnant women with COVID-19 were also 3.5 times more likely to be hospitalized due to the disease and had higher rates of preterm birth. “The idea that pregnant patients were protected from COVID-19 is a myth,” said lead author Dr. Kristina Adams Waldorf, an obstetrician at the University of Washington, School of Medicine. The study suggests that the CDC is probably underestimating deaths of expectant people, because much of the federal data on COVID-19 patients fails to note whether they were pregnant or not. https://www.ajog.org/article/S0002-9378(21)00033-8/fulltext
Progress on Community Support Operations:
Emergency Operations Center (EOC): The EOC activated in response to the pandemic emergency on March 12th, ten months and two weeks ago (324 days). Four operational priorities established by the Incident Commander, Fire Chief Charlie Krimmert, and approved by the VashonBePrepared Board, continue to guide our work: health, food security, housing security and economic recovery.
MRC/Vashon Island School District: Medical Reserve Corps volunteers have been working with the EOC leadership to prepare public health advice for next week’s “Go/No Go” meeting with the Schools Superintendent on the potential for school reopening in the elementary grades.
EOC/Community Operations Section: The EOC has set up a new unit to make sure those with limited access to vaccinations know that they can be vaccinated, and to help those who qualify in the current vaccination phase to get a vaccination appointment. The Vax Access Program will be reaching out to vaccine-qualifying folks as the phases progress, including seniors, folks with low- or no-digital access, non-English-speaking residents, and others experiencing barriers to vaccination. The program has entered the pilot test phase. The plan is to work with our existing social service agency partners and ask the agencies to seek out those who need help.
EOC/MRC/CERT: The Vashon Pharmacy drive-through vaccination site set a new record today with 170 vaccinations on a single day. As described elsewhere in this report, total vaccinations at the three island providers equals around one-fifth of Vashon’s adult population. Medical Reserve Corps and Community Emergency Response Team volunteers continue to support the vaccination operation, as well as the major commitment to operate the COVID-19 test site. All three of the vaccination providers continue to provide up-to-date information on their status, which is conveyed in the Vaccination Availability Survey section of this report.
|USEFUL RESOURCES |
Voice Of Vashon
Vashon Island Fire & Rescue
PSE Outage Map 888-225-5773
King County Sheriff 206-463-3618
WA State Ferry Alerts
King County Roads
VoV Alerts App
|Thank you Windermere Vashon for helping to make these alerts possible||
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 VoiceOfVashon.org, 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