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About Voice of Vashon
|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.|
You can read the full text of today’s report as a PDF and access older ones at:
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Vashon Vaccine Availability:
Overall, the availability of COVID-19 Vaccine on Vashon shrank sharply this week, not only for Vashon but all around the region. Some of the mega-sites for vaccination that opened yesterday around the state have already allocated all their doses and taken their appointment systems offline. Other systems that had booked reservations weeks into the future, hoping to receive more vaccine, have been forced to cancel thousands of appointments. Local providers are at the mercy of the allocation decisions being made by the state Department of Health (DOH) and the DOH is in turn at the mercy of the federal supply, which has been maxed out. This situation of low and erratic supply of vaccine for local operations will likely continue until federal shipments to the states can be doubled or tripled. Despite the challenges, an estimated one-fifth of the adult population of Vashon has had their first vaccine dose so far.
NOTE: VashonBePrepared continues to support the three providers who are approved by the state to do vaccinations on Vashon. They are Vashon Pharmacy, Sea Mar at Sunrise Ridge, and Vashon Natural Medicine. The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) recommends that you check the following four websites to see if there is updated information beyond what we compile in these Situation Reports, which are published Tuesday and Friday.
Vashon Pharmacy: The Pharmacy’s drive-through vaccination operation used up its remaining vaccine from last week’s shipment this afternoon. Sadly, no additional vaccine was allocated to Vashon this week, and after tonightthere will be no vaccination clinics in operation on the island for the rest of the week. There is no word on potential for a new shipment for next week. Generally, the short term supply limitation has been a considerable challenge, causing much stress for those who want to be vaccinated. If it was possible for the state to allocate more vaccine on a more regular and reliable schedule, it would be possible for the pharmacy to offer appointments for several weeks at a time instead of having the entire community simultaneously try to book the limited number of appointments that can be offered in a single week. Unfortunately, the supply comes only a week at a time, and word on whether any vaccine will be available arrives only the day before the week’s operations begin. The Pharmacy reservation system, opened briefly last night, was able to book 150 first dose reservations (and 150 second doses) in 13 minutes, a rate of more than twenty appointments per minute. The drive-through site has proven capacity to do as many as 170 vaccinations per day with major volunteer support from the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), and the Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
There was an encouraging development today regarding supply of vaccines to retail pharmacies, and it may help Vashon Pharmacy have a more consistent supply. The White House announced that shipments would begin from federal stocks directly to pharmacies. That’s the beginning of a long-planned vaccine supply program, and the pharmacy signed up for it some time ago. Up until now, the pharmacy has relied only on supplies from the state, but this program, which will be on a slow ramp-up, offers another potential source of vaccine.
Sea Mar at Sunrise Ridge and Vashon Natural Medicine do not have vaccine available for the general public this week, although Sea Mar did receive a small quantity to do the required second doses for patients who received their first injections at Sea Mar.
King County has two mass vaccination clinics that will provide vaccinations to eligible residents, although all appointment slots are currently full. Two clinics, one at the accesso ShoWare Center in Kent and the other at the General Services Administration (GSA) Complex in Auburn, expect to deliver 500 doses per day at each site. Appointments are required and can be made on the Public Health website (https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/covid-19/vaccine/distribution.aspx). Note that at these sites, the eligibility age for getting vaccinated is 75, unless the resident is unable to live independently or resides in a multigenerational household. This change is to get vaccines to those most at risk. https://publichealthinsider.com/2021/01/29/king-county-opens-covid-19-vaccination-sites-in-kent-and-auburn-to-provide-access-for-vulnerable-older-adults-and-their-caretakers
Current Virus Statistics:
Vashon Island COVID-19 Case Count as of 2/2/21:*
98 confirmed positive cases, 0 new cases since last Situation Report on Friday
Date of last positive test: January 29
2 new positives in past 7 days and 4 positives in the past 14 days
3 people have been hospitalized. Date of last hospitalization: December 28
2 Vashon deaths on King County dashboard, last death reported 1/1/21
King County COVID-19 Case Count as of 2/2/21:*
77,186 confirmed positive cases, 841 new since last Situation Report on Friday
1,270 deaths, 21 new since last Situation Report on Friday
Washington State COVID-19 Case Count as of 2/1/21:*
307,809 confirmed positive cases, 6,883 new since last Situation Report on Friday
4,316 deaths, 73 since last Situation Report on Friday
*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: Federal law prohibits Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) from releasing the names of patients (HIPAA Act). 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:
A new federal mask requirement order, signed by Dr. Martin Cetron, director of CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, says people must wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth while on public transportation and while waiting for their ride. The mask needs to feature at least two layers of breathable fabric and be secured to the head with ties, ear loops or elastic bands. Masks need to fit snugly and should not have exhalation valves or punctures. If someone chooses to wear a gaiter, it must be made with two layers of fabric or folded to have two layers. Face shields and goggles can supplement a mask, but cannot be worn in place of a mask. Scarves and bandanas do not fulfill the new requirement.
