Summary for August 10, 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 8/10/20:

  •         1,480 COVID-19 tests reported, 89 additional tests since last Situation Report on Friday
  •         12 positive tests returned, however 1 patient was negative on retesting
  •         11 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 0 new cases since last Situation Report on Friday
  •          Date of last positive test: August 2 
  •          1 person had been hospitalized. Date of last hospitalization: April 10
  •          0 Vashon deaths

King County COVID-19 Case Count as of 8/10/20:

  •          16,749 confirmed positive cases, 611 new since last Situation Report on Friday
  •          676 deaths, 13 new since last Situation Report on Friday

Washington State COVID-19 Case Count as of 8/8/20:

  •          63,072 confirmed positive cases, 2,155 new since last Situation Report on Friday
  •          1,688 deaths, 35 new since last Situation Report on Friday

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.

    Health Tip of the Day:

      Pandemic modeling experts at the University of Washington say that Americans are moving around too much, making it hard to control the spread of COVID-19.  “That’s not good”, said Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, which issues regular forecasts about the coronavirus pandemic.  “If you look at the mobility data collected from cell phones in many parts of the country, we're almost back to pre-COVID levels of mobility, so we're just not being as cautious as other people are in other countries,” Murray said in a CNN interview.  The models predict that movement increases virus transmission.  The latest IHME model projects nearly 300,000 deaths in the US from COVID-19 by December 1.  The model also calculated that if 95% of the people in the US wore masks, that number could decrease to 228,271 deaths, saving more than 66,000 lives.  “Our view about this is that there should be a universal mask mandate in the US, which should come with some penalty if you’re caught without a mask, because we know penalties actually increase mask-wearing even more than just a mandate,” Murray said. 


New Developments since Last Report: 

Tonight, Vashon Island School District will hold a Reopening Schools Family Q&A via Zoom from 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm.The Zoom program will be recorded and shared afterward for those who are unable to attend.To attend go to https://zoom.us/j/95407814012.

Gov. Inslee has provided $18 million to fill service gaps in broadband internet service in underserved communities.The first step is to assess variations in broadband access and internet speeds.The state’s Department of Commerce asks residents to take a one-minute survey at
https://www.commerce.wa.gov/building-infrastructure/washington-statewide-broadband-act

Mental health resources
are available to help. Vashon Youth and Family Services encourages folks of all ages to call for counseling if needed, at 206-463-5511. They offer counseling via phone, Zoom, or outdoors with social distancing. A VashonBePrepared volunteer unit also offers a mental health resource. It's the Medical Reserve Corps Community Care Team Help Line at 206-701-0694. The Help Line is staffed from 8:00am to 8:00pm every day, for referrals to spiritual support as well as mental health counseling.

King County Metro
reminds all riders that wearing a face covering is required while waiting for or riding any transit service.Metro fares remain suspended through August, but most of Metro’s regional transit partners have reinstated fares.Service reductions are still in place on many routes, to check schedules visit https://kingcounty.gov/depts/transportation/metro/schedules-maps/reduced-schedule.aspx

Seattle Department of Transportation
has completed the Reconnect Survey regarding the closure of the West Seattle High Bridge and posted the results on their blog.The survey examined resident’s concerns, transportation needs, and openness to alternative forms of transportation.In blog post, SDOT also discusses West Seattle Low Bridge use policies and the cost-benefit analysis of High Bridge repairs. https://sdotblog.seattle.gov/2020/08/06/west-seattle-community-task-force

Updated Phase 2 indoor fitness guidance
became effective today, August 10th.The updates require an increased area for exercise patrons to 300-square-feet, which requires distancing of just over 17 feet of space. The indoor fitness facility guidance closes showers, hot-tubs, saunas, steam rooms, tanning beds, squash courts, and racquetball courts. Locker room use will be limited to hand washing and restrooms only, or as required for use of the pool authorized under state Department of Health guidelines.Full guidance at https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/COVID19Phase2FitnessGuidelines.pdf

Safe Start guidance for Weddings and Funerals
also went into effective today August 10th.These ceremonies now have an indoor capacity limited to 20-percent or 30 people, whichever is less.Six feet of social distancing must be maintained between households.Outdoor ceremonies are limited to 30 people with similar social distancing guidelines.All receptions are prohibited. https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/COVID19%20Weddings%20and%20Funerals%20Memo.pdf

Get the EOC Situation Report directly when it is posted.Simply sign up for the Voice of Vashon Alerts using a new easier to use address.Signup sheet is at
www.VoiceOfVashon.org/AlertSignup

Progress on Community Support Operations

Emergency Operations Center (EOC): This is day 152 (21 weeks, 5 days) since EOC activation on March 12. Currently activated at Maintenance & Monitoring level.

