Summary for June 12, 2020

In this section we are providing a M-W-F summary of the current changes in the Situation Report.  For a PDF of the full Situation Report click on the link to the right. To receive these daily updates via email, sign up for alerts here or view email version here. See archived items in the PDF section to the right on this Situation Report page.

Current Virus Statistics:

Vashon Island COVID-19 Case Count as of 7/6/20:

  • 863 COVID-19 tests reported, 71 additional tests since last Situation Report on Wednesday
  • 7 confirmed positive cases, 0 new since last Situation Report on Wednesday
  • Date of last positive test: June 21
  • 1 person had been hospitalized
  • 0 Vashon deaths

King County COVID-19 Case Count as of 7/6/20:

  • 11,140 confirmed positive cases, 795 new since last Situation Report on Wednesday
  • 591 deaths, 2 new since last Situation Report on Wednesday

Washington State COVID-19 Case Count as of 7/4/20:

  • 35,898 confirmed positive cases, 3,074 new since last Situation Report on Wednesday
  • 1,359 deaths, 27 new since last Situation Report on Wednesday

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 New York Times reports that 239 scientists have written an open letter to the World Health Organization (WHO) saying that airborne transmission is a significant factor in the spread of COVID-19, especially in crowded spaces with poor ventilation.  Evidence suggests that viral particles floating indoors are infectious and the virus lingers in the air indoors, infecting those nearby.  “Whether carried aloft by large droplets that zoom through the air after a sneeze, or by much smaller exhaled droplets that may glide the length of a room,” these experts said, “the coronavirus is borne through air and can infect people when inhaled.” The scientists urged WHO to emphasize this issue to a greater degree in its advice. The airborne spread of the disease is the concept behind the state of Washington mandatory mask order. To read the full story, visit: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/04/health/239-experts-with-one-big-claim-the-coronavirus-is-airborne.html

New Developments since Last Report: 

     ·       Gov. Jay Inslee and Sec. of Health John Wiesman announced a statewide requirement for businesses to require face coverings of all customers.  This significantly expands the previous order requiring masks in public places because it places responsibility on the businesses in addition to the customers. Under this order, businesses may not serve any customer with services or goods if the customer does not comply with the state-wide face covering order.  “We’re doing this because of a spike in cases of COVID-19 all over the state,” Inslee said. “The better we can protect ourselves from the virus, the better we can avoid repeating some of the painful measures we had to take in the spring to shutdown the economy.”  Visit https://medium.com/wagovernor/inslee-announces-statewide-mask-mandate-812c9ba7a92

·       Correction: Vashon Library’s Curbside to Go service for the first two weeks of the month, through July 15, is reserved for the pickup of holds that were placed prior to the library closure.  Patrons will receive an email notification when their holds are available.  After July 15, patrons may place new holds that will be available for curbside service.  

·       On July 1st Gov. Inslee extended a number of proclamations due to the ongoing pandemic.  Of particular interest is the extension of the waiver for the job search requirement for unemployment benefits until August 1.  This and the other extensions can be found at https://www.governor.wa.gov/news-media/inslee-extends-23-proclamations-relating-covid-19-1 

·      
The state Employment Security Department (ESD) has provided guidance for filing when a person does not expect to qualify for benefits that week.  ESD advises claimants not to file a weekly report for any week they do not expect to receive benefits, since benefits are for a finite number of weeks (26 weeks extended to 39 for COVID).  The 39 weeks do not have to be consecutive.  ESD advises that, If and when you qualify for benefits again, you can re-open your claim.  However, you can’t get the $600 federal weekly benefit without filing so it may make sense in your particular situation for you to file even in weeks where you don’t expect to receive state benefits. Unless it is extended, the $600 federal benefit expires in the week ending July 25, 2020.  To access free assistance for obtaining unemployment benefits, email deborah@vashonbeprepared.org or call (206) 200-3236.

·      
The Community Care Team -- a unit of the Vashon Medical Reserve Corps -- is forming online groups for connection and support during these difficult, isolating times.  The groups will be small; perhaps 5-8 people each and run for 50-60 minutes per session.  Each group will be managed by 2 co-facilitators, at least one of whom will be a trained mental health professional.  If interested in joining a telephone or Zoom group, call 206-701-0694. 

·      
One-on-one help is also available.  If you feel that the pandemic has resulted in increased anxiety, depression, and stress due to feelings of isolation and uncertainty, the Community Care Team Help Line is available for psychological or spiritual assistance, every day from 8am to 8 pm.  The phone number is 206-701-0694.

·      
King County 4Culture is taking applications for Reopen Fund grants that provide support for the training, protective equipment, infrastructure improvements, systems upgrades, additional personnel and other measures needed for cultural organizations to get back into service.  Application deadline is August 17.  For more information visit https://www.4culture.org/grants/reopen

·       Grants for small businesses in unincorporated King County.  The King County Council approved $4 million in supplemental funding for grants, technical support, and translation and interpretation assistance to help small businesses in unincorporated King County recover from impacts of COVID-19 closures. Applications are due by 11:59pm, July 10th..  For more information visit https://kingcounty.gov/localbusinesshelp. Or call 206-331-3275.

