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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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Local COVID Activity:
Youth Soccer Quarantine: Nine middle school-aged youths are in quarantine this week due to a potential COVID-19 exposure at an off-island soccer game. They are all members of a private youth soccer league, and the exposure was not at a school event. Eight of the nine are students at McMurray Middle School and the ninth participates in McMurray sports. All nine have been tested, but none of the tests have come back positive. The contact tracing investigation has been conducted by Vashon Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) physicians, in cooperation with the School District nurse. The decision to quarantine was reached in discussions between MRC, the school nurse, and Public Health — Seattle & King County.
Vashon Island Fire & Rescue is dealing with two COVID-19 situations:
There was a concern that nine first responders may have been exposed to COVID-19 when they were called to a serious auto accident in the Quartermaster area of the island. One of the vehicle occupants tested positive, so an exposure investigation has been conducted. Fortunately, it appears that the nine responders escaped exposure due to a combination of proper use of PPE and vaccination. All nine will be complying with follow-up monitoring and testing protocols.
In an unrelated situation, one off-duty firefighter has reported to the Fire District that he has tested positive for COVID-19. The firefighter will continue in quarantine with a testing regimen, in compliance with Fire District safety protocols. A workplace investigation concluded that there was no exposure at VIFR.
Vashon Vaccine Availability:
The Overview: Now that more than 72% of the island’s adult population has received at least one dose of vaccine, the early hyper-intense demand for vaccination has eased off a bit. Both of the island’s active vaccination providers are looking at some refinements of their processes as they consider this turning point in the drive to get people vaccinated. There has been at least one and sometimes two sites for vaccination available on Vashon Monday through Saturday for the last couple of weeks.
Vaccination eligibility for Washington State currently includes people 16 and older. Those aged 16 and 17 will need consent from a parent or guardian to get the vaccine, unless they are legally emancipated. For full definitions of eligibility, visit https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/covid-19/vaccine/distribution.aspx.
Sea Mar: The Sunrise Ridge clinic expects to continue holding vaccination clinics daily, Monday through Friday, and has been providing first doses to an average of 60 people per day. That’s down a bit from an earlier daily count of 100 or more. At this time, all the first doses are Moderna vaccine, although the clinic has Pfizer vaccine as needed for any required second doses. Because Pfizer/BioNTech is the only vaccine approved for people under 18, first-dose vaccinations for 16- and 17-year olds are not currently available at Sea Mar. To increase ease of access for patients, Sea Mar has added an appointment service; in addition to its daily walk-up vaccination offering, patients may call a central appointment line (not the clinic) at 1-855-289-4503.
Vashon Pharmacy: There was a light turnout for the online appointment portal opening last night, an indicator of easing demand given the 72% level of adult population first-dose vaccination on the island. As a result, one day of drive-through vaccination was cancelled for tomorrow, but the drive-through site will still operate on Thursday and Saturday. To encourage signups, the appointment portal for the drive-through site will be open the rest of this week until Friday night, or until all appointment slots have been taken. It will also be possible to make appointments for a few days next week, in addition to the two days scheduled for this week.
High School: The pre-registration page has been opened for the high school vaccination program: https://bit.ly/VashonHSvax The pre-registration form will put the paper work in place for the vaccination days when they have been set. Students under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian complete and sign the form. If all goes well, there will be a half day for each of the two high school student cohorts, and students will need to designate their cohort on the online form. Vaccine will be coming from Vashon Pharmacy. Vaccinators and post-shot observers will be provided by the Pharmacy and volunteers from the Medical Reserve Corps.
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.
Going off Island for Vaccination: City of Seattle sites, including one 1.5 miles from the Fauntleroy dock are open to Vashon residents. 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
Check these websites frequently and refresh your browser to find the most convenient location for you. 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.
