New Developments since Last Report:
· The Vashon Medical Reserve CorpsCOVID-19 testing site has expanded its hours in order to serve a sharp increase in demand. MRC says the number of tests has gone up to an average of six or seven per day, occasionally to as many as ten. That’s double the daily average a few weeks ago. The increased demand for testing may be caused by increased anxiety because of new cases on the island in the last week as well as news media reports of many states around the country showing spikes in infection. In addition, Public Health’s contact tracing capacity has increased and each discovered contact requires a test.
· Vashon reports another increase in COVID-19 cases. In the past week, the positive COVID-19 tests on Vashon have risen from 4 to 7, after a period of over two months with no new positive cases. During that same period over 100 residents have been tested. The number of tests and positive results are still below the county wide averages as a percentage of population. However, the increase is still significant for our small community.
· Safe Start guidance for Weddings and Funerals has been issued by the Governor’s Office. These activities must comply with the guidance for Religious and Faith-based services, even if activity is a non-religious service. If food is served, the guidance for Restaurants and Taverns must also be followed. King County is in Phase 2 which permits weddings and funerals to hold indoor services up to 25% of building capacity or 200 persons, whichever is less. https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/COVID19%20Weddings%20and%20Funerals%20Memo.pdf
· Vashon Island School District has developed a set of potential models for reopening of schools. Superintendent, Dr. McSheehy has said “It is imperative that we make the Health and Safety of our community our primary goal. VISD will follow all Health and Safety Guidance by the King County Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I). VISD is hosting a Reopening Schools Q & A, Tuesday, at 6:00 p.m. via Zoom. All families are invited to join the Zoom Meeting https://zoom.us/j/92819370789
· The Food Bank’s Picnics-To-Go program started today and will run until Aug. 21.
The program is not only for kids this year. Picnics-to-go will also give a meal to anyone (including adults) who needs one, regardless of age or income. This year the meals will be for pickup at the School District weekdays (9:30 to 1:30
) and via limited school bus stops on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. For more details and bus stops serviced visit https://www.vashonfoodbank.org/programs-1
· VashonBePrepared and the Vashon Emergency Operations Center have taken delivery of 10,000 masks for distribution to island residents. Roughly one-third of the masks will be given away through businesses on the island, an effort being coordinated by the Chamber of Commerce. Another third of the masks have gone to the Social Service Network of nonprofit service organizations. VashonBePrepared has taken responsibility for distribution of the remaining masks including a quantity going to the Medical Reserve Corps for handout to those coming in for COVID-19 testing. A quantity of hand sanitizer was also picked up with the masks on Saturday. King County purchased the COVID-19 prevention supplies and is relying on community organizations to get them to King County residents.
· The EOC Unemployed Worker Support Branch reminds those collecting unemployment benefits that unless the Governor extends the waiver further, the work-search requirement will go into effect July 1, 2020
. You can still answer No to the work-search questions for the weeks ending 06/20/2020 and 06/28/2020
. For the week ending July 4, 2020
, you will need to enter 3 job-search efforts. For free assistance with questions or for obtaining unemployment benefits, Email email@example.com
or call (206) 200-3236
· The EOC Unemployed Worker Support Branch reminds self-employed individuals who have no employees, and therefore no actual payroll expenses, can qualify for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness by simply paying themselves so-called owner compensation replacement. The amount that can be forgiven is based on your 2019 net self-employment income and can be up to 100% of the loan amount. However, the maximum loan amount for a self-employed person with no employees is $20,833. For free assistance with questions on the PPP benefits, Email firstname.lastname@example.org
or call (206) 200-3236
Progress on Community Support Operations:
· Emergency Operations Center (EOC): This is day 103 since EOC activation on March 12.
The tally to date for donated volunteer hours crossed above 10,000 hours this past week.
· Long Range Planning: Today’s All Hands briefing of all participating volunteers included a roll out of the new Phase 2 Reorganization Plan, a framework for organizing the next phase of the emergency response. It will go to the board of VashonBePrepared on Tuesday morning. The framework for next steps keeps vital work going in the medical, food, shelter and economic recovery areas but moves the Emergency Operations Center to Maintenance and Monitoring activation status.
· EOC Finance Section: Work continues in responde to detailed follow up questions resulting from the collaboration with the state liaison assigned to Vashon’s request for FEMA reimbursement.
· Medical Support Branch: The COVID-19 testing unit has been working to sustain its supply line for testing materials given the increased demand for testing (see New Developments section for details). Plans are being developed for a monitoring unit to provide early warning of any future surge in disease on the island.