Situation Report #167

March 30th, 2021 - Posted in Alerts, Uncategorized

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: https://vashonbeprepared.org/News/SitReps
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Local COVID Activity:
The extent of the COVID outbreak among Vashon High School students has been updated by the School District. Now four Vashon High School students have tested positive for COVID-19, an increase of one since the last report. According to the School District, the confirmed infections did not result from participation in school activities, and the known positive patients are isolating at home. An additional six Vashon High School students have been asked to quarantine for 14 days from their exposure to the infected students, an increase of two from the last report. No additional positive test cases have been identified. The District has met with investigators from Public Health — Seattle & King County’s School and Child Care Task Force. Coming out of the meeting with Public Health, Superintendent Dr. Slade McSheehy indicated in a community email that there will be improvements in School District COVID infection response procedures going forward. 


Vashon Vaccine Availability: 
The Overview: First-dose appointments have been available this week on island for the first time in a couple of weeks, but most of the available slots have been taken. Only one of the two active vaccination sites has had vaccine for first doses. Service has been provided for those with appointments for second doses.


Vaccination eligibility for Washington State currently includes those in tiers 1a, 1b1, and 1b2, including pre-K to grade 12 educators and staff, as well as licensed daycare workers.  Vaccine eligibility will expand tomorrow to phases 1b3 and 1b4, which include:
Anyone with two or more comorbidities (diseases or conditions).
Anyone between the ages of 60 and 64
Anyone living in congregate settings (correctional facilities, group homes for those with disabilities, those experiencing homelessness, etc.).
An expanded list of workers in congregate settings (restaurants, manufacturing, construction)
For full definitions of eligibility, visit https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/covid-19/vaccine/distribution.aspx


Vashon Pharmacy: The Pharmacy’s online appointment system was opened last night and 550 appointments were booked in just a few hours.  The system was reopened for a few hours this morning and the remaining 150 doses of vaccine were booked, for a total of 700 appointments made through the rest of the week.  It will be a few days before word is received on whether a new shipment of vaccine will be allocated for next week.  Completion of last week’s backlog of postponed second-dose appointments and this week’s scheduled second-dose commitments was assured by the arrival of a shipment of vaccine yesterday.


Sea Mar: The clinic has indicated there will be no first-dose vaccine appointments at the Sunrise Ridge location this week.


Vax Access: The Vax Access program, to help people experiencing barriers to vaccination, has been continuing efforts to reach underserved populations, especially now that eligibility has been expanding. This week, a planning group did an assessment of touch points in the Spanish speaking community on Vashon. Outreach will include influential individuals known to the community, as well as multiple social service agencies and other providers such as VYFS, Comunidad Latina Vashon, IFCH, and the School District. Conversations have been opened with Sea Mar to encourage medical services by Spanish-speaking staff at their island clinic. In addition, efforts continue for providing Spanish speakers at the pharmacy vaccination and MRC testing sites.


The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) recommends that you check the following four websites to see if there is updated information about local vaccination opportunities, beyond what we compile in these Situation Reports which are published on Tuesdays and Fridays.
VashonBePrepared.org/COVID-Vaccine
VashonPharmacy.com/covid
SeaMar.org/covid-vaccine
VashonNaturalMed.com


Going off Island for Vaccination: A number of sites within driving distance are accepting appointments from residents in King, Pierce and Kitsap counties. Here are some websites to check for vaccination opportunities:
Vaccinate WA:  vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov
WA COVID Vaccine Finder:  www.covidwa.com.
City of Seattle Vaccination Notification List:  bit.ly/VaxNotificationList
Each of these sources lists some potential vaccination locations within a few miles of the mainland ferry docks. Check these websites frequently and refresh your browser to find the most convenient location for you, until the Vashon sites are back in action. Also, keep in mind that your mainland healthcare provider may be a vaccination resource (CHI Franciscan, Multicare, Kaiser, etc.). And all patients enrolled in the Veterans Administration system are eligible at VA facilities.


