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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.
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Vashon Vaccine Availability:
Vaccination eligibility for Washington State currently includes those in tiers 1a and 1b1. For full definitions of eligibility visit https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19/Vaccine. (see next item – this link might not yet be updated with the latest information)
Gov. Jay Inslee issued a statement today following President Joe Biden’s directive that all states must prioritize vaccinations of teachers and childcare workers. “Therefore, we are adding educators and licensed childcare workers to Washington’s Phase 1B-1 immediately. The Washington State Department of Health will have more specific information soon on how those workers can access vaccines. Phase Finder may take time to reflect these changes, but educators and licensed childcare workers can schedule with providers right away.”
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.
The Overview: Vaccination availability has been better this week than in most previous weeks. Second dose requirements have been met or are scheduled to be met, and first doses have been available at both of the active vaccination sites.
Overall Vaccination Progress: The data dashboard compiled by Public Health — Seattle and King County (PHSKC) indicates that nearly one-third of the island’s 16+ population has received at least one dose of vaccine. In addition, according to the PHSKC tabulation, more than 95% of seniors aged 65 and over (tier 1b1) have received at least one dose. The vaccination rates on Vashon continue to be substantially higher than other areas of King County.
Vashon Pharmacy: The Pharmacy’s appointment portal web page opened last night for new first dose appointments, the first time it has been open since the first week of February. The arrival of new vaccine shipments made that possible and the drive-through vaccination site will be operating each day this week. Primarily, the vaccine has been allocated to second doses, although about 300 first doses have been made available.
Vashon Pharmacy has created a help document to prepare for scheduling a vaccine appointment. The document shows you what the actual registration form looks like and points out some important sections that have created confusion or delays in completing the appointment request. A visit to the document before you try to schedule an appointment will help smooth out the process. Visit https://vashonpharmacy.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Vaccine-Registration-Help.pdf
Sea Mar at Sunrise Ridge: Sea Mar held first-come, first-served walk up clinics last Friday and Saturday – when it is normally closed. Nearly 150 doses were administered over the two days. Some of the scarce doses at Sea Mar were in danger of expiring so, to prevent them going to waste, the EOC alerted the SchoolDistrict and a phone tree operation mobilized teachers to hurry to Sunrise Ridge for shots. Just under half of the Saturday injections went to 45 School District teachers, paraeducators, and other staff. The other half went to members of the general public. School Superintendent Dr. Slade McSheehy said they “were very thankful that many of our in-person learning staff were able to receive their first vaccinations.”
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.
“The best choice of the vaccine is the one that’s available,” said Dr. Scott Lindquist, state Epidemiologist for Communicable Diseases. The single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine should start arriving in some areas of the country this week, with Washington state expecting over 60,000 doses. Studies show the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is slightly less effective in preventing mild illness than Moderna and Pfizer, but it’s still a powerful tool that doctors say will save lives and is comparable as the first two vaccines in preventing severe illness. For now, most people will not have a choice which vaccine they receive. “If you are eligible, and you have an opportunity to get the vaccine, and you have an appointment, get the vaccine regardless of which vaccine it is,” advised Washington’s Secretary of Health, Dr. Umair Shah. “All three of them are really quite good, and people should take the one that’s most available to them,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said. For more information on the vaccines visit https://www.yalemedicine.org/news/covid-19-vaccine-comparison
Current Virus Statistics:
Vashon Island COVID-19 Case Count as of 2/26/21:*
106 confirmed positive cases, 0 new cases since last Situation Report on Friday
Date of last positive test: February 25
0 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
3 Vashon deaths per the King County dashboard, last death reported 2/27/21 (see Local COVID activity section)
King County COVID-19 Case Count as of 2/26/21:*
82,363 confirmed positive cases, 445 new since last Situation Report on Friday
1,399 deaths, 19 new since last Situation Report on Friday
Washington State COVID-19 Case Count as of 2/28/21:*
340,708 confirmed positive cases, 1,886 new since last Situation Report on Friday
4,969 deaths, 13 since last Situation Report on Friday
*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
On the one-year anniversary of the King County COVID-19 outbreak, Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer, Public Health – Seattle & King County made some comments for the future. “Vaccination is our most powerful single weapon against COVID-19, but at the moment it can’t be our only strategy. It’s essential to continue to fight this virus through both prevention measures and vaccination in order to reduce the risk for a major spring surge. If we relax too soon and fail to further suppress the spread of COVID-19, if we travel and gather to the degree we did during the summer and winter holiday seasons, we will increase the chances of experiencing another large surge in cases, hospitalizations and deaths this spring.” Duchin continued, “On the positive side, we’ve shown we can drive COVID-19 cases down by changing our behavior and our environment, limiting activities with people from outside the home, wearing well-made and well-fitting face masks, avoiding spending time in crowded and poorly ventilated indoor spaces and providing resources to allow people to take necessary actions. Continuing to pay special attention to decreasing risk in crowded, and indoor, poorly ventilated spaces by improving air quality indoors will be important.”
