COVID-19 Vashon Situation Report

Weekdays the Vashon Emergency Operations Center produces a briefing for our emergency workers and for the community. The M-W-F situation report includes information on Vashon community response actions and support.
You can read the full text of the report as a PDF here:
Current Virus Statistics:
Vashon Island COVID-19 Case Count as of 7/22/20:
·     1,145 COVID-19 tests reported, 23 additional tests since last Situation Report Monday
·     9 positive tests returned, however 1 test was negative on the retest, therefore considered to be false positive
·     8 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 0 new cases since last Situation Report on Monday
·      Date of last positive test: July 14
·      1 person had been hospitalized. Date of last hospitalization: April 10
·      0 Vashon deaths
King County COVID-19 Case Count as of 7/22/20:
·      13,659 confirmed positive cases, 320 new since last Situation Report on Monday
·      635 deaths, 0 new since last Situation Report on Monday
Washington State COVID-19 Case Count as of 7/20/20:
·      48,575 confirmed positive cases, 1,629 new since last Situation Report on Monday
·      1,465 deaths, 18 new since last Situation Report on Monday
NOTE: Federal law prohibits Public Health – Seattle & King County from releasing the names of patients(HIPAA Act). Public health experts say we should all assume the virus may be in our community and continue safe distancing and hand washing.
Health Tip of the Day:
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers and health care providers that the agency has seen a sharp increase in hand sanitizer products that are labeled to contain ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol) but that have tested positive for methanol contamination. Methanol, or wood alcohol, is a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested and can be life-threatening when ingested. The agency is aware of incidents where adults and children have ingested hand sanitizer contaminated with methanol, leading to blindness, hospitalizations and death. The list of sanitizers that have tested positive is growing, and now stands at 69 different products. Most of the products are labeled as “Made in Mexico” according to the FDA. They also have multiple expiration dates (some into 2022), and multiple product codes. You can read the FDA news release here:
New Developments since Last Report:
Vashon Island School District schools will not provide in-person classroom teaching when they reopen for the new school year. Schools Superintendent Dr. Slade McSheehy announced in a message to school families this afternoon that school will open with distance learning only. McSheehy explained that the District’s reopening plan depended on getting to Phase 3 of the Governor’s Safe Start Plan. However, the Governor and Public Health — Seattle & King County have reduced the number of people who can gather in Phase 3. Therefore, the Superintendent said, it will not be safe to open schools in-person by the August 31st start date, especially considering the significant number of high risk school staff and teachers. Dr. McSheehy indicated the new distance learning system will be substantially improved over the one utilized in the spring and the District will continue to explore possibilities for small scale outdoor education.
The $600 per week federal boost to state unemployment benefits ends this coming Saturday, July 25, so next week will be the last week of eligibility, unless Congress acts quickly. State unemployment benefits will continue (on Vashon, averaging around $250/week). The House has passed an extension of the $600 federal boost through January 2021 (the boost would decline with any reduction in the unemployment rate).  According to today’s news reports, the Senate and the White House are far from agreement on the contents of a new stimulus bill.. It seems unlikely a law will be in place before the current federal boost ends, although a new stimulus could be made retroactive. The Vashon Chamber of Commerce expert on unemployed worker support estimates that the total unemployment benefits for about 1,000 islanders has injected $12 million into the Vashon economy over the last several months since the pandemic began. For assistance with unemployment benefits, contact or call 206-200-3236.
The Key Indicators Dashboard for King County now reports that 5 of the 8 targets are not being met. The latest change is the risk of death indicator, which has moved up to 1.1 deaths per 100,000 over a 14 day period. The County is also not meeting targets for the number of cases reported, outbreak growth rate, testing capacity and testing speed.
