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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:
Sign up to receive these emails at www.VoiceofVashon.org/alertsignup
Local COVID Activity:
Casa Bonita Opening: The Casa Bonita quarantine period ends this weekend and, after deep cleaning has been completed, the restaurant will be open this coming week. Negative COVID-19 tests have come back for all of the staff and all of the other potentially exposed people identified during the Medical Reserve Corps contact tracing.
Patty’s Place Closing: Patty’s Place restaurant has voluntarily closed for two weeks as a COVID-19 safety measure. A staff member tested positive yesterday. The closure could be a significant financial drain on the family-owned and operated business. However, owner Patty Freebourn decided to close to help protect the community. VashonBePrepared thanks the owner for this community-minded step. Patty and the MRC have issued an appeal for customers from this past week to call the MRC phone number to get screened in case they need testing. “We need to help everyone stay safe and we love our customers. Those two things will get us through this. Safety is number one,” said Freebourn.“ We are working with the Medical Reserve Corps to help with the contact tracing. Please, everyone get vaccinated. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Maintain social distancing. Thank you for joining us in this safety effort and we can’t wait to open again in two weeks.” Please call the Medical Reserve Corps if you dined inside the restaurant Monday through Thursday midday, April 5 through 8. The Medical Reserve Corps number is: (844) 469-4554. There’s no need to call if you simply picked up a takeout order. Callers will be screened to see if they require testing. MRC experts consider the risk to be relatively low, since most customers of Patty’s Place do take-out. But everyone should call for the screening in order to be safe.
Vashon Vaccine Availability:
The Overview: Both of the island’s active vaccination providers expect to be able to offer a moderate number of first doses next week, despite some worrisome signs that vaccine supply may shrink. This coming week will see a major crush of demand for vaccine, as nearly all restrictions are removed and everyone 16 years or older becomes eligible on Thursday. It’s important to bear in mind that eligibility does not equal vaccine supply, and demand will probably far exceed the available doses at first. In fact, notice has come from Public Health — Seattle and King County (PHSKC) that less than half of first-dose requests are being filled in our region.
Vaccination eligibility for Washington State currently includes those in tiers 1a, 1b1, 1b2, 1b3 and 1b4. Vaccination eligibility will expand on April 15 to include all persons 16 and older. For full definitions of eligibility, visit https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/covid-19/vaccine/distribution.aspx.
Sea Mar: The Sunrise Ridge clinic held walk-up vaccination clinics every day this week. The clinic says they are optimistic about being able to continue at that pace this coming week, but they remain concerned about the PHSKC notice that actual deliveries will fall short of the requested amounts around the region. Sea Mar asks that you not show up any earlier than 6:00am. Arriving patients are registered and given a place in line for the day. To avoid long outdoor wait times, when patients are registered they are given a time to come back or they are asked to wait in their cars until they receive a phone call to come into the clinic to have their vaccine administered. Vaccine has been set aside for all currently booked second-dose appointments at Sea Mar. Check https://seamar.org/covid-vaccine to confirm vaccine availability.
Vashon Pharmacy: Vaccinations were scheduled this week on several days, and it looks like first doses will be available on a similar cadence next week. The Pharmacy has been working with the EOC, MRC, and CERT to make plans for the spike in demand starting Thursday and figuring out how to optimize use of existing vaccine stock, since the request for a fresh shipment of first doses next week was denied by the state Department of Health. At this time, the plan is to open the online appointment website on Monday evening. Watch for an alert on the Voice of Vashon Emergency Alert System that will confirm the plan and give details on how to obtain a vaccination appointment.
Young People: A protocol has been established to maintain safety at the drive-through vaccination site when young people are being vaccinated. People 21 years and younger are more prone to fainting, so the normal drive-through process has been modified for them so they are not at the wheel when fainting risk is greatest. In addition, next week will be the first time that large numbers of young people are eligible for vaccination. At the Vashon Pharmacy drive-through site:
16- and 17-year olds must have parental consent and be driven to the site in order to go through the drive-through line.
18- through 21-year olds do not need consent or a driver, but if they arrive driving solo, they will be vaccinated in a designated seating area, not in the drive-through line.
