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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.
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
Road to Recovery:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised that Americans who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus could stop wearing masks or maintaining social distance in most settings. Fully vaccinated means two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) or two weeks after a single dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson/Janssen). Fully vaccinated persons can resume activities without wearing a mask or staying six feet apart, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. If you travel in the United States, you do not need to get tested before or after travel, or self-quarantine after travel (international rules vary by county). You will still be required to wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, ferries, and other forms of public transportation traveling within, into, or out of the United States, and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and rail stations. You should still watch out for symptoms of COVID-19, especially if you’ve been around someone who is sick. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay home and away from others. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html
Governor Inslee announced that Washington will fully adopt the new masking guidance issued by the CDC. However, certain restrictions will apply where masks will still be required. Many workplaces and retail outlets are still evaluating their policies. Please respect the local masking requirements. They are for the health and safety of you and others.
Gov. Jay Inslee announced that the state is moving toward a statewide June 30reopening date, and on May 18th, all counties in Washington will move to Phase 3 of the Healthy WA: Roadmap to Recovery reopening plan. “What we know now gives us the confidence to close this chapter in this pandemic and begin another,” Inslee said. “This next part of our fight to save lives in Washington will focus on increasing vaccination rates and continuing to monitor variants of concern as we move toward reopening our state.” The full reopening could happen earlier than June 30 if 70% or more of Washingtonians over the age of 16 initiate vaccination. Currently, Washington has administered over six million doses of vaccine, and 56% of Washingtonians have had at least one dose of vaccine. https://medium.com/wagovernor/inslee-announces-statewide-reopening-date-of-june-30-and-short-term-statewide-move-to-phase-3-4943c8be9c37
The state Department of Health released updated K-12 school guidance, saying that schools must plan to provide full-time in-person education for all interested students for summer school and the 2021-2022 school year. The guidance says that:
All students, school personnel, volunteers, and visitors must wear at least a cloth face covering or an acceptable alternative when indoors.
Schools must have basic ventilation, cleaning and infection control plans.
Physical distancing must be maintained of three feet or more between students in classroom settings.
Schools must have a response plan.
Schools should prepare to provide instruction for students who are excluded from school due to illness or quarantine.
COVID-19 testing programs and vaccinations are not required for providing in-person learning.
Vashon Island School District Superintendent, Shade McSheehy, said the District will be following the new DOH guidance for schools. Full guidance at https://www.doh.wa.gov/Newsroom/Articles/ID/2781/Department-of-Health-releases-updated-K-12-school-guidance
Vashon Vaccine Availability:
Vaccination eligibility for Washington State currently includes everyone 12 and older for use of the Pfizer vaccine. The Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines are FDA-authorized for 18 and older. https://kingcounty.gov/depts/health/covid-19/vaccine.aspx
The Overview: Vaccine supplies for the island’s two active vaccinators remain solid. Efforts are now turning to reaching those who have not yet had their first dose of vaccine, as well as the significant number of people who have not yet taken the last step to complete their vaccination with the final second dose.
Second Doses Encouraged: Both Sea Mar clinic and Vashon Pharmacy welcome those who need a second dose of vaccine to complete their protection. Second doses are available at both locations, even if you got your first dose somewhere else. Getting your second dose here on island could be the easiest approach, since vaccine supplies are readily available and there’s no need to go to the mainland. When going for your second shot, bring your vaccine card, so the provider can confirm you receive the correct vaccine and have the proper wait period. Details on following through are listed below in the location-specific information paragraphs. Data reported by Public Health — Seattle & King County indicate that a significant number of Vashonites are not following through to get their second dose and, thus, best possible protection against COVID-19.
12- to 15-Year Olds/Getting Shots at School: It’s important that this newly eligible group of young people be pre-registered if they want to take advantage of the convenience of getting their vaccination at school. Vaccinations will be available at McMurray Middle School and Vashon High School this coming week on Monday and Thursday. The online pre-registration includes the required parental approval: http://bit.ly/VashonSchoolVax. The cutoff for pre-registration for Monday’s vaccination sessions will be 2:00 on Sunday.
