COVID Update – New Vashon Cases

September 4th, 2021 - Posted in Alerts, Uncategorized

COVID Update  

New Cases Continue Surge on Vashon

Vashon New Case Rate Well Below Mainland King County

Data Shows Vaccination and Local Action Are Working


 New Cases Continue Surge on Vashon

Vashon New Case Rate Well Below Mainland King County

Data Shows Vaccination and Local Action Are Working

COVID Surge Continues

The Delta variant began hitting Vashon in early July triggering the spike in new cases shown in the graph below comparing the case rates of Vashon and King County. We are currently averaging roughly one new case per day on Vashon after having only a single new case in June. A combination of factors is driving the increase in island cases. The Delta variant is significantly more infectious than prior variants, and that puts all unvaccinated people at increased risk. In addition, although the vaccines confer strong protection against hospitalization and death from Delta, infections of vaccinated individuals are now occurring regularly — nearly 60% of Vashon’s cases in the past two months. These cases usually produce symptoms but have not caused hospitalizations or death on Vashon. However, vaccinated individuals can and do transmit COVID. Another major factor in Vashon’s increased COVID case rate is summer travel. A large percentage of the island’s new cases have been traced back to travel outside the region, and a lot of people are traveling right now. It was holiday travel that fueled the most serious spike of the pandemic in November and December of last year.

Comparison to Mainland

This week the total case count on Vashon climbed to 156 since the pandemic began. That’s an increase of 27 cases in the last month. Although the situation on Vashon merits concern, the recent case rate statistics for the mainland are much worse. For example: fewer than 2% of all COVID tests on Vashon have been coming back as positive. By contrast, in mainland King County the rate of positive tests has been almost ten times worse, or almost 20%.

Vashon New Cases Up, But Countywide Significantly Higher: The case rate for Vashon residents has been running about one-third of the case rate in mainland King County, mainly due to the island’s very high vaccination rate but also thanks to strong contact tracing and action by island businesses and organizations. However, being safer is not the same as being safe. There remain many at risk individuals on Vashon including as many as 1,000 children not yet eligible for vaccination. Keeping the total number of COVID cases on Vashon as low as possible is the most important way for us to protect those children. (Data Source: Public Health — Seattle & King County)

Vaccination and Local Action

Vashon’s vaccination rate continues to increase, now up to 94.6% of Vashon residents aged 12 or older who have initiated vaccination. About 84.5% are fully vaccinated. That full vaccination figure puts Vashon in the top four of King County communities.

An analysis of all King County residents shows that vaccination has been working. Unvaccinated people are seven times more likely to get COVID.

Hospitalization Rate Much Higher for Unvaccinated Who Contract COVID-19: A countywide analysis shows that an unvaccinated person is 36 times more likely to be hospitalized compared to a vaccinated person. The number of hospitalizations for unvaccinated people is particularly noteworthy since the unvaccinated are now a relatively small fraction of King County residents. County public health experts also say unvaccinated individuals are 67 times more likely than vaccinated people to die of COVID. (Data Source: Public Health — Seattle & King County)

Another contributing factor to Vashon’s relatively good COVID safety record has been local action. The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) contact tracing team has been helping those infected with COVID or exposed to it to understand the importance of full quarantine periods. In addition, MRC and the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) have fulfilled more than a dozen requests for safety consultations in the last two weeks from businesses and other island organizations.

Your Job

We need your assistance to help keep Vashon safe. Get vaccinated. If you haven’t completed your vaccination series, get your second dose.  Either way, 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

Mask Up

To minimize COVID spread, the MRC strongly supports the new universal masking mandate ordered by the Governor and the state Department of Health. With few exceptions, everyone must mask in public spaces and crowded outdoor settings, including those who have been vaccinated. The mask mandate includes all students, teachers, and staff at schools.