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EMERGENCY ALERT SERVICE
Vashon EOC Situation Report #181, May 18
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.
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Vashon MRC: Advice on CDC Recommendations:
Vashon Medical Reserve Corps, working with the Emergency Operations Center, has developed some advice for islanders on masking and distancing, now that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has loosened its COVID-19 safety guidelines.
“We know from the last 14 months that Vashon has a really special and unusually high commitment to COVID-19 safety,” said Dr. Zach Miller, infectious disease expert on the MRC team. “So, we spent some time the last few days thinking about what advice we can give to our neighbors. It’s prudent, based on science, and takes into account our particular circumstances as an island community.”
It’s important that everyone keep in mind that Vashon is surrounded by high disease areas with hundreds of people going back and forth on the ferries. Disease levels in King and Pierce counties are worse than during the first two spikes we fought through in April and July of last year.
The protection provided by vaccination is very good, but it is not perfect. The two main vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, provide about 90% protection against symptomatic disease when given under real-world conditions.
Vashon MRC recommends that Vashon residents make personal decisions about the risk they are willing to accept for themselves and those around them. You can assess that risk with three questions:
Do I have particular risk factors (older age, diabetes, heart or lung disease, pregnancy, immune disease) that could pose a special risk if I were to get COVID?
Do I need to be around others with risk factors in my work or family life?
Am I regularly in close contact with others I do not know in my daily life?
A yes to any one of the three questions means you should follow the example of MRC experts and continue to be cautious with masking indoors, distancing, and hand washing — until the disease level in our region is much lower.
Outdoor events remain much safer than indoor events. If you need to gather with people you do not know well, it’s best to do so outdoors!
Vashon MRC supports the many Vashon businesses that have chosen to keep requiring masks in order to protect employees and customers who may have risk factors. Remember, wearing a mask is as much to protect others as it is to protect you. As a sign of respect for the work that island businesses have done to keep us all safe over the past year, please carry a mask and put it on before entering any business that requests it.
NOTE: Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) has announced that it is considering whether the CDC advice ending the indoor mask mandate is the best option in King County at this time, and if additional guidance or clarification is needed. They will provide an update later this week.
Vashon Vaccine Availability:
The Overview: Vaccination availability has been strong for several weeks, a result of improved supply of vaccine doses combined with an increasing level of completed vaccinations that has reduced demand. Vaccination is available Monday through Saturday at one or the other of the two active vaccination sites on the island, sometimes both. Those two sites are Sea Mar Clinic and Vashon Pharmacy.
12- to 15-Year Olds/Shots at School: The second of two vaccination days at the McMurray Middle School and Vashon High School comes up on Thursday. This group of young people must be pre-registered if they want to take advantage of the convenience of getting their vaccination at school. The online pre-registration includes the required parental approval: http://bit.ly/VashonSchoolVax. The cutoff for pre-registration of 12- to 15-year olds to participate in Thursday’s school vaccination clinic will be Wednesday at 2:00 PM. Vaccination times are 8:45 AM-10:30 AM at Vashon High School for high school students, and 11:45 AM – 1:30 PM at McMurray Middle School for middle school students. Students do not need to attend either school to take advantage of the clinics.
12- to 15-Year Olds/Vaccination at Regular Locations: Vashon’s Sea Mar clinic staff has started vaccinating 12- to 15-year-olds in addition to those 16 and over; see the clinic’s regular directions listed below. Vashon Pharmacy is providing this week’s school vaccination services and will not begin vaccinating 12- to 15-year olds at the Pharmacy site until next week.
Second Doses Encouraged: Both Sea Mar clinic and Vashon Pharmacy will give you the second shot of your vaccination, even if you got your first dose elsewhere. It’s much easier to get your second shot here on Vashon than getting on a ferry to a mainland provider. Details on how to get your second dose are included below in the sections on each site, Vashon Pharmacy and Sea Mar.
Please Don’t Waste Doses: The island’s vaccination providers say they are noticing no-shows for second doses. Sea Mar and Vashon Pharmacy ask everyone to please show up for their second dose appointment, or notify them if you will not be coming. To cancel or reschedule at Sea Mar clinic, call (206) 463-3671. Vashon Pharmacy has an online cancellation link at VashonPharmacy.com/COVID. Here’s why it’s important to keep your appointment. If you don’t show up, precious vaccine doses may be wasted. That’s because the vaccines comes in vials with multiple doses; once the vial is opened, any remaining doses are perishable and must be used within a few hours. If someone doesn’t show up for an appointment, there’s a risk that leftover doses must be thrown out.
Free: All 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 several options at the Pharmacy site. 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 hours on Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday. Spanish language interpretation is available at all walk-up clinics. This Thursday is expected to be the last day of drive-through vaccination. Beginning Friday, everyone will walk up to the Pharmacy. Just look for a white tent at the rear of the Pharmacy or a sign directing you to go inside.
Sea Mar Clinic: Sea Mar vaccinates walk-ups without appointments Monday through Friday. It’s a good idea to check availability on the Sea Mar website daily to find out which vaccine is available, and to make sure they’ll be open: SeaMar.org/COVID-Vaccine. You may prefer to make an appointment to make sure you can get your shot by calling the Sunrise Ridge clinic at (206) 463-3671. 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. Just remember to bring your vaccination card.