12- to 15-Year Olds/Vaccination at Regular Locations: Vashon’s Sea Mar clinic has started vaccinating 12- to 15-year olds. Vashon Pharmacy has been encouraging people to take advantage of the school vaccination days this coming week, but will not turn away vaccination requests for 12- to 15-year olds at the Pharmacy. After completing the school vaccination effort this coming week, Vashon Pharmacy plans to begin full speed vaccination of 12- to 15-year olds at the Pharmacy location the week of May 24th.
Free: COVID-19 vaccinations are free to all. If you have insurance, you’ll be asked for your information so providers can recover the cost of administering the free vaccine, but there’s no co-pay. If you do not have insurance, the cost is covered anyway and you will not be charged.
Vashon Pharmacy: If you need to get your first dose of vaccine, you have a range of choices at the Pharmacy site. For your convenience, you can make an appointment at VashonPharmacy.com/COVID. You may also just drop in without an appointment on any Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday from 9:00am to 12:00 and 1:00pm to 4:00pm. If you are looking to get your second dose and complete your vaccination, don’t use the online system. Just show up during the regular drop-in hours on Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday. Spanish language interpretation is available at all walk-up clinics. Look for the white tents in the parking lot south of the Pharmacy building.
Sea Mar Clinic: Sea Mar vaccinates walk-ups without appointments most weekdays. It’s a good idea to check availability on the Sea Mar website daily to find out what vaccine is available, and to make sure they’ll be open: SeaMar.org/COVID-Vaccine. You may also make an appointment by calling the Sunrise Ridge clinic at (206) 463-3671or you can stop by in person to make an appointment. A Spanish-language interpreter is available for early visits on Wednesdays only, beginning at 7:30 am. Second-dose patients are welcome, even if they got their first injection elsewhere.
Please Don’t Waste Doses: The island’s vaccination providers are asking everyone to show up for their appointment, or let the provider know you will not be coming. The vaccine comes in multiple-dose vials. Once the vial is opened, the vaccine is perishable and must be used within a few hours. So, if someone doesn’t show up for an appointment there’s a risk that leftover doses must be thrown out and wasted. To cancel or reschedule at Sea Mar clinic, call (206) 463 3671. Vashon Pharmacy has an online cancellation link at VashonPharmacy.com/COVID.
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 above.
Current Virus Statistics:
Vashon Island COVID-19 Case Count as of 5/14/21:*
117 confirmed positive cases, 4 people have been hospitalized, and 3 deaths.
Since the last report, Vashon has had no changes.
7,568 (83.9%) 16+ year old residents have received one vaccine dose, and 57.7% received 2 doses
King County COVID-19 Case Count as of 5/14/21:*
102,526 confirmed positive cases, 1,137 new since last Situation Report
1,554 deaths, 10 new since last Situation Report
1,316,460 (71.1%) 16+ year old residents have received one vaccine dose, and 53.4% received 2 doses
Washington State COVID-19 Case Count as of 5/13/21:*
416,930 confirmed positive cases, 4,447 new since last Situation Report
5,593 deaths, 29 since last Situation Report
6,152,091 (58.0%) 16+ year old residents have received one vaccine dose, and 44.9% received 2 doses
*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: The federal HIPAA Act prohibits Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) from releasing the names of patients. 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 has just posted part 3 of their informational series “COVID-19 Vaccines: Just the Facts!”, part of the ongoing DOH effort to dispel rumors and provide factual information. In part 3, they answer questions on vaccine composition and ingredients. Be fully informed and get the facts. Read Part 3 at: https://medium.com/wadepthealth/covid-19-vaccines-just-the-facts-part-3-5511e86cebd6
More questions visit part 1 at https://medium.com/wadepthealth/covid-19-vaccines-just-the-facts-92f9a2d80024.
And part 2 at: https://medium.com/wadepthealth/covid-19-vaccines-just-the-facts-part-2-56d895d13904.
But as always, you should speak with your healthcare provider if you have other questions or concerns about the vaccines. They can help you decide what is best for you and your health.
