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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: At least one of the island’s two active providers has been offering vaccinations each day, Monday through Saturday, for the last several weeks. Vashon’s first dose vaccination rate has climbed above 75%. Now that the initial intense demand has fallen off, it has become easy for islanders to get their first doses of vaccine. Both providers are able to keep their commitments for second doses. All vaccinations are completely free, no insurance required.
Vaccination eligibility for Washington State currently includes people 16 and older. Those aged 16 and 17 will need consent from a parent or guardian to get the vaccine, unless they are legally emancipated. For full definitions of eligibility, visit https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/covid-19/vaccine/distribution.aspx.
Sea Mar: The Sunrise Ridge clinic has been operating regular walk-up vaccinations on weekdays, with no appointment required. At this time, Sea Mar only has Moderna vaccine for first doses, although both Pfizer and Moderna are available for second dose commitments. Therefore, Sea Mar cannot offer vaccinations to 16- and 17-year olds, since only the Pfizer vaccine is approved for that age group. To increase ease of access for patients, in addition to its walk-up vaccinations, Sea Mar has added an appointment service. Patients may call a central appointment line (not the clinic) at 1-855-289-4503 to make an appointment.
Vashon Pharmacy: The Pharmacy’s website appointment page has been open virtually non-stop since last week. You can go to VashonPharmacy.com/COVID and select appointments as they become available. To adapt to declining demand, and to make it as convenient as possible for those who have not yet been vaccinated, the Pharmacy will be moving towards walk-up vaccinations. In fact, beginning next week, there will be some days each week where no appointment is required, open to all comers. However, drive-through operations will continue for some time to come, in order to vaccinate the volume of patients already scheduled for second doses. The waitlist for end-of-day vacccines will continue to be available as well.
High School: Vaccination at Vashon High School will take place again on Thursday morning. It is important that 16- and 17-year olds have their parents fill out the advance pre-registration form to give parental consent. Here is the pre-registration page for the high school vaccination program: https://bit.ly/VashonHSvax
Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan announced, effective immediately, any person who lives or works in King County and is at least 60 years-old can walk-in to the Seattle Fire Department Community Vaccination Hubs in Rainier Beach and West Seattle and get vaccinated without an appointment. https://durkan.seattle.gov/2021/04/mayor-durkan-announces-new-walk-in-vaccinations-at-rainier-beach-and-west-seattle-for-anyone-60-or-older
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: City of Seattle sites, including one 1.5 miles from the Fauntleroy dock are open to Vashon residents. 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
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 4/27/21:*
113 confirmed positive cases, 0 new cases since last Situation Report on Friday
Date of last positive test: April 7
0 new positives in past 7 days and 0 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 4/27/21:*
96,744 confirmed positive cases, 1,274 new since last Situation Report on Friday
1,505 deaths, 3 new since last Situation Report on Friday
Washington State COVID-19 Case Count as of 4/26/21:*
398,509 confirmed positive cases, 4,915 new since last Situation Report on Friday
5,462 deaths, 28 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
Coping with COVID: Mindfulness and Self-Care is a podcast offered by Washington State Department of Health. In this episode of the Washington State Department of Health behavioral health podcast on coping with COVID-19, Kira Mauseth, PhD and Doug Dicharry, MD discuss how we can practice mindfulness and self-care to reduce stress and anxiety. https://medium.com/wadepthealth/coping-with-covid-mindfulness-and-self-care-4f66f19bb54
The Vashon Community Care Team is organized to help islanders with the challenges of isolation, self-care, relationships, and financial hardships that have been made more pronounced because of COVID-19. If the pandemic is causing increased anxiety, depression, and stress due to feelings of isolation and uncertainty, the Community Care Team Helpline offers mental health and spiritual health options. To learn more or participate, email email@example.com or call the CCT Helpline at (206) 701-0694 (8am – 8pm) and leave a message with your contact information.