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 5/18/21:*
118 confirmed positive cases, 4 people have been hospitalized, 3 deaths
Since the last report, Vashon has had 1 new case
7,711 (85.5%) 16+ year-old residents have received one vaccine dose, and 59.8% received 2 doses
King County COVID-19 Case Count as of 5/18/21:*
103,076 confirmed positive cases, 550 new since last Situation Report
1,562 deaths, 12 new since last Situation Report
1,339,889 (72.4%) 16+ year-old residents have received one vaccine dose, and 56.1% received 2 doses
Washington State COVID-19 Case Count as of 5/17/21 (vaccinations as of 5/15):*
424,050 confirmed positive cases, 7,120 new since last Situation Report
5,653 deaths, 60 since last Situation Report
6,337,924 (58.8%) 16+ year-old residents have received one vaccine dose, and 46.8% 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.
New Developments since Last Report:
Vaccinations were given to 91 newly-eligible students at McMurray Middle School on Monday, following a clinic at the high school where over 100 students received first or second shots. Ava Boisoneau receives her vaccination from Dr Jim Bristow, of the Medical Reserve Corps, after which she and Ada Umbach celebrate. Quentin Cherry enjoys a moment with Chia, a therapy dog, after getting his shot. Another vaccine clinic will take place this Thursday at both McMurray and VHS. [Photos by Michelle Bates]
Vashon Vaccination Progress: According to county data, 85.5% of Vashonites 16 and older have received at least one dose of vaccine. Access to vaccination has expanded and become easier, with drop-in availability at both Sea Mar and Vashon Pharmacy, and the school clinics. To increase convenience for those who still need a shot, plans are in the works for pop-up vaccination sites at locations around the island.
State Moves to Phase 3: All counties in Washington are now in Phase 3 of the Healthy Washington: Roadmap to Recovery plan. That means King County — and Vashon — are not in danger of being rolled back to Phase 2, even though the performance indicators are still not fully in Phase 3 territory. The current plan is for a full state-wide reopening by June 30, but this could happen earlier if 70% of residents aged 16+ initiate vaccination, leaving us 11% to go. Things may close down again if hospital ICU occupancy statewide increases to 90%.
When do I need to quarantine after getting vaccinated? Once you’ve been fully vaccinated, Public Health — Seattle & King County says there is no longer a need to quarantine after contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, although you should still watch out for symptoms. If you have a contact before you get vaccinated, or before you are fully protected (less than two weeks after your final shot) you will still need to quarantine for 14 days. If you’ve had COVID-19, you are protected in the short term, but if it’s been over 3 months since you were infected, quarantine and testing after an exposure is a good idea. For examples of some scenarios and more details, visit https://kingcounty.gov/depts/health/covid-19/~/media/depts/health/communicable-diseases/documents/C19/when-to-quarantine-if-vaccinated-EN.ashx
99.75% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 were not fully vaccinated in a study by the Cleveland Clinic of patients in its facilities so far in 2021. Tracking everyone admitted between January 1 and April 13 (covering a period when vaccinations were just beginning), only 0.03% of those admitted with severe COVID-19 had been fully vaccinated. Also, 99.7% of the 1,991 cases of COVID-19 among 47,000 caregivers in their system since vaccinations began were not fully vaccinated. Dr. Donald Dumford, medical director of infection control for Cleveland Clinic Akron General said “The vaccine we know is very safe. This is a new vaccine, but it is not new technology and we know in studies it’s safe [and] exceedingly effective.” https://www.beaconjournal.com/story/news/2021/05/11/cleveland-clinic-study-employees-covid-19-vaccine-protected-unvaccinated-infections-get-the-sh/5025596001
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 14 months and one week ago (433 days).
Vashon COVID Relief Fund: The 16th and 17th Relief Fund disbursements are in process. The 16th disbursement has been made possible by a generous additional donation of $60,000 by one of the two families that seeded the Relief Fund last year. Combined, the two disbursements total more than $50,000, bringing the total Relief Fund support to the community so far to $487,000. About two-thirds of the donated funds have been doubled by reimbursements received or anticipated from the federal government, through our work with King County Office of Emergency Management and with FEMA via Vashon Island Fire and Rescue. The two latest disbursements are going for the four operational priorities stated above — health, food security, housing security, and economic recovery. Organizations receiving funds this time include the Food Bank, Vashon Pharmacy vaccination program, Vashon Youth and Family Services, Interfaith Council to Prevent Homelessness housing assistance, Senior Center, Vashon Island School District nutrition program, DOVE Project, St. Vincent de Paul, Vashon Island Growers Association Food Assistance Program, and the Vashon Chamber of Commerce economic recovery campaign.
MRC/EOC: We developed guidance for those confused about last week’s CDC guidance that loosened national masking and distancing requirements, subject to local regulations. The guidance takes into account the specific circumstances of our island community, situated in a region undergoing the fourth spike in COVID-19 since the pandemic began. The situation has been improving but remains a concern. The advice is summarized earlier in this report.
MRC/EOC/Vashon Pharmacy/School District: We conducted our largest mobile vaccination clinic to date yesterday at McMurray Middle School and Vashon High School, making the vaccine available to the new younger group of eligible people aged 12- to 15-years old, along with older students who were getting their second shots after the first school clinics in April. Another session will take place on Thursday. Please see the Vaccination Availability section for details.
CERT/MRC/EOC: As islanders have become more vaccinated, the workload at the Vashon Pharmacy vaccination site has been dropping. Late this week, the greeter and staging area at the movie theater will be taken down, and it is expected that Thursday may be the last day for drive-through vaccinations.
Volunteers: For the last full week reporting period, 37 volunteers contributed 414 hours of work to VashonBePrepared’s pandemic emergency response. That brings the total contributed hours to over 29,700 since the activation began. At the FEMA reimbursement grant rate of $31.72/hour, VashonBePrepared volunteers have run up more than $943,600 of contributed in-kind value. VashonBePrepared gives thanks as well for the many hours of extra work logged during the pandemic in support of the Vashon community, by the staff and volunteers at local social services agencies.
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