Current Virus Statistics:
Vashon Island COVID-19 Case Count as of 4/20/21:*
113 confirmed positive cases, 0 new cases since last Situation Report on Friday
Date of last positive test: April 7
0 new positives in past 7 days and 0 new positives 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
King County COVID-19 Case Count as of 4/20/21:*
94,250 confirmed positive cases, 1,204 new since last Situation Report on Friday
1,498 deaths, 5 new since last Situation Report on Friday
Washington State COVID-19 Case Count as of 4/18/21:*
386,920 confirmed positive cases, 3,026 new since last Situation Report on Friday
5,394 deaths, 14 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
What happens if I received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine? The Covid-19 J&J vaccine has proven to be very effective for preventing illness and transmission of the COVID-19 virus. In a handful of cases, a rare and unusual blood clot with low platelets have been reported in the United States. The risk of having this side effect is very low (less than 1 in a million), but people who will receive the vaccine should still be aware of symptoms so they can get prompt medical treatment to help recovery and avoid complications. Individuals must seek urgent medical attention if they have any of the following symptoms in the three weeks after being vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine:
Shortness of breath
Persistent abdominal (belly) pain
Neurological symptoms, such as severe and persistent headaches or blurred vision
Tiny blood spots under the skin beyond the site of the injection.
If you received the vaccine in the last three weeks, continue to monitor your symptoms. For those who got the J&J vaccine more than three weeks ago, the risk of this complication is even lower https://medium.com/wadepthealth/whats-happening-with-the-johnson-johnson-vaccine-in-washington-eb3d7d08306b
New Developments since Last Report:
King County Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin raises concern over the county’s continued high COVID-19 case count, as well as efforts to equitably distribute COVID-19 vaccines. “We’re in a standoff with this virus and this is not the time to blink. The growing number of people being vaccinated is undoubtedly limiting damage from these new variants and from our increasing activities. And, the relatively low numbers of deaths currently is a tribute to the effectiveness of vaccination in our high risk adults. Increasing vaccine coverage ultimately is our best weapon against COVID-19. But at the moment, we can’t rely on vaccine alone to fully counteract the effect of a variant-driven surge in the next month. Depending solely on vaccine right now is like fighting with one hand behind our back when we need a double-fisted strategy. So let’s continue to do all we can to work together to knock this virus out once and for all.”-Dr. Jeff Duchin. See his full comments at https://publichealthinsider.com/2021/04/16/video-dr-jeff-duchin-discusses-steady-rise-in-covid-19-cases-and-hospitalizations-april-16-2021
Vashon residents can get permission to use the West Seattle Low Bridge (Spokane St. Swing Bridge) if they are receiving lifesaving medical treatment. Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has included Vashon residents in its bridge access program. Access is on a pre-authorization basis and you must register your license plates and receive SDOT approval before using the low bridge. Visit: https://sdotblog.seattle.gov/2021/04/09/were-starting-the-application-process-for-people-to-use-the-spokane-st-swing-bridge-to-reach-lifesaving-medical-appointments-while-the-west-seattle-bridge-is-under-construction
Metro will begin gradually increasing passenger limits on buses. On Saturday, April 17, Metro increased seating to 50% capacity. This means the passenger limit will move from 12 to 20 riders on 40-foot buses, and from 18 to 30 customers on 60-foot buses. This increase in load limits is in step with other transit agencies and in line with Governor Inslee’s guidance for public transit agencies. https://kingcountymetro.blog/2021/04/02/metro-to-gradually-increase-passenger-limits
Employment Security Department data shows that Vashon’s unemployment has been steady over the past three weeks, current active claims are at 339. If you need assistance filing claims for unemployment benefits, or have questions on eligibility with the COVID-19 relief programs, the Chamber of Commerce’s Ask the Expertis available for free consultations, and will guide you on how to proceed with filing for unemployment, PPP loans, or tax returns. Email email@example.com, or call (206) 200-3236.
