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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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Spanish translations of each Situation Report are available.
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La traducción del SitRep o Reporte de la Situación en la isla, está disponible en español. Pare recibir una copia por correo, pídala a: email@example.com
Vashon Vaccine Availability:
The Overview: Both of the island’s active vaccination providers have been working to pivot in response to the trend of declining demand for vaccination at the same time that vaccine supplies have been readily available. For some weeks, one or the other or both of the island’s two active providers have been providing at least some vaccine doses each day, Monday through Saturday. They both plan to continue that level of service.
Free: All vaccinations are free to all. You’ll be asked for insurance information if you have it, but there’s no co-pay. If you do not have insurance, the cost is covered anyway and you will not be charged.
12- to 15-Year Olds: The FDA will likely authorize Pfizer vaccine for this new younger age group, possibly as soon as this coming week. Plans are in the works to provide vaccinations for this age group at McMurray Middle School and Vashon High School. The timing of these school-based vaccination clinics will be announced soon, pending availability of vaccine and following final FDA authorization.
Vashon Pharmacy: The Pharmacy site begins vaccination this week for people who just walk up with no appointment. Check in at the Pharmacy vaccination tents any Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday from 9:00am to 4:00pm for a no-appointment-required vaccination. If you prefer to make an appointment, you can go to the schedule page at VashonPharmacy.com/COVID. It’s wide open most days, with none of the computer traffic jams of a few months ago. Those arriving with appointments by car should check for signs at the alley entrance and at the welcome tent in the movie theater parking lot. Depending on the day’s work load, arrivals may be directed through a drive-through vaccination process, or they may be asked to park somewhere in the area and go on foot to the vaccination site next to the Pharmacy. Again, vaccinations are free to all.
Sea Mar Clinic: The clinic at Sunrise Ridge also will vaccinate walk-ups without an appointment most weekdays. You can check availability on the Sea Mar website daily to find out what vaccine is on offer, and to make sure they’ll be open: SeaMar.org/COVID-Vaccine. If you’d like to make an appointment, you can do it by calling Sunrise Ridge clinic at (206) 463-3671, or you can stop by in person to make an appointment. Like the Pharmacy, there’s no charge. They will take your insurance information and there’s no co-pay. If you don’t have insurance, the federal government covers the cost.
Current Virus Statistics:
Vashon Island COVID-19 Case Count as of 5/4/21:*
116 confirmed positive cases, 0 new cases since last Situation Report on Friday
Date of last positive test: April 30
1 new positive in past 7 days and 3 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 5/4/21:*
99,420 confirmed positive cases, 2,676 new since last Situation Report on Friday
1,527 deaths, 2 new since last Situation Report on Friday
Washington State COVID-19 Case Count as of 5/3/21:*
408,607 confirmed positive cases, 6,889 new since last Situation Report on Friday
5,528 deaths, 41 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
Why now is the right time for your COVID-19 Vaccine. Don’t ‘wait and see’ – get vaccinated ASAP! Protect yourself and protect others. “There are no benefits to waiting to get the vaccine,” said Danielle Koenig, Health Promotion Supervisor and immunization education expert for state Department of Health. “The sooner you get the vaccine, the sooner you and others are protected from the disease. The reality is that you can’t be certain of your risk. Even young and healthy people can get sick and die from diseases like COVID-19,” said Koenig. “You might not be afraid for yourself, but you can get sick and pass the virus onto others who can’t fight it off as well. Scientists have long been working on vaccines for other coronaviruses, so the technology is not new,” she explained. “We are confident about the safety and effectiveness of these [COVID-19] vaccines, which have been proven through the millions of doses already given, with very few serious reactions.” https://medium.com/wadepthealth/why-now-is-the-right-time-for-your-covid-19-vaccine-481d2a623374
New Developments since Last Report:
Gov. Jay Inslee announced today a two-week pause in phase changes for Washington State’s reopening plan. This means all counties will remain in their current reopening phases for the time being, despite a surge in the number of COVID cases and hospitalizations. King county will remain in Phase 3, while Pierce county will stay in Phase 2. Inslee said he decided a pause is the best strategy because the current surge – or “fourth wave” – in the state’s number of COVID cases and hospitalizations appears to have reached a plateau. Hospitalizations are up, but hospital stays are shorter and staff are able to handle the increase, he said. “While we’re pausing today, it doesn’t mean we have a clear path out of these phases either. But we do have a choice in these next couple weeks to get vaccinated and take more control over the course of this pandemic,” Inslee said, “We attribute this change to our vaccination progress and our prioritization to vaccinate the most vulnerable first to help save lives.” https://medium.com/wagovernor/inslee-announces-two-week-pause-on-phases-efd9d63c4500
