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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
Spanish translations of each Situation Report are available.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org to receive them via email.
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: The island’s vaccination rate has been rising sharply, now that both of the island’s active vaccination providers (Vashon Pharmacy and Sea Mar clinic) have consistent supplies of vaccine. You can get vaccinated at one or the other of the two locations every day, Monday through Saturday.
12- to 15-Year Olds: Vashon Island School District has targeted the week of May 17th for school vaccination days for 12- to 15-year olds. That’s pending authorization of use of Pfizer vaccine for this new younger age group, which could happen this coming week. The science advisory committee for the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will meet to consider the use authorization next Wednesday. Then the FDA would need to say yes, followed by a decision by the state Department of Health. In a planning meeting this morning with Vashon Pharmacy, the EOC, and Vashon Medical Reserve Corps, the School District decided to aim for holding a vaccination clinic at McMurray Middle School and Vashon High School during the week of May 17th. The next step will be to set up online links and emails to get the pre-approvals required by parents. Pre-registration should be available early this coming week and it will be publicized in emails and the Situation Reports. In addition, a site survey to make detailed logistics plans will take place this coming week.
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.
Questions About Vaccination: If you have questions, please call (844) 469-4554 and select option 4. That will connect you to one of the Medical Reserve Corps doctors who can respond with information. You can’t make a vaccination appointment at that number. For an appointment, follow the directions below.
Vashon Pharmacy: Just walk up to the vaccination tents any Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday from 9:00am to 4:00pm. If you prefer to make an appointment, go to the schedule page at VashonPharmacy.com/COVID. The appointment page is wide open most days, with none of the computer traffic jams people experienced a few months ago. The Pharmacy will bill insurance, and there’s no co-pay. If you don’t have insurance, no problem, no charge. Spanish language interpretation is available at all walk-up clinics.
Sea Mar Clinic: Sea Mar also will vaccinate walk-ups without 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 prefer making an appointment, call the 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 cost is covered. A Spanish language interpreter is available for early visits on Wednesdays only beginning at 7:30 am.
Current Virus Statistics:
Vashon Island COVID-19 Case Count as of 5/7/21:*
117 confirmed positive cases, 1 new case since last Situation Report on Tuesday
Date of last positive test: May 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 5/721:*
100,485 confirmed positive cases, 1,065 new since last Situation Report Tuesday
1,536 deaths, 9 new since last Situation Report on Tuesday
Washington State COVID-19 Case Count as of 5/6/21:*
412,483 confirmed positive cases, 3,876 new since last Situation Report Tuesday
5,564 deaths, 36 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
What caused our current fourth wave of cases? Washington is in midst of a fourth wave of COVID infections, and has ample supplies of vaccine and appointments to stop the spread. However:
People are engaging in more activities, like going to crowded, indoor places.
People are also letting their guard down by not wearing masks indoors or keeping social circles small.
Most new COVID-19 cases are due to new, more contagious variants. There is an even greater need to help slow the spread.
And it is only recently that we have had enough vaccine for everyone.
While we remain in Phase 3 for the next two weeks, it’s imperative that we continue using safety measures we know work. As more people get vaccinated, we expect to see the overall number of infections and hospitalizations go down. For example, King County’s older adults (65+) were among the first to be vaccinated, with current completed vaccination rates of about 80%. As a result, hospitalizations for that age group have gone down dramatically while hospitalizations are up in the other age groups that became eligible to be vaccinated later. Around the world, communities that have high vaccination rates are seeing improvements for everyone. “Our best path out of the painful cycle of COVID-19 resurgences and restrictions—and for the return to normalcy as quickly as possible—is by rolling up our sleeves and getting vaccinated,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Public Health’s Chief Health Officer.
So how did we get here?
There are five variants of concern spreading in Washington State. During the latest sequencing and variant report, a 35% increase was discovered in variants from the week before.
Experts believe these variants are causing more severe infections — raising hospitalization rates and ultimately, deaths. Over 600 hospitalizations were reported in the past week by Washington hospitals — the most we’ve seen in months.
Although people of all ages are vulnerable to COVID-19, the most recent wave seems to be hitting younger people more than others. People under the age of 50 currently make up half of Washington’s hospitalizations.
The virus continues to spread as more people let their guard down by not wearing masks, keeping physical distance, etc. Even if you are fully vaccinated, there are still guidelines to follow. We all need to do our part to slow the spread.
What can we do?
Don’t wait, get your COVID-19 vaccine ASAP! Appointments are readily available on Vashon and elsewhere. Encourage your loved ones to do the same. Better yet, take them with you to get vaccinated together!
Follow the guidelines for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. There are certain considerations for mask wearing, gatherings and travel.
Play it safe with gatherings. Enjoy the warmer weather and take it outside when you can.
New Developments since Last Report:
Unemployment claims from Vashon Island residents continue to show signs of economic recovery after over one year of the pandemic. Current claims are at 312, down from 339 two weeks ago, and a full 71% lower than the 1,080 claimants from last April. 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 DOVE Project has reopened to receive the public. All staff have been fully vaccinated and can set appointments to meet in person with community members. DOVE provides support for survivors of intimate partner violence and sexual assault, as well as healthy relationship advocacy. There are prevention programs in the middle and high schools, as well as a variety of community outreach and education workshops and trainings throughout the year. For more information, visit www.vashondoveproject.org or call 206-490-6430.