Vashon Chamber of Commerce has enlisted King County Local Services and the Economic Development Office for a one day handout of free Safe Start PPE kits for businesses. Reservations are required to pick-up your free small business PPE kit (masks & sanitizer). Kits will be distributed tomorrow Thursday, July 23rd from 12:30 – 2:30pm. You can reserve your kit and pickup time at: If time slots are full contact
Face covering usage having positive impact. In the hard hit county of Yakima, the Health District reported recently that 95% of residents are wearing a face covering in public. The result has been a drop in the county’s transmission rate to less than one, currently the only Washington County to achieve this. State Secretary of Health john Weisman credited mask compliance for the turnaround, calling it “remarkable progress.”  
CNN reports that The University of Washington model projects that as more people wear masks, lower deaths are expected from coronavirus. The model lowers the number of US deaths projected by November 1st to 219,864. This last model reflects a decrease of about 5,000 deaths in part due to increasing mandates for members of the public to wear masks, and the general increase in the number of people wearing masks and social distancing even without mandates. The model projects that if the US were to universally adopt wearing face coverings that the projected number of deaths could drop to 185,887.
Summer swimming has new challenges due to COVID-19. This summer many beaches in Seattle and King County do not – or likely will not – have a lifeguard on duty, and many will remain closed. If swimming at a lake, beach, or pool it is important to practice basic COVID-19 and water safety measures: maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others, both in and out of the water; wear a cloth face covering or mask when not swimming; wash your hands or use hand sanitizer often. Do not swim at closed beaches and follow any instructions posted in the area.
The Vashon Pool is open but reservations are required. Lane reservations are free and taken online, first-come, first-serve. For reservations visit 
The West Seattle Transportation Coalition July Zoom meeting is tomorrow, Thursday, July 23rd at 6:30 p.m. Scheduled to be at the meeting are King County Executive Dow Constantine, King County Council Vice Chair Joe McDermott, Seattle Deputy Mayor Shefali Ranganathan, and representatives from Sound Transit. They will discuss the current state of Sound Transit 3 to West Seattle. Additionally, Heather Marx from Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will have a West Seattle Bridge update. Join the meeting on the web at: or Via phone: +12532158782, meeting code 83157954582#
King County Bar Association Neighborhood Legal Clinic provides free 30-minute consultations with volunteer attorneys to any King County resident with civil legal issues. Clinics are prioritizing housing, family and employment discrimination issues. Attorneys cannot represent clients but can refer to other attorneys for assistance. To request a consult, call 206.267.7070 and press 1 to leave a message with your name, number, and a brief description of your legal issue, or fill out an online client intake form at for a faster turnaround time.
Progress on Community Support Operations:
Emergency Operations Center (EOC): This is day 133 (19 weeks) since EOC activation on March 12.
Economic Recovery: The EOC’s economic recovery efforts continue, now under the auspices of the Vashon Chamber of Commerce with support from the Vashon COVID Relief Fund. Although the federal boost to unemployment benefits runs out this week, the state unemployment benefits continue (see New Developments section for more info). For assistance with unemployment benefits, contact or call her at 206-200-3236. To date, Deborah has completed over 600 telephone consultations with Islanders to help them with unemployment benefits and tax stimulus payments. Unemployment has been holding steady on the island for the last several weeks at around 1,000 people, about 20% of island workers. At peak, more than 25% of island workers had filed for unemployment benefits.
Disease Prevention: The logistics team has been refining distribution of the remaining free masks supplied by King County. Multiple planning discussions have taken place with the School District and Vashon Social Services Network. An arrangement has been made for U.S. Bank to distribute masks through their drive through window for a few afternoons a week. A small percentage of the 24,000 cloth and paper masks will be held as a strategic reserve in case we have a major disease outbreak on Vashon.
COVID-19 Testing: A new COVID-19 testing laboratory has been performing well with turnaround time improved by many days. Test results are now coming back and patient notifications made in less than 48 hours. One help with turnaround time has been the courier service being provided by a new testing unit volunteer, the Executive Director at Vashon Community Care, Wendy Kleppe. She drops samples each day at the lab as she commutes to her home on the mainland. The testing unit has been doing about 60 tests per week, about four times the number at the beginning of the service. The unit estimates it could do as many as 100 tests per week if required by an outbreak on the island.