·      
VOTE: Don't forget to VOTE for Vashon's Unofficial Mayor.  Each candidate has chosen a charity to raise funding for and will campaign to raise those funds.  The winner (candidate who raises the most funds) will be announced on July 18th, 2020. See each candidate’s platform and vote at https://business.vashonchamber.com/store/unofficial-mayor

·
      
Vashon’s Medical Reserve Corps testing program has tested 283 patients of the 792 residents and island employed who have been tested for the COVID-19 virus.  It’s important to understand that the convenient on-island testing operation may not be the best choice for a few special circumstances. The MRC test turnaround time is 48-72 hours, occasionally longer.  Some people may need faster test turnaround prior to medical procedures or tests that need to be done within 72 hours for travel or medical reasons. In those circumstances, MRC recommends Walgreen on N. Pearl St, Tacoma. Testing at that location free, unrestricted and has less than 6 hour turnaround for results.  Appointments are required so, to start the process, visit https://www.walgreens.com/findcare/covid19/testing?ban=covid_testing


·      
COVID testing on Vashon is performed weekdays by MRC at the O Space parking lot.  Testing is done only by appointment and requires a doctor’s order. If you do not have a doctor and need testing or an appointment for testing call (844) 469-4554 Monday through Friday, 9am-6pm. Testing is still available the same-day for freeVashonBePrepared is covering costs for those without insurance.

·      
Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security reports researchers are finding viral mutations as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates.  One mutation in particular is garnering increased attention, as the mutation prevalence appears to be increasing in COVID-19 patients.  “The mutation could enable the virus to replicate more efficiently once it infects someone, which could increase viral load and make those individuals better able to transmit the infection to others. At this time, the mutation does not appear to have an effect on disease severity.” 

·      
King County Parks reminds residents to recreate safely and responsibly this summer.  When you’re on the trail or in a park, wear a face covering when physical distance can’t be maintained, such as at trailheads, parking lots, and restrooms.  For more tips to recreate responsibly to keep each other safe and to learn which parks and trails open or have restrictions, visit https://kingcountyparks.org/covid

Progress on Community Support Operations:

·       Emergency Operations Center (EOC): This is day 117 since EOC activation on March 12.  Volunteers working during the current activation have contributed 11,340 hours since activation began.

·      
EOC Reorganization: The transition from full Type 1 activation to Maintenance and Monitoring status has been completed. The Medical Reserve Corps and the Community Care Team remain at full force. The Community Support Operations Section functions have generally been put into the hands of community partners. Vashon COVID Relief Fund support continues in the previously designated priorities of health, food, shelter and economic recovery. Traditional Incident Command System support teams for logistics, planning and finance have been consolidated, scaled back, or demobilized.

·       Medical Support Branch: Demand for local Vashon testing has doubled. Vashon Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) has conducted close to 300 tests to date, representing roughly one-third of all tests administered to Vashon residents, according to data from Public Health. MRC volunteers believe local demand has increased due to greater awareness of the availability and convenience of the service, as well as increased anxiety due to reports of spiking COVID-19 cases in the region and in other states (see above for information on getting tested).

·      
Recovery Operations: Vashon COVID Relief Fund disbursement #5 has been paid out. In this latest Relief Fund disbursement, payments are going to support community needs being met by social service and economic recovery organizations, including the Food Bank, Senior Center, Vashon Youth and Family Services, Interfaith Council for Prevention of Homelessness, St. Vincent de Paul Vashon, and Vashon Chamber of Commerce. Funding is also going to the Heritage Museum for its history collection effort supporting the EOC Documentation Unit

·      Finance: VashonBePrepared and Vashon COVID Relief Fund expenditures to date have reached nearly $124,000, not including a $50,000 reserve set aside to sustain the Vashon Medical Reserve Corps COVID-19 testing program. Community donations to the Relief Fund total $263,000 so far. That means our community support for food, shelter and economic recovery should be able to continue through mid-August at the current rate of expenditure.

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Latest Blog Post

By John Cornelison on 6/8/2020 1:53 PM
The following statement has been approved by a majority of VashonBePrepared Board Members. Thanks to our President Vicky de Monterey Richoux for crafting this.

In recent weeks we've witnessed devastating news of yet more innocent Black people being killed by police. Use of undue force has been used against peaceful protestors while they were exercising their First Amendment rights, further inflaming the situation. These events occur not in a time of relative political, economic, and social ease, but after months of fears, tensions, illnesses and deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Systemic racism combines with the COVID-19 pandemic, or any type of disaster, to result in far more dire outcomes for people of color, including:

History shows that, following any disaster, our most vulnerable neighbors...

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