Phase Finder, Washington State’s online vaccine eligibility tool, will no longer be required to verify COVID-19 vaccine eligibility starting March 31.  That means that people who want a vaccine should check DOH’s prioritization guidance webpage to see when they are eligible to get vaccinated.  https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19/VaccineInformation/AllocationandPrioritization


Current Virus Statistics: 


Vashon Island COVID-19 Case Count as of 3/30/21:*
●      109 confirmed positive cases, 1 new case since last Situation Report on Friday
●      Date of last positive test: March 27
●      1 new positive in past 7 days and 1 positive in the past 14 days  
●      4 people have been hospitalized. Date of last hospitalization: March 18
●      3 Vashon deaths per the King County dashboard, last death reported 2/27/21
●      NOTE: The statistics from the PHSKC website often lag cases. The number of cases will be going up due to the outbreak at Vashon High School.


King County COVID-19 Case Count as of 3/30/21:*
●      87,190 confirmed positive cases, 1,190 new since last Situation Report on Friday
●      1,462 deaths, 3 new since last Situation Report on Friday


Washington State COVID-19 Case Count as of 3/28/21:*
●      359,666 confirmed positive cases, 2,719 new since last Situation Report on Friday
●      5,226 deaths, 8 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:


Dr. Jeff Duchin of Public Health — Seattle & King County warns that increasing cases and hospitalizations in the county, coupled with the spread of variants of concern and continued limited vaccine supply, could be the beginning of a fourth wave.  Coronavirus cases in the county have been increasing since early March.  Over the past week, about 200 new cases were reported each day in the county, a significant 43% increase from two weeks earlier.  Case rates have been rising among most age groups, except for one: adults 75 and older.  That reflects widespread vaccinations among older adults in the county, who would be more likely to experience severe illness from the virus if not vaccinated.  Among adults 75 and older, case rates have dropped more than 80% since Feb. 1, Duchin said, a “tremendous testament to the effectiveness of our vaccines.”  The outbreak isn’t over yet, Duchin said, and people shouldn’t celebrate before it’s time.  “I want this outbreak to be over; it’s been like a very bad dream … we’ve endured much over the past year but we need a few more weeks of serious effort to finish this off successfully,” he said. “We can’t let the light at the end of the tunnel blind us … COVID-19 is now a vaccine preventable disease and we just need to keep our guard up until more of us can be vaccinated over the coming weeks.”  Dr. Duchin recommends continuing to abide by the following to beat this pandemic: wear well-made & snug-fitting face masks, avoid crowded indoor spaces, limit indoor time w/ unvaccinated people from outside the household, and improve ventilation at work, home, and businesses.  https://www.seattlepi.com/coronavirus/article/king-county-good-chance-start-of-fourth-covid-wave-16056140.php  


“Impending doom” is the way that Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC director, describes a possible fourth wave of COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths.  Walensky explained that while “we are just almost there — but not quite yet,” rising cases to around 70,000 per day nationally have given her cause for concern.  COVID-19 tracking from the New York Times shows that, over the last two weeks, cases have risen by 15 percent to a rolling average of approximately 65,000, while hospitalizations and deaths have fallen by 6 and 29 percent, respectively. However, hospitalizations and deaths lag infections by several weeks.  President Joe Biden said, “The CDC expressed earlier today that this is not a time to lessen our efforts. We could still see a setback in the vaccination program and most importantly, if we let our guard down now, we could see it getting worse, not better.”  President Biden on Monday called for governors and mayors to maintain or reinstate mask mandates, and warned against “letting up on precautions” before the virus is more under control.  “We are giving up hard-fought, hard-won gains,” he said. https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/03/30/world/covid-vaccine-coronavirus-cases   


King County has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases over the past month, after a significant decrease from the third wave.  Case counts have risen to 263 per day on a 7-day average, up from 142 a month ago.    


