Update 10.21.2022

October 21st, 2022 - Posted in Alerts, Uncategorized

News from VashonBePrepared •
Noticias de VashonBePrepared
Published by the Vashon Emergency Operations Center
57- Friday, October 21, 2022

COVID Risk Level: Headed in a Good Direction for Now

Current COVID Advice: Basic Risk Level

CDC Study: Long COVID a Significant Risk for Many Patients

Flu Season Arriving Early

Coming Up: Vashon Health Fair

Follow-Up: Omicron Booster Vaccination Campaign Results

Nivel de Riesgo para COVID: Por Ahora Vamos en una Buena Dirección

Actual Consejo para COVID: Nivel de Riesgo Básico

Estudio del CDC: COVID a Largo plazo, Riesgo Importante para Muchos Pacientes

La Temporada de Influenza, Llega más Temprano este Otoño

Ya viene: la Feria de la Salud en Vashon

Seguimiento: Como nos fue con la Campaña de Vacunación de Ómicron

COVID Risk Level: Headed in a Good Direction for Now
There’s some good news in this week’s Vashon COVID Risk tool. It remains set at the Basic Risk level. That’s because the COVID trend lines are headed down, reaching their lowest level since April. However, we are keeping a careful watch on the statistics because many public health experts believe we will have another winter COVID surge — one that is already developing in Europe — and that it could arrive here as soon as mid-November.
The drop in the hospitalization rate for our tri-county area is a significant one. It is well below the 3.5 hospitalizations for COVID per week per 100,000 population benchmark that would move us up to the Elevated Risk level. In addition, the case rate and the rate of positive test results have been trending down. For more information on the methodology behind Vashon’s COVID Risk Advice Tool, please see the last edition of the newsletter at: conta.cc/3s1am63
Still at Basic Risk Level: The risk level estimate is based on data from the state Department of Health’s COVID dashboard. The risk estimate has been customized to Vashon’s particular situation because it takes into account that Vashon is in a three-county COVID exposure pool —King, Pierce, and Kitsap. One-third of the island population takes a round-trip ferry ride to the mainland each day. Therefore, the metrics from the three counties are blended to take into account the regional COVID exposure risk. (Infographic by Vashon Emergency Operations Center.)
Current COVID Advice: Basic Risk Level
Wear N95 mask indoors in public if:
Exposed to COVID.
At risk for health or other reasons.
You live or spend time with someone at high risk.
Keep vaccinations up to date, including boosters.
Maintain good ventilation at home and at work.
Avoid those with suspected or confirmed COVID.
If exposed to COVID, wear a mask in public and avoid contact with those at high risk for 10 days.
Always home-test if you have symptoms.
If you test positive, isolate for at least 5 days and until you test negative.
If immunocompromised, discuss additional prevention actions with your healthcare provider.
CDC Report: Long COVID a Significant Risk for Many Patients
A Centers for Disease Control (CDC) survey shows that long COVID may be a bigger health challenge than many realize.
About 15% of those who have had COVID reported that their symptoms have persisted for three months or longer.
Younger people are much more likely to have Long COVID than older people. The 18- to 59-year-old group was twice as likely as 60 years and older respondents to have symptoms lasting three months or longer. That’s the opposite of the age-group effect of the COVID death rate where patients in the 65+ age group are more likely to die than younger people.
About 80% of those reporting Long COVID said their ability to function was affected. About 60% reported cognitive effects.
The survey project was conducted jointly with the U.S. Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey. More than 215,000 adults responded to the survey between June and September of this year.
Flu Season Arriving Early
Public health officials around the country have been urging people to get their flu shots now. That’s because there are signs this year’s seasonal flu could be arriving early in the United States, based on high levels of flu activity in Texas, Georgia, and the District of Columbia. That’s about one month earlier than normal. In addition, flu season was particularly severe in Australia, which often signals what to expect when flu season arrives in the Northern Hemisphere.
Flu season in the U.S. has been unusually mild for the past two years, due to COVID prevention steps such as masking that also help prevent the spread of flu. However, many people have relaxed their guard, which could contribute to the rapid spread of respiratory diseases such as flu this year.
Coming Up: Vashon Health Fair
Here’s a reminder about the upcoming health fair on Saturday, October 29th, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. It’s taking place at the Methodist Church and is offered by Public Health — Seattle & King County (PHSKC) and Vashon Youth and Family Services (VYFS).
The event will offer free health screenings including blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes checks. COVID vaccinations are provided free of charge with no appointment required. In addition, representatives will be available to help attendees apply for health insurance and ORCA Lift reduced fare transit cards.
Follow-Up: Omicron Booster Vaccination Campaign Results
About 3,200 Vashon residents have received the Omicron-targeted booster so far. This means that about one-third of islanders ages 12 and older are now up-to-date with their COVID vaccinations. (Children ages 5-11 recently also became eligible for the Omicron-targeted booster.)
The vast majority of islanders were vaccinated by Vashon Pharmacy, with about half vaccinated at high-capacity clinics provided through the partnership between Vashon Pharmacy and the VashonBePrepared coalition. Several hundred islanders were boosted at Sea Mar clinic, mainland pharmacies, or other providers.