New Developments since Last Report:
Rollback to Phase 2 for King County seems likely after the state evaluates data on May 3rd. “Our current metrics put us at a very high risk of rolling back to Phase 2,” according to King County Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin. In order to remain in Phase 3 of reopening, King County must maintain a case rate under 200 new cases per 100,000 residents over 14 days, and under 5 hospitalizations per 100,000 over seven days. As of today’s Situation Report, the county is over those marks by a wide margin. King County’s 14 day average shows more than 229 new cases per 100,000 and 5.5 hospitalizations. Dr. Duchin continued: “As of today, this surge has continued to grow, despite the precautions we’re currently taking as a community,” he cautioned. More troublingly, hospitalizations are rising in younger people, indicated by the fact over the last week, more people aged 20 to 29 years old were hospitalized in King County than people over 70. Meanwhile, 8% of the county’s COVID-related deaths in the last 28 days have come from the 25 to 49 year-old age group, up from 2.5%. https://publichealthinsider.com/2021/04/23/video-dr-jeff-duchin-discusses-covid-19-trends-and-vaccine-distribution-april-23-2021
What will Phase 2 rollback mean for Vashon? Capacity for many businesses would be reduced from the current 50% capacity to 25%, including eating and drinking establishments, retail stores, personal and professional services, and worship services. Indoor and outdoor sports, fitness, and entertainment capacity would be reduced by half. Social and at-home gatherings (indoor and outdoor) would be reduced for both the maximum number of persons and limits on the number of participating households. For a Phase summary, visit: https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/HealthyWashingtonPhasedChart.pdf
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) relaxes mask guidance for fully vaccinated persons. If you are fully vaccinated, you no longer need to wear a mask outdoors if you’re walking, running, hiking or biking alone, are with members of your household, or are attending a small outdoor gathering. But the CDC is continuing their advice on other safety measures, saying vaccinated adults should continue wearing masks and staying six feet apart in large public spaces, like outdoor performance or sports events, indoor shopping malls and movie theaters, where the vaccination and health status of others is unknown. And you still should avoid medium and large gatherings, crowds, and poorly ventilated spaces. Proper mask usage not only protects you, but helps protect unvaccinated people. Early evidence suggests that vaccinated people may be significantly less likely to transmit the virus, but the exact risks are not yet known. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/participate-in-activities.html
Gov. Jay Inslee announced the authorization of resuming use of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine by the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, effective April 24th. “The benefits of the J&J vaccine outweigh the risks associated with it,” Inslee said. “We want to keep as many people free from COVID and out of the hospital as possible, and the J&J vaccine will help us get through this pandemic. I encourage people to get whatever vaccine is available to them. If you have questions or concerns, consult a provider to help answer questions you have.” https://www.doh.wa.gov/Newsroom/Articles/ID/2756/Washington-state-resumes-use-of-Johnson-Johnson-vaccine
COVID-19 immunity increases, but not enough to slow transmission, reports Washington State Department of Health (DOH). “Vaccination is working, but immunity isn’t high enough yet to combat increasing disease levels. All of us, including people who are fully vaccinated, need to keep taking steps to slow the spread while we vaccinate more people,” said Acting State Health Officer Dr. Scott Lindquist. The report includes two estimates of the reproductive number (Re), which tells us how many additional people each new COVID-19 case will infect. The behavior-based Re only reflects the impact people’s actions have on transmission, with a best estimate of 1.72 on April 2. The total Re also includes the effects of immunity from vaccination or previous infection, with a best estimate of 1.29 on April 2. To reduce new cases and hospital admission rates, the total Re needs to stay well below one for a substantial amount of time, and it depends on both population behavior and immunity. https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1600/coronavirus/data-tables/820-114-SituationReport-20210421.pdf
COVID-19 Vaccines: Just the Facts! is a two part Q&A presented by DOH to help with misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines that has been circulating. The two blog posts provide information on the need for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, side effects, and home remedies. Visit: https://medium.com/wadepthealth/covid-19-vaccines-just-the-facts-92f9a2d80024 (part 1) and https://medium.com/wadepthealth/covid-19-vaccines-just-the-facts-part-2-56d895d13904 (part 2).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued the anticipated updated guidance for summer camp operators, just weeks before many camps resume operations in mid-May. A theme that runs throughout the updated guidance is the emphasis on conducting as many activities as possible outdoors, where the risk of infection is considered much lower than indoors. When activities must be brought indoors, spaces should be well-ventilated and windows should be kept open (windows should also be open on camp buses and vans), the CDC said. The guidance urges steps to keep children from sharing toys, books or games. Each camper should have a labeled cubby for their belongings, and nap mats should be assigned to individual children, and sanitized before and after use. Some activities should still be avoided altogether, including close-contact or indoor sports, and large gatherings or assemblies. Higher-risk activities that should be conducted outdoors include singing, chanting, shouting, and playing instruments. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/summer-camps.html
Unemployment benefits have helped many Vashonites survive during the COVID-19 pandemic. Washington employers do not pay for each employee’s benefits directly, but contribute to a pooled fund that provides benefit payments. The system is funded by employers paying a percentage of their total payroll in unemployment taxes. There are two major components of state unemployment taxes: an experience-rating tax based on an average of the employer’s layoff history over the past four fiscal years, and a shared-cost (social) tax based on costs from the previous year that can’t be attributed to a specific employer. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a weekly boost payment is contributed by the federal government. If you have questions about unemployment or need assistance in filing, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone/text her at 206-200-3236.
