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About Voice of Vashon
|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:
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Vashon Vaccine Availability:
The Overview: Vaccination availability looks strong for next week, but will still be mostly devoted to second doses. It appears that there will be some limited first dose opportunities at both the Vashon Pharmacy and Sea Mar Sunrise Ridge sites.
Overall Vaccination Progress: The data dashboard by Public Health — Seattle and King County (PHSKC) indicates that roughly one-third of the islands over 16 year old population has received at least one dose. More than 90% of the current high priority group of seniors age 65 and over (tier 1b1) has received at least one dose according to Public Health. This vaccination rate is running far ahead of other areas of King County. By comparison, other communities in the county are in the 14% to 18% vaccinated range, about half of Vashon’s rate. Other areas are in the 45% to 60% range for their 1b1 population, 30 to 45 points behind Vashon.
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.
Vashon Pharmacy: Early notification has been received that second doses of vaccine will be coming next week. That means, if all goes well and the shipments arrive as promised, there will not be any need to change second dose appointments next week. In addition, there may be doses remaining to do some small number of first doses for people in the 1b1 priority category this coming week. Plans will be finalized over the weekend pending vaccine shipment arrival expected Monday morning. If there is an opportunity for new first dose appointments it will be announced on the VashonPharmacy appointment website (VashonPharmacy.com/covid) and through a message on the Voice of Vashon Emergency Alert Service via email, Facebook and 1650AM.
Sea Mar at Sunrise Ridge: Sea Mar held a first-come-first-served walk up clinic for first doses this morning, dispensing Pfizer vaccine injections. There will be another limited clinic tomorrow morning. The total doses for the two days will be less than 150. Sea Mar asks patients not to line up before 6:00am. To reduce the need for lines at the doors, patients will be given times to come back later in the day.
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. The Vashon Natural Medicine website directs patients to Vashon Pharmacy.
Washington State’s vaccination program is currently averaging 25,346 doses given each day. On Feb. 11, the vaccination centers set a record, administering 44,872 doses in a single day, which is the DOH goal of vaccinating 45,000 people per day. Washington’s 3-week allocation forecast from the federal government continues to increase.This information allows DOH to develop a multi-week strategy that helps with consistency and predictability. As of Feb. 22, more than 1,411,453 doses of vaccine have been given across the state. https://www.doh.wa.gov/Newsroom/Articles/ID/2647/COVID-19-vaccine-distribution-update-from-the-Washington-State-Department-of-Health
A third vaccine will be coming to Washington in March if the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) grants Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Johnson & Johnson – Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. The FDA independent advisory committee will meet Friday to review the EUA application. If the EUA is granted, the vaccine will be further vetted by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the Scientific Safety Review Workgroup as part of the Western States Pact. The Scientific Safety Review Workgroup includes experts appointed by Washington state, other member states, and nationally recognized scientists with expertise in infectious diseases, immunization, and public health. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires one dose, which will help people get protected against COVID-19 without having to worry about finding or scheduling an appointment for a second dose. If granted authorization, Washington will likely be allocated 60,900 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine next week.
Current Virus Statistics:
Vashon Island COVID-19 Case Count as of 2/26/21:*
106 confirmed positive cases, 2 new cases since last Situation Report on Tuesday
Date of last positive test: February 25
2 new positives in past 7 days and 2 positives in the past 14 days
3 people have been hospitalized. Date of last hospitalization: December 28
2 Vashon deaths per the King County dashboard, last death reported 1/1/21
King County COVID-19 Case Count as of 2/26/21:*
81,918 confirmed positive cases, 539 new since last Situation Report on Tuesday y
1,380 deaths, 23 new since last Situation Report on Tuesday
Washington State COVID-19 Case Count as of 2/25/21:*
338,822 confirmed positive cases, 3,860 new since last Situation Report Tuesday
4,956 deaths, 99 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
Herd immunity from COVID-19 in Washington State is a long way awayand there is no set timeline for when Washington will reach it. Some experts believe that at least 70% of the population needs to build resistance to COVID-19 to reach herd immunity, and vaccines are the safe way to reach that. Washington is far from that mark, with only about 12.9% of our state’s total population has received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Many experts believe that herd immunity for COVID-19 can be reached, but the Washington State Department of Health said the state has no set goal percentage for vaccination. “COVID-19 has not been around long enough to determine for sure what percentage is needed to achieve community immunity. The number is different for every disease, and this one hasn’t been around long enough to know yet. We also do not yet know how long immunity might last, either from natural infection or from the vaccine,” the DOH said in a statement. The DOH encourages as many people as possible to get the vaccine to keep from getting sick. “This is a journey not a destination,” said Dr. Umair Shah, State Secretary of Health.