The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) reported that more than 1 million people have been fully vaccinated in Washington and 3 million COVID-19 doses have been administered.  Nearly 15% of our state population — or more than one out of every seven Washingtonians — has been fully vaccinated, which means they have received a second dose of a two-dose vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) or one dose of a single-shot vaccine (Johnson & Johnson).  COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing COVID-19 disease, especially severe illness and death.  The state is consistently exceeding its goal of vaccinating more than 45,000 people per day and has enrolled nearly 1,500 provider facilities, which will be ready to distribute additional vaccine as allocations from the federal government increase.  https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19/DataDashboard  


If you are fully vaccinated, you can: gather indoors with fully vaccinated people in private residences without wearing a mask and gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household in private residences (for example, visiting with relatives who all live together) without masks, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.  Regardless of vaccination status, people should still take steps to protect themselves and others while in public settings.  This includes wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces.  https://www.doh.wa.gov/Newsroom/Articles/ID/2678/Department-of-Health-adopting-CDC-guidance-on-safe-behaviors-post-vaccine  


The Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines are extremely effective in the real world, reducing infections by 90 percent in fully vaccinated people, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported.  Clinical trial data found that a two-dose regimen prevented 90 percent of infections by two weeks after the second shot, and one dose prevented 80 percent of infections by two weeks after vaccination.  There has been debate over whether vaccinated people can still get asymptomatic infections and transmit the virus to others.  This study suggested that transmission may be extremely unlikely, as infections were so rare.  CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky called the study “tremendously encouraging” in a briefing Monday, adding that it “underscored the importance of getting both of the recommended doses of the vaccine in order to get the greatest level of protection against Covid-19, especially as our concerns about variants escalate.”  https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7013e3.htm   


Special enrollment period for health insurance is now open through June 30 for people who are uninsured.  Anyone who doesn’t have health insurance can buy a plan directly from an insurer or through the Washington Health Benefit Exchange.  If you buy a plan through the Exchange, you may qualify for federal help paying your premium.  https://www.wahealthplanfinder.org


On Vashon, the Brown Agency is one of the Chamber of Commerce Ask the Expert providers. The agency offers free health insurance consultations and assistance for applications and coverage options through the Affordable Care Act or Washington Apple Health. Call (206) 567-4600 


The state has partnered with BECU Foundation to expand funding and resources to historically under-served and hard-to-reach small businesses.  The Small Business Resiliency Network ensures business owners are informed about local, state and federal funding and other important resources and programs available to them.  The network’s trusted community organizations provide culturally appropriate outreach, translation, assistance and education to ensure business owners can find the information they need from people they trust.  For more information visit  https://www.commerce.wa.gov/serving-communities/technical-assistance-from-trusted-community-messengers


Progress on Community Support Operations:


Emergency Operations Center (EOC): It has been more than a year (almost 55 weeks or 384 days) since the EOC and other elements of our island emergency response coalition were activated in response to the pandemic emergency on March 12th, 2020. Our four operational priorities were put in place shortly after activation, established by the Incident Commander, Fire Chief Charlie Krimmert, and approved by the VashonBePrepared Board. Those priorities continue to be health, food security, housing security and economic recovery.


Situation Report: The audience for these reports has grown 61% from numbers in the beginning of the pandemic in March of 2020. The number of people signed up to receive the Emergency Alert System emails, used to distribute the Situation Report, has grown from 2,034 to 3,282 in one year.


Drive-Through Vaccination Site: Activity at the Vashon Pharmacy location has been brisk this week. CERT volunteers started work on replacing one of the several tents that are used at the site. The check in tent at the movie theater parking lot was damaged by wind over the weekend. So far, four tents have been replaced due to weather damage.
Reopening Support: EOC began conversations with the Family Place program of Vashon Youth and Family Services as they began looking at re-opening. After initial size-up conversations and development of a draft COVID safety plan, Medical Reserve Corps volunteers will be asked to check it for refinements.


Volunteers: Hours contributed by volunteers in the VashonBePrepared coalition were sharply down last week with the drive-through vaccination site shut down for lack of vaccine supply. For the most recent reporting period, 29 volunteers contributed 321 hours of work to VashonBePrepared’s pandemic emergency response. That brings the total contributed hours to more than 26,500 since the activation began. At the FEMA reimbursement grant rate of $31.72/hour, VashonBePrepared volunteers have logged more than $841,600 of in-kind value available to be applied to the 25% match requirement for reimbursement grants. 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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