Currently Pfizer-BioNTech is the only COVID-19 vaccine authorized for people 16 and 17 years of age.
Vax Access: To date, the Vax Access program has reached approximately 350 people who are seeking vaccinations but face significant barriers to access. The program promotes access equity for people dealing with various barriers to care, such as mobility challenges and other disabilities, lack of a computer, internet, or computer skills, low English language skills, and people experiencing homelessness. Vax Access has done well reaching Vashon seniors — only a trickle of Vax Access requests continue to come in for people aged 65+.
A major push to reach Vashon’s Latinx population has scheduled or achieved vaccination for about 100 people.
Weekly field work has been steadily reaching more of those experiencing homelessness on Vashon.
A mobile vaccination operation will go to homes next week for about half a dozen island residents who are unable to go to a vaccination location.
The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) recommends that you check the following four websites to see if there is updated information about local vaccination opportunities, beyond what we compile in these Situation Reports which are published on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Going off Island for Vaccination: A number of sites within driving distance are accepting appointments from residents in King, Pierce and Kitsap counties. Here are some websites to check for vaccination opportunities:
Vaccinate WA: vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov
WA COVID Vaccine Finder: www.covidwa.com
City of Seattle Vaccination Notification List: bit.ly/VaxNotificationList
Each of these sources lists some potential vaccination locations within a few miles of the mainland ferry docks. Check these websites frequently and refresh your browser to find the most convenient location for you. Also, keep in mind that your mainland healthcare provider may be a vaccination resource (CHI Franciscan, Multicare, Kaiser, etc.). And all patients enrolled in the Veterans Administration system are eligible at VA facilities.
Current Virus Statistics:
Vashon Island COVID-19 Case Count as of 4/9/21:*
113 confirmed positive cases, 1 new case since last Situation Report on Tuesday
Date of last positive test: April 7
1 new positive in past 7 days and 4 new positives in the past 14 days
4 people have been hospitalized. Date of last hospitalization: March 18
3 Vashon deaths per the King County dashboard, last death reported 2/27/21
King County COVID-19 Case Count as of 4/96/21:*
90,581 confirmed positive cases, 838 new since last Situation Report on Tuesday
1,483 deaths, 8 new since last Situation Report on Tuesday
Washington State COVID-19 Case Count as of 4/7/21:*
373,212 confirmed positive cases, 6,097 new since last Situation Report Tuesday
5,316 deaths, 31 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
Washington State Department of Health (DOH) released the latest statewide situation report on COVID-19, which shows increasing transmission and daily case counts. COVID-19 transmission is increasing statewide. The DOH estimates the state’s reproductive number (how many new people each COVID-19 patient will infect) on March 19 was 1.38. The goal is to maintain a reproductive number well below one—meaning COVID-19 transmission is declining—for a substantial amount of time. DOH is asking people to avoid crowds and wear masks in public regardless of vaccination status. If unvaccinated or living with someone at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19, wear masks when around anyone outside your household. Consider having fewer, shorter, smaller and safer gatherings. Gather outside, or increase ventilation if you have to go indoors. Keep your distance, wash your hands frequently, and get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms. https://www.doh.wa.gov/Newsroom/Articles/ID/2734/COVID-19-data-show-concerning-increases-in-disease-activity
Reminder for the health and safety of yourselves and others, even after receiving your first and second vaccine dose:
We all will still need to mask up for a while
We’ll still potentially be vulnerable to any variants of the virus
We’ll still potentially be able to spread the virus to others
The vaccines are highly effective, but some people may still get infected, most likely with mild illness
New Developments since Last Report:
Washington State Department of Health indicated Wednesday that King and Pierce counties could soon be facing a move back to Phase 2 of reopening. In order to remain in Phase 3, large counties need to have 200 or fewer new cases per 100,000 residents over two weeks, and five or fewer hospitalizations per 100,000 residents over the past week. Cases and hospitalizations in both counties — as well as several others — are also continuing to rise at a significant rate. A shift back to Phase 2 would decrease capacity of indoor dining, retail, fitness centers, salons, and entertainment from 50% to 25%. The state does not plan to add any new, additional restrictions to the phase. https://mynorthwest.com/2764621/gov-inslee-echoes-concerns-roll-back-phase-2