New Developments since Last Report:
The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup concluded that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is safe and effective for youth aged 12 to 15, the final step to authorization for use of the vaccine as described above. They affirmed conclusions by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to authorize the use of the vaccine in 12- to 15-year olds. Gov Jay Insleee said “We are very pleased that teens can now be vaccinated. We have seen an increase in cases among this age group, and we can now make sure they are protected with the vaccine. This will further help us bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.” https://www.governor.wa.gov/news-media/western-states-scientific-safety-review-workgroup-finds-pfizer-biontech-vaccine-safe-and
Washington State Ferries announced that, while CDC and state guidance loosened some restrictions on wearing masks, wearing a mask is still a requirement for travel on all public transportation, including Washington State Ferries. This includes outdoor spaces on vessels. Passengers who refuse to wear masks may be denied travel. Thank you for your continued cooperation in keeping our ferries safe and healthy. https://wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/rider-information/updates/2020/09/30/covid-19-travel-updates
Granny’s Attic announced it is not yet ready to relax COVID-19 procedures. In their decision, they cite concerns about how to accurately identify fully vaccinated customers, and how to ensure that unvaccinated customers who enter the building in a mask do not then remove their mask. Additionally, they have high-risk staff, volunteers, donors, and customers, and need to protect them. They will continue to review procedures as they pertain to the new guidance.
Dr. Jeff Duchin shared hopeful signs as increasing COVID rates level off in most age groups. The health officer for Public Health-Seattle & King County said “The COVID 19 outbreak is no longer a five-alarm fire but it continues to burn and has not yet been extinguished. At the moment, new cases of COVID-19 can still spark flare-ups that spread among unvaccinated people. We need to continue to fight this fire with multiple strategies: vaccines plus precautions. As more people are vaccinated, particularly young adults, and subsequently adolescents and eventually children, the risk to both individuals and to our community as a whole will continue to decrease.”
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) launched the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program to help families and households who are struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those eligible can receive up to a $50/month discount on broadband service and associated equipment rentals. Benefits are enhanced for tribal lands. To see the full program and if you qualify, visit: https://www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit
People who are pregnant and lactating are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in Washington State. Although the overall risk of severe illness is low, the CDC is reporting that pregnant people are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 when compared to non-pregnant people. Initially, the vaccines were not tested on people who were pregnant. But new trials have been started. DOH highly recommends you ask your health care providers for clarification, updated information and to seek out your support people in your decision making. https://medium.com/wadepthealth/should-you-get-the-vaccine-while-you-are-pregnant-or-lactating-5e5138a055b7
Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has extended two emergency orders. One requires health insurers to waive co-pays and deductibles for any consumer requiring testing for COVID-19. The other protects consumers from receiving surprise bills for lab fees related to medically necessary diagnostic testing for COVID-19. Both are extended until June 13, 2021. https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/WAOIC/bulletins/2d942df
Progress on Community Support Operations:
Emergency Operations Center (EOC): Our current operational priorities are health, food security, housing security, and economic recovery, as established by the Incident Commander, Fire Chief Charlie Krimmert, and approved by the VashonBePrepared Board. Vashon’s pandemic emergency response began over 14 months ago (429 days).
EOC: The Situation Section has been collecting and synthesizing information on the governor’s June 30 reopening announcement, state Department of Health guidance on the next school year, and new mask guidance from the CDC, in order to support decision-making by community partners.
MRC/EOC/Vashon Pharmacy: A series of planning and site survey meetings have been completed so everything is in place to vaccinate the new younger group of 12- to 15-year olds this coming week at McMurray Middle School and Vashon High School. Please see the Vaccination Availability section for more details on adolescent vaccination on Vashon.
EOC: Study continues on an emerging gap in vaccination completion. Discussions are under way to consider potential action steps. Although the island’s first-dose vaccination rate is good, it appears that a significant share of Vashonites may not be following through with their second dose. The difference between the first-dose vaccination rate and the second vaccination completion dose rate has been running around 26 points behind, with demand for vaccination falling quickly..
MRC/EOC/VISD: The timing of a proposed COVID monitoring program for the School District has been shifted to August, as part of preparations for the next school year.
EOC: Work has started on the After Action Review process for this emergency activation. Lessons learned from the activation will be utilized in the writing of a new Community Emergency Operations Plan, and will inform planning for the Cascadia Rising 2022 (CR22) earthquake exercise to take place in June of next year. In addition, stakeholder meetings have begun the process of designing the exercise objectives that will be used to design Vashon’s play in the CR22 exercise.
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