The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) along with Public Health – Seattle & King County and the UW Medicine Virology Lab, announce that the B.1.351 (South Africa) variant of SARS-CoV-2 has been detected in King County. The lab also found evidence of 19 additional cases of the B.1.1.7 (United Kingdom) variant strain in Washington State, bring the total to 39. Currently, there are no confirmed cases of the P.1 variant that originated in Brazil. The detection of these COVID-19 variants in the state reminds us that this pandemic is not over. Despite the decrease in the case count, DOH is very concerned about the emergence of these variants and how it will affect future case counts. “COVID-19 is threatening us in new ways, and we need to rise to the challenge,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer, Public Health – Seattle & King County. https://www.doh.wa.gov/Newsroom/Articles/ID/2639/First-case-of-B1351-variant-identified-in-Washington-State-as-cases-of-B117-increase
New Developments since Last Report:
Vashon Island School District Healthy Start plan will begin the first phase of reopening in-person education, with preK and Kindergarden this Monday March 1st. Dr. Slade McSheehy has said that with full consideration of WA Department of Health and L&I safety protocols, in-person learning can be accomplished in a way that limits the spread of infection, and in a way that improves student well-being and learning. VISD remains fully committed to following the DOH recommendations and at the same time, is in full support of school staff getting immediate access to vaccinations and will continue advocacy efforts until each and every staff member has access. The timeline for the return to in-person learning will continue after next week with:
March 15th – Grades 1-3
March 29th – Grades 4-5
April 16th – Grades 6-12 (Still in planning phase)
Each of these phases are allowable when trends in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are flat or decreasing and the school can demonstrate the ability to limit transmission in the school environment.
New modeling report explores options for safer return to in-person learning. On Feb. 24, DOH and the Institute for Disease Modeling (IDM) released a report that explores how to minimize COVID-19 introductions in schools, and what can be done to mitigate its spread within schools and the larger community. The study found that the number of infected people who show up to school is proportional to spread in the community. More involved or costly safety measures — like vaccinating teachers and coronavirus testing at schools — may offer limited protective benefit when basic protocols like masking and distancing are in place, they say, but could be key to keeping case counts down if more transmissible coronavirus variants become common. The conclusions don’t significantly change the conversation about coronavirus and schools. But, “Now we can really say how much and say precisely why [community transmission] matters,” said Dan Klein, who led the study and is senior research manager at IDM. https://www.doh.wa.gov/Newsroom/Articles/ID/2643/New-modeling-report-explores-options-for-safer-return-to-in-person-learning
Creating Strength, the island-wide resilience campaign, aims to help all of us become stronger against the stresses of the pandemic, which ripple outwards into related personal crises such as unemployment, housing and food insecurity, racial injustice, isolation, and political unrest. This week’s feature focus is on ‘Nurture’. 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
King County Councilmembers Rod Dembowski, Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Joe McDermott and Girmay Zahilay will be hosting a virtual town hall on Wednesday, March 3rd from 6:00 to 7:30pm. The town hall will be dedicated to making sure the council understands your priorities for the County and region. The town Hall will also discuss the County’s vaccination efforts and continued COVID-19 response. Patty Hayes, Director, Public Health – Seattle & King County will be available to answer questions on COVID-19. The event will be streamed on the King County Council Facebook page and you can submit your questions in advance of the meeting at https://www.facebook.com/KingCountyCouncil.