Washington residents can dispose of prescription drugs and vaping products at take-back events and locations. On Vashon, prescription drug take-back is hosted at Vashon Pharmacy, any day during normal business hours. Prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, vape pens, and other e-cigarette devices will be accepted. Medications can remain in their original containers and labels do not need to be removed. Medications not in their original containers also will be accepted. Vape and e-cigarette with batteries removed will be collected. “Participating in these take-back events is one way people can help tackle the opioid crisis and protect loved ones,” said Dr. Charissa Fotinos, HCA deputy chief medical officer. https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/WAHCA/bulletins/2cdeafc
Department of Health (DOH) Care Connect Washington is designed to get services and support to people who need them in order to quarantine or isolate at home. Through the program, regional networks of community-based partners connect clients to services they are eligible for, such as medication delivery, health care, help applying for unemployment, local housing agencies, food banks, childcare providers and more. Care Connect also provides kits with crucial food and personal care items needed during isolation or quarantine at home. https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19/CareConnectWashington
Public Health – Seattle & King County has issued updated guidance on improving indoor air quality for pandemic safety. The guidance for building operators and business owners provides ventilation strategies to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in indoor settings. In addition to general HVAC considerations the document provides some specific strategies for shared/congregate housing, schools and child care, and restaurants. https://kingcounty.gov/depts/health/covid-19/~/media/depts/health/communicable-diseases/documents/C19/improving-indoor-ventilation-guide-EN.ashx
Questions about Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery reopening plan? Gov Inslee’s office has a website with all the latest COVID-19 Reopening Guidance for Businesses and Workers. Visit: https://www.governor.wa.gov/issues/issues/covid-19-resources/covid-19-reopening-guidance
The European Union’s drug regulator said a warning should be added to the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine indicating a possible link to rare and unusual blood clots, but stopped short of recommending it be pulled from use, saying its benefits outweigh its risks. “The reported combination of blood clots and low blood platelets is very rare, and the overall benefits of Covid-19 Vaccine Janssen in preventing Covid-19 outweigh the risks of side effects,” the European Medicines Agency said in a statement, referring to the division of Johnson & Johnson that develops vaccines, Janssen. The rare clots were “very similar,” the agency added, to those associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, for which the agency made a similar recommendation. https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/news/covid-19-vaccine-janssen-ema-finds-possible-link-very-rare-cases-unusual-blood-clots-low-blood
The federal Small Business Administration has established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) to provide funding to help restaurants and other eligible businesses keep their doors open. This program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023. For eligibility and how to apply, visit: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/covid-19-relief-options/restaurant-revitalization-fund
Progress on Community Support Operations:
Emergency Operations Center (EOC): Four operational priorities — health, food security, housing security and economic recovery — were put in place for Vashon’s pandemic emergency response shortly after our activation nearly 58 weeks ago. The four priorities were established by the Incident Commander Fire Chief Charlie Krimmert, and approved by the VashonBePrepared Board.
School District/EOC/MRC: As described earlier in this report, work continued this week in several areas of support for Vashon Island School District.
Detailed planning has begun for COVID-19 vaccinations to be offered at the high school for 16, 17 and 18 year olds. Initially, it looks like as many as 200 people could be vaccinated very quickly in a few half day sessions. Currently, the hope is to have the high school vaccination days the week of the 26th, presuming vaccine supply is available and any logistics issues can be worked out.
The MRC contact tracing team has worked with the School District to identify and recommend steps for quarantining nine students connected with McMurray Middle School, either as students or participants in a school sports team. The quarantined students were exposed through a private soccer league program.
Another new project involves work on COVID safety measures at athletic events, which have been significant risks for disease spread around the country. The Superintendent has taken steps to ensure strong masking signage, reminders of safety from the public address booth, and several other measures.
Volunteer Wellness Survey: The Community Care Team unit of the Medical Reserve Corps has launched an initiative to assess our volunteer worker health, looking for any signs of burnout. Many of our volunteers have worked more than a year with little break in schedules. The assessment includes visits by a nationally known therapy dog handler, as well as protocol design counsel from an expert on volunteer mental health who has been deployed many times on American Red Cross disaster missions.
Volunteers: For the last full week reporting period, 45 volunteers contributed 450 hours of work to VashonBePrepared’s pandemic emergency response. That brings the total contributed hours to nearly 28,000 since the activation began. At the FEMA reimbursement grant rate of $31.72/hour, VashonBePrepared volunteers have logged almost $888,000 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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