Volunteers: VashonBePrepared volunteers contributed 317 hours of work to the pandemic emergency response last week. That brings the total to 13,458 hours since activation. FEMA values a volunteer hour at $31.72. On that basis, volunteers from the Vashon EOC Team, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), and Community Care Team (CCT) have contributed $426,882 to Vashon's response to the pandemic emergency.  Local jurisdictions must cover 25% of costs in order to receive the maximum 75% FEMA reimbursement of a disaster relief grant application. The volunteer hours count as in-kind contributions and thus will more than cover the 25% requirement considering expenses logged to date.

School Reopening: A briefing and feasibility topics agenda has been completed for a meeting later this week regarding the possibilities of expanding Chautauqua Elementary School classrooms to the outdoors using tents or similar structures. An EOC logistics and planning group will use the document as a guide for a meeting with half a dozen Vashon Island School District managers and staff on Wednesday. The session is aimed at selecting which options go to the next round of planning, including such factors as costs and ability of the outdoor structures to meet some initial requirements proposed by the school principal.

Community Engagement/Community Care Team:  A strategic communications plan is about 80% complete for the suicide prevention and mental wellness campaign that will launch in September, timed with Suicide Prevention Day on the 10th. Team leads and spokespeople are being recruited.

Vashon COVID Relief Fund: EOC staff continue to monitor the situation in Washington, D.C. regarding a potential new relief package. The practical effect of the President's actions over the weekend is not yet clear and the eventual outcome of Congressional negotiations will be important factors in deciding how to prioritize spending from the Relief Fund. The EOC Team has been working with social service partners to get a feel for community needs for the remainder of August and into September.

Medical Reserve Corps: A protocol has been established for how the MRC COVID-19 testing project will work with the Emergency Operations Center when tests come back positive. The protocol sets top priority on the protection of patient privacy as required by federal law. Under some circumstances, for example if there is significant public exposure, patients may be asked to approve public communications to help the EOC with public communications for community public health and safety purposes -- but still putting priority on protecting patient identity.

Items from Previous Situation Reports:

PDF Archive of items before August 1 here

Governor. Inslee has announced a phased plan for reopening long-term care facilities to visitation. The care facility phases are not the same phases as the Safe Start county-by-county reopening plan.  Effective next week, long-term care facilities that have gone 28 days without a positive test in the facility will be eligible to allow visitations.Among many other detailed requirements, facilities will be required to have on hand at least a 14 day supply of personal protective equipment as well as maintaining a consistent testing program for residents and staff. In the first phase, which is essentially all of the long-term care facilities at the moment, the plan would allow compassionate care visits, window visits, remote visits, and outdoor visits that are limited to two a day.  Regardless of their reopening phase, facilities must continue to practice social distancing, universal masking, and other COVID-19 safety measures. For information on other phases visit https://medium.com/wagovernor/inslee-announces-guidance-for-long-term-care-facilities-fe43b2183495(8/7/20)

Vashon Community Care Executive Director Wendy Kleppe described the Governor’s announcement as a first step, but said many details must be handled and the Governor's final proclamation will not be released until Monday, August 10th. So, visitation is still prohibited at VCC until everything is final and VCC has taken the required steps. "The Governor’s announcement contained many mandates and requirements that must be met by each building before visitors can be allowed,” Kleepe stated.While the announcement did talk through criteria for visitation, the new proclamation will not be final until Monday. As Long Term Care Providers we all have been privy to a lengthy document outlining the stringent criteria and regulations around what 're-opening' means.There are several criteria that MUST be met at each phase for each building before we can allow visitation." (8/7/20)

Vashon's artists get national coverage for COVID-19 performance art that makes a point. Three Vashon performance art projects have been featured in Newsweek and on the widely read BoingBoing.com blog. (https://boingboing.net/2020/08/06/island-community-uses-quirky.html) The projects include the big red coat at the ferry dock encouraging mask use, the van with its own oversized mask leading the EOC delegation in the July 4th Pop-Up Parade, and the giant nose and swab uptown spreading the word about on-island testing. Both articles expanded on the VashonBePrepared and EOC Team efforts and linked to the New York Times (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/16/health/coronavirus-vashon-washington.html?referringSource=articleShare) article about the Vashon Medical Reserve Corps’ island testing program.Red coat artist Mik Kuhlman talked about worries that island visitors might bring COVID-19 and spoil the island’s low infection rate record: ""We're not in normal times, we're in a pandemic. And we're not asking you to not enjoy our beaches, but if you're going to come in and shop, if you're going to come into any of our places, be aware that there is a possibility that you're bringing the virus with you," Masked van artist Michelle Bates said: "We are all very concerned about safety for our community and for everyone around the globe, and realized quickly that pieces like this could not only get the word out to locals who stumbled on them, but that their images would be a way to share the word about masking and safety and concern for those around you to a wider audience, through the joy and magic of art."(8/7/20)