Gov. Jay Inslee today updated and clarified the criteria for counties to stay in Phase 3 of the state’s Healthy Washington pandemic reopening plan. Each county will be evaluated on Monday April 12 to determine its phase that will be effective on April 16. In order to move down one phase, a county must fail both metrics for case counts and hospitalizations. Under the previous plan, a county only needed to fail one metric to move back one phase. As of today’s Situation Report, King County has a 14-day average for cases of 187.8 and a 14-day hospitalization rate of 3.9. Both of these targets are just below the values needed to remain in Phase 3. Pierce County reports a 14-day case average of 197.9 and a hospitalization rate of 5.1, which is slightly above the Phase 3 threshold. Official determinations of Healthy Washington status will be made on Monday, April 12th. https://www.governor.wa.gov/news-media/inslee-updates-healthy-washington-criteria-county-phases
Hospitals are seeing more adults in their 30s and 40s admitted with severe cases of Covid-19, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Wednesday. “Data suggests this is all happening as we are seeing increasing prevalence of variants, with 52 jurisdictions now reporting cases of variants of concern,” Walensky said. Scientists say new variants of the coronavirus are more transmissible and some of them may be more lethal as well, resulting in more severe cases. The highly contagious B.1.1.7 variant from the United Kingdom has become the dominant strain circulating in the United States, Walensky said. “I’m pleading with you, for the sake of our nation’s health,” Walensky said, warning that traveling for spring break could lead to another rise in cases, especially in Florida where the variant was rapidly spreading. The B.1.1.7 variant has since spread, and is about 50% more transmissible than the original strain of the coronavirus. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/variant-surveillance/variant-info.html#Concern
Johnson & Johnson production issues will result in a substantial decrease in the number of COVID-19 vaccine doses being delivered to Washington State. On April 1, the state expected to receive 109,000 Johnson & Johnson doses in the first full week of April, and 41,000 each week for the following two weeks. Now, the state expects 12,900 Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine doses for the week of April 11, and 4,300 doses in subsequent weeks. Nearly 15 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine were ruined at a manufacturing plant. The quantity of Pfizer and Moderna doses being delivered in April remains stable, with the number of those doses being delivered expected to be slightly higher than previously anticipated. https://www.doh.wa.gov/Newsroom/Articles/ID/2731/COVID-19-vaccine-distribution-update-from-the-Washington-State-Department-of-Health
Guidance for Graduation Ceremonies has been updated by the Governor’s office. Schools should plan to prevent large gatherings and to keep physical distancing. Ceremonies must align with the Governor’s Healthy Washington Roadmap to Recovery guidance. The guidance recommends ceremonies should be outdoors in a well-ventilated area, have no more than five people, and should have no person-to-person contact. https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/covid-19/schools-childcare/graduation.aspx
CDC has updated guidance for domestic and international travel and Gov. Inslee has confirmed these are the travel guidelines for Washingtonians. The most important recommendation is that CDC recommends limiting non-essential travel to reduce the spread of COVID-19, even if vaccinated. The PHSKC website for frequently asked questions about COVID-19 has a summary table for domestic and international travel recommendations based on vaccination level. Visit question 24 at https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/covid-19/FAQ.aspx
Starting April 15, everyone ages 16 and older will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Those age 16 or 17 may need consent from a parent or guardian to get the vaccine, unless they are legally emancipated. Currently Pfizer-BioNTech is the only COVID-19 vaccine authorized for people 16 and 17 years of age. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are authorized only for people 18 and older.
Appointments are now being taken for people 16 and up for COVID-19 vaccine doses at Seattle vaccination sites beginning April 15. You can also sign up for the City of Seattle Vaccine Notification list to receive email notifications for available appointments at bit.ly/VaxNotificationList. Please note that the King County mass-vaccinations sites (KingCounty.gov/covid/registration) block appointments from Vashon’s zip code, but the City of Seattle sites will allow Vashon appointments.
