- In this section we are providing a summary of the current changes in the Situation Report on Tuesdays & Fridays. For a PDF of the full Situation Report click on the link to the right. To receive these 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 10/23/20:
- 2,309 Total persons tested, 72 persons tested since last Situation Report Tuesday
- 29 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases, 0 new cases since last Situation Report
- Date of last positive test: October 12
- 1 person had been hospitalized. Date of last hospitalization: April 10
- 0 Vashon deaths
King County COVID-19 Case Count as of 10/23/20:
- 25,969 confirmed positive cases, 473 new since last Situation Report on Tuesday
- 789 deaths, 4 new since last Situation Report on Tuesday
Washington State COVID-19 Case Count as of 10/22/20:
- 101,345 confirmed positive cases, 2,684 new since last Situation Report Tuesday
- 2,296 deaths, 38 new since last Situation Report on Tuesday
NOTE: Federal law prohibits Public Health - Seattle & King County 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 (PHSKC) dashboard.
Washington State Department of Health (DOH) reminds Washingtonians that it’s more important than ever to get a flu vaccine this year. While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect our daily lives, autumn brings with it another unwanted visitor – the flu. The presence of both viruses could put more people in the hospital and strain Washington’s health care system. While we don’t yet have a vaccine to prevent COVID-19, we do have one to prevent flu.
Vashon Pharmacy will be running an outdoor flu vaccine clinic tomorrow, Saturday, October 24 in the parking area behind the Pharmacy. VashonBePrepared has arranged to cover the cost at the Pharmacy for anyone who does not have insurance for the shot, thanks to two generous donors. For more information on vaccination providers, go to our English/Spanish Flu Vaccine Provider Directory at: https://vashonbeprepared.org/fluvaccine
If you will be off island, the Department of Health is collaborating with Safeway Inc. and Albertsons Companies LLC to offer no-cost influenza (flu) vaccination for uninsured adults over the age of 18 to help prevent flu illness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Health officials are concerned that the presence of both viruses could put more people in the hospital and strain Washington’s health care system. Find the list of participating locations at https://www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/IllnessandDisease/Flu/NoCostVaccines
Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has a website to help you find a health care provider or vaccine location, and learn more about flu. Visit: https://www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/IllnessandDisease/Flu
Vandals strike COVID health banners for the second time. A second VashonBePrepared banner has been destroyed in the Portage area, slashed by a vandal. The poster conveyed the health benefits of getting a flu shot this year because of the twindemic danger of flu combined with COVID-19. "These banners are part of our effort to help islanders stay safe," said Fire Chief Charlie Krimmert addressing the unknown vandal. "It’s one thing not wanting to get a flu shot. It's another to so violently oppose the idea. Perhaps you can step forward and explain to us why you believe it is wrong, as opposed to vandalizing the property of others, undermining the efforts of those offering help, and using irrational actions in lieu of rational argument. Grow up.”
New Developments since Last Report:
Transitioning the Health Center: Vashon's health center will be closed for a bit more than a week in November, according to the Vashon Healthcare District. Neighborcare’s last day to see patients at the clinic is October 30. The new operator of the health center, Sea Mar Community Health Centers, expects to reopen at Sunrise Ridge on November 9th after a transition period for computer system updates and other logistics tasks. The Healthcare District approved a clinic services agreement with Sea Mar on Oct. 15. Sea Mar has offered to retain all of the clinic's current staff.
New COVID-19 cases continue to increase in Washington and have passed two milestones. According to the Washington State and King County dashboards, the state has passed 100,000 persons infected with the virus and King County has exceeded 25,000 COVID cases. The current increase in infection rate can be attributed to the change in weather, with more activities being indoors, and more social contact with persons living outside your household. Family disease clusters – where one household member passes the virus to the rest of the household – have been increasing this fall. That has been the primary transmission scenario on Vashon, were we have had four family clusters – which have accounted for 16 of our 29 cases.
Vashon’s drive-through flu vaccination clinic drew over 600 people at Vashon High School on Tuesday. The clinic was arranged by the Vashon Medical Reserve Corps, the Vashon Island School District and Seattle Visiting Nurse Association. If you missed this opportunity, Vashon Pharmacy will be running an outdoor clinic this Saturday, October 24 in the parking area behind the Pharmacy. VashonBePrepared has arranged to cover the cost at the Pharmacy for anyone who does not have insurance for the shot, thanks to two generous donors. The pharmacy has administered over 2,500 vaccinations so far this year, and will soon receive another 450 doses of the high-dose vaccine recommended for seniors, in addition to its ongoing supply of regular doses. To date, easily more than one-third of the island population has been vaccinated against seasonal flu.