More details have been published on Governor Inslee’s recommendations for resuming in-person instruction in public and private K-12 schools for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year. Similar to the state’s county-by-county phased approach to reopening, the plan allows local health departments and school districts to decide if and how they will allow students back in the classroom.

    Plan Summary: https://medium.com/wagovernor/inslee-announces-education-recommendations-for-2020-2021-school-year-4d510fe16f4

    Decision Tree: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1600/coronavirus/DecisionTree-K12schools.pdf

    Full list of counties and their risk status: https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/Cases%20per%20100K%20over%2014%20days%20by%20county%20August%204.pdf(8/7/20)

    The EOC Unemployed Worker Branch conducted 653 consultation sessions to date to help islanders file unemployment applications to the state Employment Security Department (ESD).To access this free assistance for obtaining unemployment benefits, email deborah@vashonbeprepared.org or call (206) 200-3236.(8/7//20)

    A CDC study found that 15 individuals from Arizona and New Mexico were hospitalized for methanol poisoning in May and June after ingesting hand sanitizer.Hand sanitizer should contain at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropyl alcohol to be effective, but it should not contain methanol, which can be toxic to humans. The FDA is closely monitoring hand sanitizers, and it has generated a list of unsafe products and issued numerous orders to stop production and recall unsafe products. The current list includes 115 products, added between July 2 and August 3, including more than 100 that contain methanol or were produced at facilities that made other products contaminated with methanol. Methanol can be absorbed through the skin, but methanol poisoning via this route of exposure is relatively rare. Unsafe product list at https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-updates-hand-sanitizers-consumers-should-not-use#products(8/7/20)

  • Gov. Inslee today announced a framework for opening Washington schools based on pandemic risk level in each county. Risk being defined as number of new cases per 100,000 over a two week period.King County, including Vashon, joins most Washington counties in the high risk group. For the high risk counties, the Governor and the state’s top education and health officials recommended remote or distance learning, saying classroom learnings would be unsafe given the rate of community spread.All after school and extracurricular sports and activities are recommended to be cancelled. Any group or in-person learning is still subject to the health requirements previously announced.Inslee also has made $8.8 million available for high speed internet and other programs to assist with online learning. (8/5/20)
  • Anticipating today’s statement by the Governor, Vashon Island School District has already been planning steps to ensure they provide an improved online learning approach -- Distance Learning 2.0 – compared to the one rolled out on very short notice in March. More details on VISD plans will be announced over the next couple weeks. As a start, VISD will hold a Reopening Schools Family Q&A via Zoom on August 10th from 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. The Zoom program will be recorded and shared afterward for those who are unable to attend.To attend go to https://zoom.us/j/95407814012. (8/5/20)

    If you lost your health insurance or had a reduction in income you may now qualify for the free Apple Health Insurance. King County Public Health is offering to assist people signing up for Health Insurance including Apple Health, Food Stamps and Orca Lift cards. Contact Miguel Urquiza directly at 206-491-3761 (cell) or 206-477-6965 or email miguel.urquiza@kingcounty.gov.Miguel speaks Spanish and had been helping Vashon residents on Island until the coronavirus. (8/5/20)

    Also, on Vashon the Brown Agency offers free health insurance consultation and assistance for the Chamber of Commerce Ask the Expert program. Call 206.567.4600, or visit Washington Health Plans at www.wahealthplanfinder.org. (8/5/20)

    The Washington Employment Security Department (ESD) announced it has resolved all claims included in the Operation 100% initiative. These include all individuals who had applied between March 8 and June 18 who had yet to receive payment and needed ESD to take action to resolve their claims. Additionally, ESD launched a new benefits data dashboard to report information about payments, the claimant population, status of claims processing and more. This dashboard, which will be updated weekly, will allow the public to stay up to speed on the status, progress and performance of benefits claims and processing as the pandemic continues. https://esd.wa.gov/unemployment/dashboard (8/5/20)