Voice of Vashon is running new COVID-19 Public Service Announcements (PSAs) to support the Island’s response. The four PSAs will be posted in the next few Situation Reports. You can listen to the PSA at the link below. PSA~COVID 1: “Ever see one of those football highlights where a player is headed for a touchdown and then he gets cocky, slows down just before he scores, starts celebrating early, and a defender knocks the ball out of his hands just before the end zone? Yeah, well, some of us have become that guy when it comes to COVID-19. Maybe we’ve been vaccinated and feel like it’s all downhill from here so we let down our guard and here comes COVID to knock the ball out of our hands. This is not the time to let up. You know the drill. Mask up, keep your distance, avoid crowds, and wash your hands. We will eventually get to do our choreographed end zone dance with our friends, but with cases on the rise, and variants on the move, we aren’t there yet. Stay the course, Vashon.” https://voiceofvashon.org/user-content/psa-covid-1
Gov. Jay Inslee approved an update to the guidance documents for operations and visitation at long term care facilities. The guidance documents were amended to align with recent CDC recommendations regarding what infection control practices should be in place when planning for or allowing communal activities, such as group activities or communal dining. The changes will allow residents who are fully vaccinated to choose to have close contact with other fully vaccinated individuals, and to not wear masks during the activity. The changes are effective immediately. For specific details visit: https://www.governor.wa.gov/news-media/inslee-announces-update-long-term-care-facility-guidance
Gov. Jay Inslee announced updates to the guidance to establish separate sections for vaccinated people at sporting events, graduations, religious services, and other similar activities. The change, which is effective immediately, allows vaccinated sections to increase allowed capacity.
Outdoor facilities may add vaccinated sections until their total capacity is 50% maximum or 22,000 people, whichever is lower,
Indoor facilities may add vaccinated sections until their total capacity is 50% maximum, up to a maximum of 2,000 people.
Indoor spectator events and religious and faith-based organizations may also increase capacity by adding sections for vaccinated attendees.
Under the updated guidance, the following are acceptable as proof of full vaccination: Vaccination card (which includes name of person vaccinated, type of vaccine provided and date final dose administered) OR a photo of a vaccination card as a separate document OR a photo of the attendee’s vaccine card stored on a phone or electronic device OR documentation of vaccination from a healthcare provider electronic health record or state Immunization Information System record. Self-reported vaccination records that are not verified by a health care provider cannot be accepted. For more details, visit: https://www.governor.wa.gov/news-media/inslee-announces-update-spectator-event-and-religious-organization-guidance
COVID infections and hospitalization rates are ratcheting higher than the initial surge of cases last year in Washington State, public health officials say. This is happening despite efforts to get more people vaccinated against the contagious disease. “What we’re seeing is a little bit scary,” said Dr. Amy Compton Phillips, CEO for the Providence Hospital System. “We had about 500 more people this April in our hospitals across our footprint than we had last April, so we’re actually seeing more cases now than we were last April when the whole world was shut down.” And she said those patients are skewing about 10 years younger than last year. “About one quarter of those cases are under the age of 40 – and they’re healthier to start with, with fewer chronic conditions like diabetes or hypertension,” Phillips says. https://komonews.com/news/local/covid-4th-wave-more-cases-younger-patients-than-initial-surge-in-wash-state
Seattle Sounders FC add vaccines to their game plan. Now that the players and support staff are fully vaccinated, the team is offering fans vaccinations during Sounders home games at Lumen Field. All COVID-19 vaccinations are free of charge and are being made available on a walk-up basis with no appointments necessary. Two locations will serve those in attendance: one in the West Field Plaza outside of section 140, and the second in the East Main Concourse outside of section 104. Vaccinations will be available starting when gates open, and running through the end of the match. https://www.soundersfc.com/post/2021/04/29/sounders-fc-announces-team-fully-vaccinated-partners-virginia-mason-franciscan
Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) application period is open. The federal Small Business Administration has established the RRFto provide funding to help restaurants and other eligible businesses keep their doors open. For eligibility and how to apply, visit: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/covid-19-relief-options/restaurant-revitalization-fund
The Washington State Department of Commerce is partnering with ArtsFund to provide over $10 million in grants to help community organizations across the state that have been impacted by the pandemic. The Nonprofit Community Relief grant program focuses on arts, culture, science and heritage nonprofits, as well as organizations whose primary mission is to serve veterans, neighborhood organizations and sports and recreation programs for adults and/or children. The grant application portal opens May 10. http://www.artsfund.org/ncrgrants
