Situation Report #152

February 5th, 2021 - Posted in Alerts, Uncategorized

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:
https://vashonbeprepared.org/News/SitReps


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Vashon Vaccine Availability: 

Vashon Pharmacy has received an early indication that it may receive some vaccine for next week. Further announcements will come through the Voice of Vashon Emergency Alert Service (VoiceOfVashon.org/AlertSignup). This week, nearly all vaccination came to a halt because there was no new bulk vaccine allocation to the island by the state Department of Health. There were some small quantities of vaccine being dispensed from allocations for second dose use, for frontline health care workers who had not yet been vaccinated, and some ad hoc vaccination using a few vials that were about to go past their prescribed use date.


NOTE: 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.
VashonBePrepared.org/COVID-Vaccine
VashonPharmacy.com/covid
SeaMar.org/covid-vaccine
VashonNaturalMed.com


Vashon Pharmacy: Nothing has been confirmed yet, but the pharmacy has received an email with an early indication that a new shipment of vaccine may be coming for this next week. The EOC, MRC and CERT are closely monitoring the situation and planning has started to bring the drive-through vaccination site back to life if the vaccine shipment is confirmed. Further announcements, including details on when online appointments will open up, will likely come this weekend. The primary information channel will be the Voice of Vashon Emergency Alert System (VoiceOfVashon.org/AlertSignup). The drive-through operation was shut down most of this week when the last of the pharmacy’s doses for mass vaccination ran out on Tuesday afternoon.


This week, the public health authorities put much of the King County supply into mass vaccination sites, particularly the two new sites in south King County at Auburn and Kent, where the case rate is higher than on Vashon and the pandemic has disproportionately affected low income and minority communities. The pharmacy continues its efforts to improve performance of the reservation website, although the enhanced online reservation system did make it possible to book 300 appointments (150 first dose and 150 second dose) in 13 minutes on Monday evening, an appointment about every two or three seconds, until appointment slots ran out. The drive-through site has done as many as 170 vaccinations per day, thanks to volunteer support from the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), and the Emergency Operations Center.


Some early hope for a new federal source of vaccine did not pan out. The federal government announced it would begin shipping direct to pharmacies through the Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network (CPESN). Vashon Pharmacy belongs to that network, and has done all the needed work to receive vaccines through that channel. However, the owner of the Pharmacy, Tyler Young, reports that the launch is in a slow ramp-up mode and only three states will be receiving CPESN vaccine shipments in the coming week (Kansas, Iowa, and Oklahoma). It will be some time before that source will be making a difference for Vashon.


Sea Mar at Sunrise Ridge: No word has been received so far on when Sea Mar will get new vaccine supplies. The clinic received only a small number of doses this week, allocated for required second doses for patients who had previously been vaccinated at the clinic.


Vashon Natural Medicine: VNM reports that it has been told it will not receive any shipments until the vaccine is available in much greater supply.


Public Health – Seattle & King County has revised the vaccine dashboard to provide some age-based data for the county, including Vashon. County data still continues to lag in reporting, so the actual number of doses received is higher than reported. As of February 4th, 13.4% of Vashon’s residents over age 16 have received at least one dose.  That percentage increases with age to 37.1% over 65 and 35.8% over 75 having received at least one dose. COVID-19 data for the county shows that on a per-100K basis, Vashon has by far the lowest rate of positive tests, hospitalizations and deaths.  https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/covid-19/data/vaccination.aspx


Washington State Department of Health reports its statewide continues to make progress with our COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration efforts. As of February 1,773,346 people have received the COVID-19 vaccine, which is more than 60% of the 1,160,850 doses delivered to providers and long-term care programs across the state.  Currently, Washington is averaging 27,902 vaccine doses given per day, inching closer to the state’s goal of vaccinating 45,000 people per day. Demand for vaccines greatly outpaces the amount of vaccines we have available. This week, more than 600 facilities requested more than 358,000 first doses of vaccine. The state first-dose allocation from the federal government was only 107,125 doses, which is less than one-third of what providers asked for.  https://www.doh.wa.gov/Newsroom 


Current Virus Statistics: 


Vashon Island COVID-19 Case Count as of 2/5/21:*
98 confirmed positive cases, 0 new cases since last Situation Report on Tuesday
Date of last positive test: January 29
0 new positives in past 7 days and 3 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 2/5/21:*
78,090 confirmed positive cases, 904 new since last Situation Report on Tuesday
1,296 deaths, 26 new since last Situation Report on Tuesday


Washington State COVID-19 Case Count as of 2/4/21:*
319,371 confirmed positive cases, 11,562 new since last Situation Report Tuesday
4,449 deaths, 133 since last Situation Report on Tuesday


*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:


The CDC has issued Super Bowl watch party guidelines for the matchup between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs. The CDC suggests hosting a virtual Super Bowl watch party. You can wear the team colors and jerseys, and set up a Zoom or other online conference call to watch live with your family and friends. You can also have an outdoor viewing party, but CDC advises staying six feet apart and showing the game on a projector screen.  If you are part of a large gathering, the CDC says to call the location you’re going to, to make sure they are taking steps to prevent the spread of the virus and abiding by the rules set by the venue.  Don’t use the restrooms during high-traffic times like halftime, and try not to cheer and chant to avoid generating disease-spreading droplets. Stomp, clap and use hand-held noisemakers instead. It doesn’t matter which venue, or whether it is inside or outside, the CDC reminds everyone to wear masks over the nose and mouth when in a group of people with whom you don’t live.   https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/small-gatherings.html


New Developments since Last Report:


Vashon Island School District sent a note this week to all school student families indicating that no final decision has been reached yet on when to launch the District’s plan for a return to in-person classroom teaching. The District management is working with staff, including the two District unions, to finalize its Healthy Start reopening plan. Initially, the plan would bring back Chautauqua elementary students in three phases of two weeks, starting with Kindergarten, then first through third grades, and then the rest of the elementary students. A key contribution to the District’s decision making, according to Superintendent Dr. Slade McSheehy, has been meeting earlier this week with Vashon Medical Reserve Corps, the Vashon Emergency Operations Center, and the local Public Health Seattle & King County health officer.  McSheehy said “I’m committed to our collaborative process and will communicate more once we’ve had a chance to meet and discuss what we learned and how we would like to move forward.”   


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday that teachers do not need to get vaccinated against Covid-19 before schools can safely reopen. “There is increasing data to suggest that schools can safely reopen and that safe reopening does not suggest that teachers need to be vaccinated,” said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted to put “frontline essential workers,” which include teachers, next in line to receive a Covid-19 vaccine after first prioritizing health-care workers and long-term care facility residents. However, it may take a while for most teachers to get their shots as U.S. officials work to pick up the pace of vaccinations.  https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7004e3.htm  


Gov. Jay Inslee outlined support for a return to on-site learning in a letter to the president of the Washington Education Association (WEA), detailing his support for educators and students to return to in-person learning. The governor included data and research that he and other leaders have used to help determine when and how to safely return to the classroom.  https://www.k12.wa.us/about-ospi/press-releases/novel-coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-resources  


This year, every taxpayer should electronically file a 2020 federal income tax return as early as possible. Even if you are not required to file, because you only have Social Security, you could get any additional stimulus payments sooner based on your tax record. Filing electronically is faster, more secure, and allows more accurate processing.  Taxpayers who file electronically can also have their refunds directly deposited into their bank accounts for faster access to these funds. For free assistance with e-filing, contact deborah@vashonbeprepared.org or call/text Deborah at 206-200-3236


Vashon Community Care has confirmed that, as of yesterday, all staff and residents at the facility have had both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.


How Puget Sound Energy (PSE) prepares for power outages throughout the year.  Join PSE for this local outreach presentation, co-sponsored by VashonBePrepared. PSE will share information on the work it does to minimize the frequency and impact of power outages due to climate related events such as windstorms, and share customer emergency preparation tools, best practices, and safety education and awareness guidelines.  
The presentation will be held on Tuesday February 9th at 6:30pm on Webex, log in at
https://pse1.webex.com/pse1/onstage/g.php?MTID=eb9ecf39a33600a9f87c7242f0e4cc830
Event ID: 177 648 8839, password: PSE@Storm1. 
Video Address: 1776488839@pse1.webex.com You can also dial 173.243.2.68 and enter your meeting number.   


King County Local Services offers free help to eligible low-income RV residents to properly dispose of septic waste without leaving Vashon Island. COVID-19 restrictions highlighted a longstanding problem on Vashon Island – the island lacks a public facility that allows RV residents to properly and legally dispose of sewage from RV blackwater tanks. Local Services worked with the Interfaith Council to Prevent Homelessness to establish a partnership in which eligible RV residents can have their septic waste collected once a month. To determine whether they qualify, low-income RV residents can contact Hilary Emmer, Program Coordinator for the Interfaith Council to Prevent Homelessness, at (206) 463-7277. Waste collection will be scheduled after a resident is determined to be eligible.  


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a forecast that projects 496,000 to 534,000 coronavirus deaths in the United States by Feb. 27. Unlike some individual models, the CDC’s ensemble forecast only offers projections a few weeks into the future. The previous forecast, published Jan. 27, projected up to 514,000 coronavirus deaths by Feb. 20. At least 446,910 people have already died from Covid-19 in the United States, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.   https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/forecasting-us.html   


While there is no official recommendation on double-masking, or layering two masks on top of each other, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said, “If you have a physical covering with one layer, you put another layer on, it just makes common sense that it likely would be more effective.”  Studies have shown that a single-layer mask is helpful for preventing spread of infection but isn’t really effective in protecting the wearer from aerosols. Even two and three-ply fabric masks are only partially protective, somewhere in the 50% to 60% range of effectiveness. A 2020 study found surgical masks were about 50% effective at protecting the wearer and about 60% to 70% in protecting others. But if you put a surgical mask under the cloth mask, experts believe it’s more than 90% effective at removing particles. CDC is currently evaluating the science and is looking at its recommendations on double-masking based on the latest science.  https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/28/health/double-masks-covid-19-wellness-trnd/index.html    


Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler extended his emergency COVID-19 order until March 7. Under this order, health insurers are required to continue coverage for providing telehealth, to cover all medically necessary diagnostic testing for flu and certain other viral respiratory illnesses billed during a provider visit for COVID-19 with no copay, coinsurance or deductible, and to treat drive-up testing sites for COVID-19 as provider visits with no copay, coinsurance or deductible. As a reminder, the COVID-19 vaccine is free to all recipients. https://www.insurance.wa.gov/news/emergency-order-telehealth-coverage-extended-march-7  


The Washington State COVID-19 Assistance Hotline is a general information line related to COVID-19.  If you need information or have a general question, call 1-800-525-0127, then press #. You can also text 211-211 for help. You can also text the word “Coronavirus” to 211-211 to receive information and updates on your phone wherever you are. You will receive links to the latest information on COVID-19, including county-level updates, and resources for families, businesses, students, and more.  


Creating Strength, The island-wide campaign aims to help all of us become stronger and more resilient against the stresses of the pandemic which ripple outwards into related personal crises such as unemployment, housing and food insecurity, racial justice, isolation, and political unrest. This week’s feature focus is on ‘Plan’. This nine-week campaign of mental health communications and videos is produced by VashonBePrepared’s Community Care Team, which is a unit of the Medical Reserve Corps, with support from the EOC’s Community Engagement Team. Mental health tips and videos are available online at: https://vashonbeprepared.org/creatingstrength    


Self-Care Practices for Parents. VYFS Family Place and The DOVE Project are offering a virtual event to care for the parents in our community. You can join DOVE Advocate and yoga teacher Nyn Grey to explore practices to calm your mind and care for your body during the stress of COVID-19. She will share some simple breathing practices and gentle stretches to help you relax. She will also share ideas about how to create small pockets of self-care in daily life. The free online workshop will be held on February 17th from 7-8pm. Email familyplace@vyfs.org for the Zoom link.


Progress on Community Support Operations:


Emergency Operations Center (EOC): The EOC and other elements of our island emergency response coalition were activated in response to the pandemic emergency on March 12th, nearly eleven months ago (331 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.


EOC/Community Operations Section: The pilot of the new Vax Access program has completed a week of testing, with many lessons learned that are being used to adjust the program. The program aims to leverage the partnerships built up during the pandemic, to reach out to those facing barriers to access to vaccination. The pilot was conducted initially with the Senior Center. A meeting this morning began the process of extending the effort through partnerships with additional social service agencies on the island. For transparency and documentation, statistics are being compiled on the number of people being assisted according to the types of barriers to healthcare access that have been bridged. Some examples include folks with low or no digital access, non-English speaking residents, those experiencing cognitive challenges, and others experiencing significant barriers to vaccination. Strict compliance is being maintained with the current vaccination tiers, 1a and 1b1.


EOC/MRC/CERT: To date, the island’s three registered vaccination providers have administered just over 2,000 first vaccination doses. All of the vaccinations so far have been done at the Vashon Pharmacy drive-through site or at the Sea Mar clinic. Vashon Natural Medicine has not yet received any vaccine allocation. The total number of vaccinations by island providers equals about 23% of the adult population of the island. However, it is not possible to compute a precise percentage of vaccinated islanders, because a number of them have gone off island to get their shots and there have been some mainland people coming to the island to get vaccinated.


EOC/Public Information: Concern over the lack of vaccine on the island spiked this week. The Public Information team supported the Situation Section in getting accurate information on the situation to islanders. Much of the community concern was being expressed on Facebook, and the team responded to a number of questions in that venue. (Note: See earlier in this report the notes on vaccination availability, and an early indication that there may be some vaccine coming for next week.)


Vaccination/ Donors: Winterizing and site improvements have continued at the Vashon Pharmacy vaccination site. Vashon Sand & Gravel and Greentree Dozing donated improvements to the patient staging area for the drive-through, in the Vashon Theatre parking area. Tent covers have been erected over two of the three drive-through lanes in the parking lot behind the pharmacy, and huts are being installed to shelter the vaccinators who are doing the injections. Thanks also to Vashon Print and Design (printing services and information), Vashon Theatre (parking lot), and Island Queen (restrooms) for their ongoing support of the vaccination site.


In typical Vashon style, people have been offering pastry and other food to workers at the vaccination site. Sadly, no fresh food items are allowed at either the vaccination site or the testing site, because exchanging or gathering for food could be a vector for disease transmission.


All Hands Thank Yous: At this afternoon’s weekly All Hands Briefing, open to all our pandemic volunteers, the group thanked Tyler Young, owner of Vashon Pharmacy for his community service, which has required a major disruption to his store as well as risking thousands of dollars to offer the drive-through vaccinations to the community.

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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 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.

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~ Your Emergency Alert Team