The state Utilities and Transportation Commission has extended protections for electric and natural gas customers struggling to pay their bills due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The order prevents investor-owned energy utilities from disconnecting customers has been extended to July 31. In addition, utilities will continue to waive late fees and deposits through Jan. 27, 2022. https://www.utc.wa.gov/Pages/default.aspx
FEMA: Youth Preparedness Council will host a webinar on Friday March 5th at 5:30pm. The Youth Preparedness Council (YPC) seeks to bring together youth leaders interested in supporting disaster preparedness and making a difference in their communities by completing disaster preparedness projects nationally and locally. The YPC also provides young people an opportunity to present their perspectives, feedback, and opinions to FEMA staff. Learn more about YPC visit https://www.ready.gov/kids/youth-preparedness-council. Register for the YPC’s webinar at Meeting Registration – Zoom (zoomgov.com)
Gov. Inslee announced Thursday that all 28 Washington counties will remain in Phase 2 of reopening for at least the next two weeks. The state is putting a pause on assessing metrics for the next two weeks “in recognition of the fact that we’ve made incredible progress in knocking down the infection rate of COVID in these last few weeks,” said Inslee. The governor did not provide details on what any later phases might look like for counties whose metrics continue to improve, but said he expects to have answers to that question sometime in the “next several weeks as we look at the development of the science”.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is taking steps with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to further promote equitable relief for America’s small businesses. The changes demonstrate the commitment of the Biden-Harris Administration to racial and gender equity, reaching low and moderate-income, rural, urban, and other underserved areas. The PPP enhancements will:
Establish a 14-day, exclusive PPP loan application period for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees,
Allow sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals to receive more financial,
Eliminate a restriction on access for small business owners with prior non-fraud felony convictions,
Eliminate restrictions on small business owners with federal student loan debt delinquency; and
Ensure access for non-citizen small business owners who are lawful U.S. residents.
The 14-day exclusivity period will start on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 9 a.m., while the other four changes will be implemented by the first week of March. https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program
Vashon Island Fire and Rescue (VIFR), VashonBePrepared, and the Vashon Emergency Operations Center (EOC) have signed on to participate in FEMA’s Cascadia Rising 2022 earthquake exercise. “We will play and perform a functional exercise over all four days of Cascadia Rising”, said Rick Wallace, EOC Manager. “A functional exercise is where the participants inside the EOC experience things as if the earthquake response was actually underway, very realistic, except there won’t be fire trucks and ambulances rolling around the island. Vashon’s participation will also include as many of the community partners who have been such a big part of our pandemic response as want to participate. There will likely be several drills for Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and Ham Radio operators (Auxiliary Communications Service, ACS). We will also invite our social service agency partners such as the Food Bank, Senior Center, and others. “Planning has been delayed for many months due to the pandemic, so we are just getting started and have a lot of work to do,” Wallace said. Cascadia Rising 2022 National Level Full Scale Exercise, scheduled for June 13th – 16th 2022. https://mil.wa.gov/cascadia-rising
Progress on Community Support Operations:
Emergency Operations Center (EOC): 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. The EOC and other elements of our island emergency response coalition were activated in response to the pandemic emergency on March 12th, over 50 weeks ago (352 days).
Community Care Team/Spiritual Resources Group/Community Engagement: Planning and design have begun for a gratitude project, a card writing campaign to thank volunteers working on the emergency response.
EOC Team/Community Engagement: No party is planned because of COVID, but there will be activities to commemorate one year of our emergency activation a little less than two weeks from today.
EOC Logistics/CERT/MRC: Study continues for vaccination site options and alternative traffic flow models for when the existing patient reception/staging area needs to move to a different location.
EOC/CERT/MRC: Intensive coordination work continues in order to meet vaccination demand and optimize operations, and to get information about vaccination availability to the public, along with public health education information on how to stay safe. The assignment of a volunteer as liaison between the VashonBePrepared elements of our response and Vashon Pharmacy has been helping to optimize operations.
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|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