Washington Healthplanfinder Exchange has become much more affordable for the purchase of healthcare coverage. The Exchange has rolled out new savings to help Washingtonians with the cost of their individual health insurance. Under the new American Rescue Plan Act, over half a million people statewide will find more savings on their health insurance through Washington Healthplanfinder, making it easier to get covered and stay covered. The opportunity to sign up or switch plans ends August 15, 2021. The Exchange is encouraging uninsured, recently unemployed, and anyone purchasing individual insurance off the Exchange to take advantage of this opportunity. Visit: http://www.WAhealthplanfinder.org
Check out Voice of Vashon’s new series of COVID-19 Public Service Announcements (PSAs). The Situation Reports are highlighting each of them in turn, and here’s the second one. Listed to it at the link below. It says: “Vashon Island is doing well with vaccinations and we’re ahead of the curve compared to most communities. Many of us are at least two weeks past our second shot and taking our new privileges out for a spin. Hugs, dining in restaurants, friends over for dinner indoors. All signs of good things to come! But herd immunity is a long way off still and until we get there we can’t take our foot off the gas. Getting that second shot does not mean letting your freak flag fly. Mask up, keep your distance, avoid crowds and wash your hands. You’ve been doing this long enough to turn pro. Hang on a while longer. The all-clear will get here faster that way. With your help, we will get there, Vashon!” https://voiceofvashon.org/user-content/psa-covid-2
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will help pay funeral costs for COVID-19-related deaths. FEMA has begun providing financial assistance for funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020, for deaths related to COVID-19. Funeral assistance is intended to help families with expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation, and to help ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the pandemic. This assistance is limited to a maximum amount of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum of $35,500 per application. Visit: https://www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance
Don’t wait – Vaccinate. More than half of all eligible Washingtonians ages 16 and older have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. DOH thanks everyone who has rolled up their sleeve to get the lifesaving vaccine. In order to end the pandemic, it is important that as many people as possible get vaccinated. Vaccines are readily available throughout the State and here on Vashon. The three-week allocation forecast from the federal government shows that Washington will receive nearly 400,000 doses of vaccine each week this month. Doses expected total 396,260 (204,580 first doses, 191,680 second doses). This includes 219,960 doses of Pfizer, 163,400 doses of Moderna, and 12,900 doses of Johnson & Johnson. If you or a loved one have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, reach out to your healthcare provider or visit our Frequently Asked Questions page where we share more information about the vaccines, including their safety and effectiveness. https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19/VaccineInformation/FrequentlyAskedQuestions
Progress on Community Support Operations:
Emergency Operations Center (EOC): Vashon’s pandemic emergency response began 422 days ago (one year, one month, and 26 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.
The site redesign at Vashon Pharmacy worked well this week. Thursday was the first day of combined drive-through vaccinations and walk-up vaccinations with no appointments required.
A multi-disciplinary team met this morning to solidify plans for vaccinating 12- to 15-year olds when the FDA authorizes the use of Pfizer vaccine for that age group. An FDA decision could come within a week, followed by the standard vetting process by the state Department of Health. The team set the week of May 17th as a target for two school vaccination days at McMurray Middle School and Vashon High School, pending the required government authorizations
The island’s two active vaccination sites have been coordinating vaccination efforts. This week, three patients requested vaccinations at the Pharmacy site when that would have required opening a new vial of vaccine and wasting some unused doses. The Pharmacy site called Sea Mar and asked if they could be accommodated there, and the answer was yes. The patients were good sports and drove to Sea Mar to get their shots.
School COVID Monitoring: The proposed pooled COVID-19 monitoring program under study for the School District has not been able to launch this week, except for a few pilot tests by MRC volunteers. Efforts are under way to resolve challenges around staffing and insurance.
Production has been completed on the new vaccination encouragement campaign, and a new Rosie the Raccoon ad will appear in the Beachcomber this coming week. Although Vashon has the best vaccination record of any King County community, more than 20% of those eligible still have not taken the step. Rosie sends a note to the community urging everyone to pull together.
The campaign also includes new raccoon banners, leafleting at strategic locations, emails, new Q&A information sheets, Facebook posts, and more.
The EOC has begun forming a new outreach team that will go to the field to help people understand the importance of getting vaccinated, how to get the shots, and answer questions..
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 for the many hours of extra work logged during the pandemic in support of the Vashon community, by the staff and volunteers at our partner social services agencies on the island.
Acknowledgements: This week we acknowledge the businesses who have supported our work despite the vaccination traffic and parking challenges in the alley (actually 100th Place SW) running behind the Pharmacy from the movie theater. Thanks for bearing with us! Vashon Theatre, Island Queen, Recess Lab, Voice of Vashon, Glass Bottle Creamery, Island Paper Chase, Valise Gallery, Gravy, Vashon Print & Design, Sporty’s, Pizzeria Mario, Caffe Vino Olio, and The Hardware Store Restaurant.
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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.
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