Multi-layer Masks with a snug fit protect you and those around you. More evidence keeps showing that wearing a mask protects the wearer from COVID-19 infection as well as others they are around. The basics of an effective mask are that: 1) It is made of 2-3 layers of fabric, 2) It has tightly woven fabrics like cotton and cotton blends, 3) It is breathable, and 4) It fits snugly without gaps. When a mask fits correctly, your breath should go through the mask instead of through gaps against your face. Wearing masks, limiting time with those from outside your household, avoiding crowded indoor places, and maintaining as much physical space as you can when you are around others, will prevent the spread of all known COVID-19 variants. The CDC has stated that N95 and other medical grade masks are currently needed for the healthcare workforce. The agency provides a guide to masks at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html
Masks For Vashon offers Vashon residents and workers handmade cloth masks. Masks can be picked up in person at VARSA at 9920 SW Bank Rd, across from ACE Hardware and next to Northwest Sports. VARSA’s office hours vary, but it is typically open Mon-Fri 10 am to 1 pm. If you’re unable to visit VARSA during its business hours, email firstname.lastname@example.org to make other arrangements. Suggested donation is $5 or more per mask, but there is no financial requirement to receive masks.
Understanding Phase Finder & Vaccine Distribution. Washington recently introduced Phase Finder, an online tool that determines if you’re currently eligible to receive the vaccine. With limited vaccine supplies, high demand and a new scheduling system with an unprecedented amount of web traffic presented some new challenges to the rollout of the online tool. Phase Finder is still a great tool to get vaccine assistance and information. https://medium.com/wadepthealth/understanding-phase-finder-vaccine-distribution-581d873bdd9d
The Office of the Washington State Auditor (SAO) was recently made aware of a security breach of the personal data files of those who filed for Washington unemployment benefits in 2020. The breach occurred as the State Auditor’s office was investigating the massive fraud that occurred in March 2020. It is anticipated that free credit monitoring services will be offered for anyone affected. In the meantime, you can also take other actions to reduce the chances of identity theft or fraud on your accounts, including reviewing your account statements and credit reports, notifying your financial institutions of any suspicious activity, and promptly reporting any suspected incidents of identity theft to law enforcement, the state attorney general, and/or the Federal Trade Commission. Claimants should follow the guidance at https://sao.wa.gov/breach2021 to protect your identity to the extent possible.
The Vashon Library has received a supply of IRS Form 1040 booklets (Form 1040, Schedules 1 – 3, and Form 1040-SR). The Form 1040 Instructions (covering Form 1040, Schedules 1 – 3, and Form 1040-SR) have not arrived yet. These are the only forms/instructions the Library will receive from the IRS this year. Forms can be requested through the Library’s Curbside to Go. If patrons want any forms other than the Form 1040 booklet, they can request that the IRS mail them directly, or print off downloadable copies from the IRS website irs.gov. Patrons can use their weekly print allowance (10 black and white copies) and/or pay for copies outside of the free allowance ($0.15 per side of a page). An all-access library card and an appointment are needed to use library printing services. Form 1099 (multipart can be ordered from the IRS: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/online-ordering-for-information-returns-and-employer-returns
IRS encourages filing taxes electronically, citing faster returns and more secure processing. Paper forms should be used as worksheets to prepare returns. Information on electronic filing options is at the IRS website: https://www.irs.gov/filing/e-file-options If you need tax preparation assistance, The Chamber of Commerce’s Ask the Expert is available for free consultations, and will guide you on how to proceed if you need help filing for unemployment, PPP loans, or tax returns. Call (206) 200-3236or email email@example.com.
Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) dashboards of key metrics and data trends are showing post-holiday reductions in case numbers for both King county and Vashon. Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin attributes the reductions in new positive cases, hospitalizations, and deaths to high adherence to safety protocols: wearing masks, social distancing, and frequent hand washing. Our latest tool is the vaccinations, which are initially going to the most vulnerable segments of the population. As the vaccine rollout continues to expand availability, it is important to note that getting the vaccine is not the end of the pandemic. Until a sufficient percentage of the population is vaccinated (likely in the 80-90% range), we must continue to be vigilant in following the safety protocols for the health and safety of those around us. Hear Dr. Duchin’s comments at https://publichealthinsider.com/2021/01/29/video-dr-jeff-duchin-on-covid-19-trends-vaccine-rollout-2/ .
COVID-19 vaccine is for everyone, even the Terminator. Watch Arnold Schwarzenegger get his COVID-19 jab. Yes. He says THE line from the movie! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Hf1iM6dhUU
Progress on Community Support Operations:
Emergency Operations Center (EOC): The EOC activated in response to the pandemic emergency on March 12th, over ten months ago (328 days). Four operational priorities established by the Incident Commander, Fire Chief Charlie Krimmert, and approved by the VashonBePrepared Board, continue to guide our work: health, food security, housing security and economic recovery.
MRC/Vashon Island School District: Medical Reserve Corps and EOC leadership met yesterday with the School District regarding the health and safety pros and cons of returning the elementary school grades to the classroom, with a phased hybrid mix of in-person and online teaching. The MRC physicians provided an analysis of potential risks and some options for the District to consider, including the potential benefits of waiting to restart until various levels of teacher or community vaccination have been achieved. No District decision was announced. MRC and EOC have offered ongoing support to implement the District’s decision when it is finalized. The next school Board meeting is February 11th.
EOC/Community Operations Section: The pilot of the new Vax Access program has made a strong start in just a few days, although the lack of vaccine supply has slowed progress. When fully operational, Vax Access will help VashonBePrepared’s partner social service agencies reach out to those with limited access to information or computers, check that they qualify for the current phase, let them know they can be vaccinated, and help them sign up for the drive-through vaccination site at Vashon Pharmacy. The Vax Access program targets seniors, folks with low- or no-digital access, non-English speaking residents, and others experiencing barriers to vaccination. The project calls on social service agency partners because they know their clients well and are trusted by them, improving the potential to reach even those who may be difficult to reach.
EOC/MRC/CERT: MRC and CERT managers have been working to balance volunteer resources at the two high-activity sites for testing and vaccination. Although all slots have been covered, MRC and CERT have been pulling in existing volunteers not currently working, in anticipation of future improved vaccine supplies and the need for extended hours of operation. It is important to note that the jobs being filled are skilled positions requiring training in medicine, patient management, patient observation, traffic management, logistics and other areas. Volunteers also must be processed as state Registered Emergency Workers. We have been fast-tracking the process for some licensed medical professionals who have come forward. This week’s downtime due to scarcity of vaccine supplies will allow time for the team to consolidate resources.
Volunteers: Volunteer hours worked have spiked over the last month, as the Vashon Pharmacy drive-through site was in planning and went into full operation, adding to activities by the EOC Team and the COVID-19 testing site. For the most recent reporting period, 46 volunteers contributed 540 hours of work to VashonBePrepared’s pandemic emergency response. That brings the total contributed hours to about 22,380 since the activation began. At the FEMA reimbursement grant rate of $31.72/hour, VashonBePrepared volunteers have logged nearly $710,000 of in-kind value available to be applied to the 25% match requirement for reimbursement grants. The total includes hours contributed by the Vashon EOC Team, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), and Community Care Team (CCT). 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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|Thank you Windermere Vashon for helping to make these alerts possible||
Vashon-Maury Island Emergency Alerts Alerts are broadcast on 1650AM, KVSH 101.9FM and the VoV free streaming app. They are published in text here, as well as VashonBePrepared.organd VoiceOfVashon.org, and the VoV Facebook page.
We encourage you to develop your 1650AM listening habit because an AM radio signal may be your only source of information in a serious island emergency.
Voice of Vashon thanks Windermere Vashon Real Estate for their support making 1650AM and this alert possible.
~ Your Emergency Alert Team