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COVID Update – Vashon Cases, Third Shots
August 24th, 2021 - Posted in Alerts, Uncategorized
COVID Surge Continues, But In-Check
It appears that contact tracing, testing, and public education efforts have been helping to keep the pace of new COVID infections on the island in check. The King County case rate is about three-quarters of the pandemic peak reached last November. On Vashon, due to MRC contact tracing and our community’s willingness to get tested and quarantine when appropriate, our case rate remains flat at about one-third of King County’s. About half of August cases have been in vaccinated people, a function of the large population of vaccinated individuals concentrated on the island.
Immunocompromised patients have been getting a third vaccine shot, as authorized by the FDA on August 12th. At this time, the third shots are only for those with compromised immune systems. For example, those eligible might be in cancer treatment, advanced HIV infection, being treated with medicines that suppress immunity, or facing other issues that compromise their immunity. Vaccination appointments of all types are available at VashonPharmacy.com and by calling Sea Mar.
The federal government has announced a future plan for everyone to get a third vaccine shot, a booster, but that is not yet available. The proposal is still working its way through the approval process.
The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) contact tracing team has been working with island businesses throughout the pandemic to contain cases and prevent spread of the infection. The most recent example has been at Thriftway grocery. Two employees have tested positive, apparently in unrelated cases. In both cases they quarantined. Store video pinpointed potential employee contacts and they were also quarantined and tested. So far, all contact tracing tests have come back negative. Both individuals are support employees who did not work in customer contact roles. Vashon Thriftway has posted customer information on its website. To date there has been only one case of transmission in an island business, and that was in Spring 2020.
Individuals need to do their part too. If you have COVID-like symptoms, or have possibly been exposed to someone with COVID, please call the Vashon Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) for testing guidance: (844) 469-4554. Get detailed information on testing at VashonBePrepared.org/COVID/Testing.
Now Three COVID-Related Deaths
A third Vashon resident has died while in hospital being treated for COVID. As widely discussed on social media and confirmed by family and business associates, Brad Middling passed away last week. The Public Health data dashboard has not yet captured his death, although the total hospitalized since the pandemic began has gone up to five. Some months ago the death toll had been at three but was reduced by one during data cleanup and refinement.
To minimize COVID spread, the MRC strongly supports the new universal masking mandate that went into effect this week by order of the Governor and the state Department of Health. With few exceptions, everyone must mask indoors, including those who have been vaccinated. The mask mandate includes all students, teachers, and staff at schools.