The King County Eviction Prevention and Rental Assistance Program (EPRAP) is now accepting landlord applications. EPRAP will help King County residents in danger of eviction by paying past, current, and future rent. Payments go directly to landlords or property owners. The goal is to deploy multiple ways to get rent assistance efficiently to those at the highest risk of eviction. The phased enrollment should significantly reduce duplication of registrations and facilitate smoother and faster payments for all. Landlords with five units behind on rent can now sign up to receive rent assistance for eviction prevention. For tenants needing rental assistance, King County is scheduled to make applications for tenants starting on May 17th. https://kingcounty.gov/depts/community-human-services/COVID/eviction-prevention-rent-assistance.aspx
The White House on Tuesday told states that coronavirus vaccine supply they choose not to order will become available to other states, instead of allowing unordered doses to carry over week to week. The strategy could transform how vaccine supplies flow across the country. In the next phase of the immunization campaign, defined by efforts to improve access and build confidence, “there is a need to add more flexibility to the current system,” said Jeff Zients, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force. https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/05/04/vaccine-distribution-biden
Vaccine hesitancy is a complex combination of challenges facing ongoing vaccination efforts, including barriers to accessing vaccination, vaccine hesitancy, and denialism. A Kaiser Family Foundation survey observed declining vaccine hesitancy from December 2020 through March 2021. Overall vaccine hesitancy and opposition—those who would “wait and see,” get vaccinated “only if required,” or “definitely not” get vaccinated—decreased from 64% to 37%. Notably, “wait and see” responses fell from 39% to 17% over that period, indicating increased confidence among those who were uncertain. These data were collected prior to the temporary suspension of the J&J-Janssen vaccine. With vaccine supply now exceeding demand, it is critical to identify and implement effective mechanisms to engage individuals and populations that have not yet been vaccinated. Some people in higher-risk professions—including law enforcement, long-term care facility personnel, and healthcare workers in rural areas—as well as in certain rural communities, have lower vaccination coverage. It is also important to continue public education regarding the benefits and timing of second doses, to ensure vaccinated individuals develop full protection. https://khn.org/news/article/covid-vaccine-hesitancy-drops-among-americans-new-kff-survey-shows
Progress on Community Support Operations:
Emergency Operations Center (EOC): Vashon’s pandemic emergency response began 419 days ago (one year, one month, and 23 days). Our current operational priorities were established by the Incident Commander Fire Chief Charlie Krimmert, and approved by the VashonBePrepared Board. Those priorities are health, food security, housing security and economic recovery.
MRC/EOC: Planning and pilot testing continues on multiple tracks to help islanders get vaccinated.
A redesign of traffic flow at the Vashon Pharmacy location has been completed and passed a first round of trials. Refinements continue, and this week the Pharmacy will combine drive-through vaccination with walk-up vaccination, and will begin accepting people who show up with no appointment on Thursday and Saturday.
In addition, pre-planning has started for vaccinating 12- to 15-year olds when the FDA authorizes the use of the Pfizer vaccine for that age group, a step that is expected as soon as this coming week.
Coordination continues on linking the work being done at the Vashon Pharmacy site with the vaccination offerings at the Sea Mar clinic at Sunrise Ridge.
School COVID Monitoring: The new pooled COVID-19 monitoring program went into pilot tests this week in the Vashon Island School District. Medical Reserve Corps volunteers are getting the program going at a small scale this week to iron out any initial challenges with the new initiative. It’s hoped that a full program can come online next week when a paid person can be brought on board. The COVID-19 monitoring will utilize a technique called pooled testing, which makes it possible to quickly screen large numbers of people by combining samples into groups. If one of the pools shows an infection, then each of the individuals in that pool would receive an individual test.
EOC/Community Engagement: Although Vashon has the best vaccination record of any King County community, more than 20% of those eligible still have not taken the step. A multi-dimensional community engagement campaign is ramping up now to provide public health education including information on safety and availability. The campaign includes new raccoon banners, leafleting at strategic locations, emails, new Q&A information sheets, social media posts, and more.
Volunteers: For the last full-week reporting period, 35 volunteers contributed 429 hours of work to VashonBePrepared’s pandemic emergency response. That brings the total contributed hours to nearly 29,000 since the activation began. At the FEMA reimbursement grant rate of $31.72/hour, VashonBePrepared volunteers have run up nearly $917,000 of contributed in-kind value. VashonBePrepared also gives thanks to the staff and volunteers at local social services agencies, for the many hours of extra work they have logged during the pandemic in support of the Vashon 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.
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