    The Washington State Department of Commerce is distributing approximately $100 million in state Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding through its existing network of homeless services grantees and organizations serving homeless youth to operate a new rent assistance program launched Aug. 1. The program will focus on preventing evictions by paying up to three months of past due, current and future rent to landlords for eligible participants. https://www.commerce.wa.gov/serving-communities/homelessness/ (8/5/20)

    Clarifications for Phase 2 indoor fitness guidance have been posted by Gov. Inslee as part of Washington's Safe Start phased reopening plan.The updates cover indoor fitness facility guidance such as facial coverings requirements in indoor fitness facilities, changes to capacity limits for groups, and requirements for one-on-one fitness training.Full guidance at https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/COVID19Phase2FitnessGuidelines.pdf? (8/5/20)

    Vashon Heritage Museum is offering a Zoom webinar titled Virginia V: Restoring a 100 year old Ship to Glory, presented by Greg Beardsley.Due to the pandemic the annual round-the-Island cruse will not be offered this year.The talk will cover the Steamship Virginia V., part of the Mosquito Fleet, from her launch to the years of fundraising and restoration work to bring her back to life.In 2021, the Virginia V will celebrate 100 years of service. Friday, August 7th at 1:00 PM via zoom webinar. Click HERE to register for the free webinar. (8/5/20)

  • Fire Chief Charlie Krimmert, Incident Commander of the island's pandemic response activation, reacted today to the series of new COVID-19 cases on the island. "In less than 30 days, we have added five cases. In just one month, we equaled the number of cases in the entire first four months of our activation, That's a very troubling trend." Chief Krimmert cautioned islanders that COVID-19 is all around us and this is no time to let down our guard. "Nobody wants family or neighbors to get sick, especially when it is so easy to take the steps to stay safe. We all know what to do by now. Keep your distance. Wash hands frequently. Wear a mask if you must go out." (8/3/20)

    Pandemic spreading into rural areas, like Vashon. "To everybody who lives in a rural area, you are not immune or protected from this virus," Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, said in a CNN interview."What we are seeing today is different from March and April. It is extraordinarily widespread. It's into the rural as equal urban areas.”Birx stressed that Americans need to follow health recommendations, including wearing a mask and practicing social distancing.She said "If you're in multi-generational households, and there's an outbreak in your rural area or in your city, you need to really consider wearing a mask at home, assuming that you're positive, if you have individuals in your households with comorbidities." (8/3/20)

    Gov. Inslee has announced that job search requirements for filing unemployment will remain suspended through Sept. 1. This means the soonest claimants will be required to actively seek work is Sept. 6. You can continue to answer “no” to the job search question on your weekly claim until the suspension is lifted. https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/proclamations/20-30.6%20-%20COVID-19%20Job%20Search%20%28tmp%29.pdf? (8/3/20)

    Additionally, Gov. Inslee has extended the moratorium on service disconnects and late fees through Sept. 1 for all energy, landline telephone and water utilities. If you need help with Food, Housing and Utilities Support, visit https://coronavirus.wa.gov/information-for/you-and-your-family (8/3/20)

    Gov. Jay Inslee announced clarification to the recent rollback guidance for restaurants, taverns, breweries, wineries and distilleries.The changes include clarification about which establishments can offer indoor seating, temporary outdoor seating and counter-style seating.https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/Memo%20SafeStart%20Changes%207.28.pdf?(8/3/20)

    Washington's Safe Start phased reopening plan guidance for overnight group summer camps have been released.For Phase 2 areas, which includes King County and Vashon, regular operation with individual campers is not permitted. Camp operations are limited to household cohort group camping. Members of a single household may occupy a sleeping cabin with a maximum of 10 people per household group.All meals must be eaten outdoors or provided as take out to be consumed in the household cabin.Full guidance at https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/COVID19%20Phase%202-4%20Summer%20and%20Overnight%20Camp%20Guidance.pdf? (8/3/20)

    Situation Reports

    The Situational Awareness team of the Vashon Emergency Operations Center is tasked with monitoring the COVID-19 event and reporting relevant information and updates to the VashonBePrepared teams and public.

    Below you'll find links to PDF's of the full Vashon Situation Reports. As of June 29, 2020, they will be published Monday, Wednesday and Friday only.

    To the left we have posted the first three sections which contain the latest report updates.

    We update Voice of Vashon Alerts: Subscribe for email updates and check Vashon Emergency News for additional sources of regional emergency news.