Vashon Community Care has had to reinstate some of its COVID restrictions due to the increased case rate of King County. The County’s 14-day average is over the 74 cases per 100K level meaning VCC will limit access and contact of residents with off-campus persons as well as on-campus group activities For example visits are limited to two people, outdoors. The dining room is closed and meals are being delivered to resident rooms. https://www.vashoncommunitycare.org/2020/10/19/back-to-phase-1-a-memo-to-residents-and-families-from-wendy-kleppe
The state Department of Health (DOH) released its Interim COVID-19 Vaccination Plan for distributing COVID-19 vaccines in several phases. The plan outlines a phased approach for who will have access to vaccines and how they will be administered. In the first phase, when number of vaccine doses is likely to be limited, high-risk workers in health care, first responders, other essential workers, and adults in long-term care are likely to be prioritized. DOH has noted that this is just version one of the plan, which will change as more is known about the vaccine and its availability. https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19/vaccine
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has changed the definition of who is a “close contact” of an infected individual, which greatly expanding the pool of people considered at risk of contracting the coronavirus. The updated guidance, which health departments rely on to conduct contact tracing, now defines a close contact as someone who was within six feet of an infected individual for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, according to the CDC statement. The change is likely to have its biggest impact in schools, workplaces and other group settings where people may be in contact with others for long periods of time. Wearing face coverings in these situations is critical. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/contact-tracing/contact-tracing-plan/appendix.html#contact
Gov. Jay Inslee has announced updated guidance for religious and faith based organizations as part of Washington's Safe Start phased reopening plan. The update provides that physical distancing between non-household members must be 6 feet in all directions; and permits brief physical contact among up to five individuals, excluding religious leaders, if the brief contact is a critical component to the organization’s religious service, so long as masks are worn and hands are sanitized immediately before and after the contact. Visit: https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/COVID19%20Phase%201%20to%203%20Religious%20and%20Faith%20Based%20Organization%20Guidance.pdf
Gov. Jay Inslee announced the Washington COVID-19 Immigrant Relief Fund to provide $40 million in federal funds for workers who miss work due to COVID-19, but are unable to access federal stimulus programs and other social supports due to their immigration status. While the fund is operational, eligible recipients will receive $1,000, with a limit of $3,000 per household. For information and applications visit https://www.immigrantreliefwa.org
King County Library System has opened Study Zone Plus, a free onlinehomework help and tutoring service. Students in grades K-12 can work with a tutor or find recharge activities, language and reading support. The program can be accessed through Zoom or by dial-in using a landline or smartphone. For more information visit www.kcls.org/studyzoneplus
Chambers of Commerce and community-based organizations in unincorporated King County can apply for a COVID-19 grants of up to $10,000. Organizations have until 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30 to apply online at https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/local-services/programs/economic-development/chamber-grants.aspx
Washington residents can dispose of prescription drugs and vaping products at take-back events, to be held at locations around the state tomorrow Saturday, October 24. Prescription, 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. On Vashon the event will be at Vashon Pharmacy.
The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) is releasing new data about how many cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) are occurring statewide. “While rare, MIS-C is a serious complication that appears to be associated with COVID-19. Children who suffer from MIS-C can become critically ill and some can even die.” said Dr. Kathy Lofy, State Health Officer. “That’s why it’s important that children also take measures to decrease their risk of COVID-19 like masking, hand washing, and social distancing. These are the best ways to limit the spread of COVID-19.” Visit: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/Pubs/420-290-MIS-COVID-Report.pdf
Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has extended his order requiring health insurers to waive copays and deductibles for any consumer requiring testing for coronavirus (COVID-19) and his order protecting consumers from receiving surprise bills for lab fees related to medically-necessary diagnostic testing for COVID-19. Both orders are extended until November 24. https://www.insurance.wa.gov/news/kreidler-extends-emergency-order-coronavirus-testing-and-surprise-billing-nov-24
Progress on Community Support Operations
Emergency Operations Center (EOC): Activation level is Maintenance & Monitoring. Operational priorities have been set at health, food and shelter. Community economic recovery efforts continue through our partnership with Vashon Chamber of Commerce. It has been 226 days (32 weeks, 2 days) since we activated on March 12th.
Medical Reserve Corps (MRC): An analysis of island COVID-19 testing operations and regional statistics shows Vashon residents are being tested at an increasing rate -- now at almost 22 tests per 10,000 people per day. Vashon's rate is not far off the rate in the City of Seattle, which is now 27 tests per day per 10,000 people. Both are well above 15 tests per 10,000 people per day, a level that many epidemiologists view as an "adequate" baseline testing rate. The MRC has been doing about 40% of the total Vashon tests and has picked up eight of the nine positive cases this past month, indications of the crucial importance of having an on-island testing site and the effectiveness of the MRC’s homegrown testing program. About 60% of the island resident tests were done by a combination of the SCAN program, Neighborcare, or off-island healthcare providers such as Kaiser, Multicare, or Franciscan. "These statistics show that our on-island testing strategy is efficient and effective," said testing program lead Dr. Jim Bristow. "But we should not forget that we are also being successful because Vashon residents are doing the right thing- calling and getting tested when they have symptoms or believe they may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus."
VCA Reopening: A Medical Reserve Corps team has begun study on the needs of Vashon Center for the Arts as the organization works on its eventual reopening plans. It's the same MRC team that recently received accolades for its work with Seattle Symphony, which faces similar reopening challenges.
School Reopening: An Emergency Operations Center team member continues to provide support to the School District as it works on reopening plans. A representative serves on the District's reopening committee and is also engaging with an outdoor learning planning team.