CDC has updated its surface-cleaning guidelines and noted that the risk of contracting the virus from touching a contaminated surface was less than 1 in 10,000. “People can be affected with the virus that causes Covid-19 through contact with contaminated surfaces and objects,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the C.D.C. “However, evidence has demonstrated that the risk by this route of infection of transmission is actually low.” “The most important part of this update is that they’re clearly communicating to the public the correct, low risk from surfaces, which is not a message that has been clearly communicated for the past year,” said Joseph Allen, a building safety expert at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Catching the virus from surfaces remains theoretically possible, he noted. But it requires many things to go wrong: a lot of fresh, infectious viral particles to be deposited on a surface, and then for a relatively large quantity of them to be quickly transferred to someone’s hand and then to their face. “Presence on a surface does not equal risk,” Dr. Allen said. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/disinfecting-building-facility.html
Washington State Department of Commerce launched a new round of free online business trainings for small businesses interested in achieving significant growth in the wake of COVID. The Rebuild Edition is focused on helping small businesses restart and rebuild by improving their strategic decision-making, creating new operational efficiencies, and strengthening the bottom line. Interested businesses can choose from three different tracks in the ongoing series at http://MyStartup365.com/programs/scaleup.
Even though the tax filing deadline has been moved to May 17, tax experts are saying you should not procrastinate. If you need tax assistance, there are two free options available on Vashon. You can call or text Deborah Diamond, (206) 200-3236, to set up an appointment to prepare your 2020 tax return by phone. The second option is to set up a socially distanced appointment with an AARP Tax Aide at the Vashon Lutheran Church. This assistance is provided on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons through May 6, 2021. Contact Jim Hauser at (206) 463-5117 to set up an AARP appointment.
April 1 was the last day of Vashon Island School District food delivery by bus/van routes. Every student will have the opportunity to pick up food when they are at school, free of charge. The pickup location at the west side of VHS will continue to be available for the Vashon community, including students who are remote learning or alternative schooling and community members, from 8am to 1pm, Monday through Friday, on scheduled school days. During the 2020-2021 school year, meals are available to all children ages 1 through 18 free of charge, and meals are available to adults for $5.00.
Progress on Community Support Operations:
Emergency Operations Center (EOC): Four operational priorities — health, food security, housing security and economic recovery — were put in place for Vashon’s pandemic emergency response shortly after our activation more than 56 weeks ago. The four priorities were established by the Incident Commander Fire Chief Charlie Krimmert, and approved by the VashonBePrepared Board.
Vax Access: As described in the Vaccine Availability Survey in this report, the Vax Access team has been moving into three new areas of need — housebound individuals who can’t come to the vaccination site, Spanish speakers whose English is not sufficient for using the online signup process, and those experiencing homelessness. The previous focus on seniors with health equity access challenges has largely been completed. The intensive Vax Access effort has signed up hundreds of people who otherwise might not get vaccinated.
EOC: The ever-changing availability of vaccine and the rising level of disease have required the EOC to track these factors in real time and work with Vashon Pharmacy, MRC and CERT on information sharing and facilitation of plan adjustments. Another planning element has been the opening of vaccination eligibility this coming week to everyone 16 years of age and older.
School District: Work continues on several fronts in support of the School District. There are hopeful signs that it may be possible to hold a special vaccination day for eligible high school students. Another possibility is mass testing using pooling technology. And the EOC has made a commitment to providing support for a program of COVID safety monitoring on school buses.
Acknowledgements: This week we give special thanks to three businesses who have been essential to our emergency response, even while the economic consequences of the pandemic struck them very hard. The vaccination drive-through project would be impossible without their generous support. Vashon Print & Design gave prompt skilled service and helpful prices on the repeat orders for patient handouts, and acted as ambassadors by providing information to folks who stopped at the counter in the back of their shop with questions about vaccines. Vashon Island Queen cheerfully offered the use of their restroom to volunteers staffing the vaccination drive-through, and gave coffee to volunteers on very chilly days. Vashon Theatre permitted the vaccination project to take over most of their parking lot, even working around the vaccination drive-through project’s schedule while they put up a new fence and planned other changes.
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