The state Department of Health (DOH) reports that about 16 percent of Washingtonians are overdue for their second shot as of April 6. King and Snohomish counties had about 14 percent of overdue second doses, while Pierce County was at about 20 percent missed second doses. “We continue to stress that the percentage needs to stay as low as possible for us to defeat the pandemic. We encourage people to get their second dose as soon as they are due,” said Julie Grauert, the state’s Covid-19 Public Information Officer. The CDC recommends that you get your second shot as close to the recommended 3-week (Pfizer) or 4-week (Moderna) interval as possible. If necessary, you can receive your second dose up to six weeks after your first shot. https://www.q13fox.com/news/state-health-officials-say-more-than-15-percent-of-second-dose-appointments-overdue-in-wa
A Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) report predicts a tipping point across the nation in the near future, when vaccine supply will be greater than demand. Because vaccine supply has increased significantly, and eligibility for adults is fully open, KFF estimates vaccine enthusiasm will level off in the next two to four weeks. Timing may differ by state, but once this happens, efforts to encourage vaccination will become more critical, to reach the levels required for herd immunity. Studies suggest that 61% of the U.S. population is willing to be vaccinated, a measure of vaccine enthusiasm. The latest data from the CDC indicate that almost 131 million adults (or about 40% of the US population of 328 million people) have been vaccinated. Over time, people have moved from the “wait and see” group to the vaccine enthusiasm group, suggesting that the 61% vaccine enthusiasm level may be a floor, not a ceiling. If half of the “wait and see” group move to getting vaccinated, it would take about 28 days to reach the tipping point. https://www.kff.org/policy-watch/supply-vs-demand-when-will-the-scales-tip-on-covid-19-vaccination-in-the-u-s
Progress on Community Support Operations:
Emergency Operations Center (EOC): Vashon’s pandemic emergency response began 412 days ago (one year, one month, and 16 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.
EOC/Community Engagement: Now that the island has reached more than 75% first-dose vaccination, public communications and vaccination operations have started looking at the next phase. A work group has met to discuss the messaging and best ways to make vaccination as convenient as possible, in order to strive for a higher level of vaccination. That work has been given a very high priority, now that it appears that King County has reached infection and hospitalization levels that will most likely trigger a move back to Phase 2 COVID safety restrictions next week.
Vashon COVID Relief Fund: The 15th round of funding to local organizations has been completed by the Relief Fund, and the EOC has tallied the results to date in terms of relief delivered by our nonprofit agency partners. Since March of last year, the Relief Fund operated by VashonBePrepared has used community donations to cover the cost of:
3,780 bags of groceries
250 cases of housing assistance
697 family counseling cases
This most recent disbursement totals $45,000, going to the Food Bank, Interfaith Council to Prevent Homelessness, the Senior Center, the School District nutrition program, St. Vincent de Paul, DOVE Project, Vashon Youth and Family Services, Vashon Island Growers Association, and Vashon Chamber of Commerce. The Relief Fund also covers costs of the MRC/CERT/Pharmacy vaccination site and the MRC/CERT test site.
School COVID Screening Testing: Planning and resource acquisition continues on the COVID-19 monitoring program for the School District. The target is to begin next week, if all the details can be pulled together. The COVID-19 monitoring program will use a technique called pooled testing, which makes it possible to quickly screen large numbers of people by combining test samples into groups. If one of the pools shows an infection, then each of the individuals in that pool would be followed up with individual tests.
High School Vaccination: The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) and EOC are working this week on the two vaccination clinics being held at Vashon High School. The second clinic is scheduled for Thursday.
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