Dr. Jim Bristow, lead physician for the Medical Reserve Corps testing site points out that, “In order to slow the spread of COVID-19, it’s important to get tested if you have any viral symptoms or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive. This remains true even if you’ve been vaccinated. ” For a list of symptoms, or questions about getting tested, call 844-469-4554, or visit https://testing.vashonbeprepared.org.
Local COVID Activity:
Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) reports an additional death due to COVID-19 on Vashon. The death, reported on the PHSKC statistics dashboard on February 27, brings the total to three. At this time, the identity and date of death for the deceased is not known by the EOC or MRC and this information is protected by federal privacy law.
New Developments since Last Report:
Vashon Island School District (VISD) has commenced its Healthy Start return to school plan. The District will host a third parent and family Q&A on Wednesday March 3rd at 5:00 pm. The public is also invited and encouraged to attend. At the Zoom Q&A, VISD will share many details for the remaining grades who will be returning (1st-3rd March 15th, 4th-5th March 29th) and will be available for other questions as they are asked. Spanish interpretation will also be available. The Zoom link is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88228509254
The FDA has authorized a third COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, this one made by Johnson & Johnson (J&J). This is a major advancement in the fight against COVID-19. In clinical trials, the vaccine was shown to be 85% effective in preventing severe illness from COVID-19. The J&J vaccine only requires one dose and has more convenient refrigeration and storage needs. https://publichealthinsider.com/2021/03/01/5-reasons-to-celebrate-a-third-covid-19-vaccine
President Joe Biden predicted today that the United States will have enough doses for every adult American by the end of May. The timeline speeds up by two months the administration’s previous goal of having enough shots by the end of July. Biden said it will take additional time to inoculate everyone and he urged people to remain vigilant by wearing masks. Biden’s prediction followed word that drugmaker Merck will help manufacture the vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson.
Reminder: King County Council Virtual Town Hall with Patty Hayes, Director of Public Health — Seattle & King County. This virtual event will be held tomorrow, March 3, 2021, and will cover the County’s vaccination efforts and continued COVID-19 response. The event will be livestreamed from 6:00 to 7:30pm on the King County Council Facebook page at www.facebook.com/KingCountyCouncil/live.
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, nearly 51 weeks ago (356 days).
EOC Team/Medical Reserve Corps/Community Engagement Team: Advance work has started in anticipation of a coming major increase in demand for vaccinations, coupled with a major increase in availability. As the vaccination roll out unfolds, currently in tier 1b1, the availability criteria will widen and tiers 1b2, 1b3, and 1b4 will open up. At the same time, manufacturing and distribution will make it possible to vaccinate more people. That means it will be important to expand vaccination capacity on Vashon, which will require considerable planning.
EOC Logistics/CERT/MRC: Four options have been identified for the Vashon Pharmacy drive-through vaccination site location and traffic flow, in preparation for when the existing patient reception/staging area needs to move to a different location. The options are being evaluated for potential throughput capacity to meet future demand.
EOC Team/Community Care Team/Spiritual Resources Group: The Planning Section has produced a detailed timeline for the last year of activation, thanks to the work of our partner, the Vashon Heritage Association. The timeline will be utilized in the commemoration activities for the one year anniversary of the activation.
Volunteers: Hours contributed by volunteers in the VashonBePrepared coalition continue to run at a high level. For the most recent reporting period, 45 volunteers contributed 664 hours of work to VashonBePrepared’s pandemic emergency response. That brings the total contributed hours to almost 24,700 since the activation began. At the FEMA reimbursement grant rate of $31.72/hour, VashonBePrepared volunteers have logged more than $783,000 of in-kind value available to be applied to the 25% match requirement for reimbursement grants. VashonBePrepared gives thanks as well for the many hours of extra work logged during the pandemic in support of the Vashon community, by the staff and volunteers at local social services agencies.
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