West Seattle, Washington
Here’s tonight’s roundup of virus-crisis news:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: On to today’s daily summary from Seattle-King County Public Health – the cumulative countywide totals:
*44,406 people have tested positive, 666 more than yesterday’s total
*859 people have died, 1 more than yesterday’s total
*3,227 people have been hospitalized, 37 more than yesterday’s total
*627,074 people have been tested (note: the dashboard continues to cite the state’s pause on reporting negative results and says this number is “frozen,” but it’s up 639 since yesterday)
One week ago, the totals were 40,065/835/3,020/622,741.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: See them – nation by nation – here.
WA NOTIFY: Centerstage when the governor held a briefing today – the new smartphone feature WA Notify, meant to provide an anonymous notification if someone you’ve been close to tests positive for COVID-19. It’s an app to download if yuu use an Android phone; for iPhones, it’s a feature to activate in your settings (provided your software’s up to date!). P.S. The governor also talked about vaccines and the outlook on removing restrictions in mid-December.
WHEN WILL SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS REOPEN? Logistics were the heart of the discussion at a School Board work session tonight.
COFFEE SHOP REOPENING: After being closed since Thanksgiving because a staff member tested positive, Realfine Coffee is reopening tomorrow morning.
NEED FOOD? On Friday, food boxes will be available 2-5 pm at Food Lifeline (815 S. 96th).
GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Seattle Public Schools has already said they’ll definitely stay in all-remote mode at least through late January. Now they’re mulling extending that until March. That’s part of what emerged from a School Board work session tonight.
District staff updated board members on possible options and logistical challenges regarding potential re-opening before the school year’s over. The primary factor remains health/safety, and the current King County infection rate is far above the level considered safe.
Since tomorrow is December 1st – once the targeted date to have enforcement cameras operating on the West Seattle low bridge, with a month of warnings followed by official ticketing – we checked with SDOT about the status.The cameras are not installed yet; installation is now expected “the week of December 7th,” according to SDOT communications director Michael Harold. (Back when automated enforcement was first mentioned publicly in June, they were hoping for August, but the timeline has slid at a couple spots along the way.) Activation is now expected in “late December/early January,” so at this point it looks like the “real” camera ticketing, with $75 fines, is unlikely to start before February. Harold says they’ll have a “more in-depth Low Bridge automated enforcement update” later this week, including a briefing when the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force meets at noon Wednesday (December 2nd); here’s the link for viewing that meeting.
4:37 PM: Avoid Delridge/Holden for a while – Seattle Fire has arrived to deal with a vehicle fire and has alerted dispatch that some help will be needed directing traffic for a while. The fire, however, is already out.
4:50 PM: Adding a photo sent by Kersti Muul, showing it’s a commercial van. No reports of injuries, but we’ll be doublechecking with SFD.
5:12 PM: SFD has closed out the call.
Click above to watch/listen – Gov. Inslee is presenting a pandemic update with media Q&A, centered on the newly unveiled WA Notify app, which can tell you – without revealing anyone’s identity – whether anyone you’ve been near tests positive for COVID-19. He’ll also likely be asked about the state of the current restrictions, midway through the initially announced four-week period. Notes as it goes …
2:41 PM: He starts by saying he was on a conference call about COVID vaccines today, and distribution is expected to start soon. He asks providers to sign up ASAP – those who sign up by December 6th could be among the first to get supplies.
Then on to WA Notify. He stresses that the app is anonymous, not revealing or sharing identities or locations. It’s entirely voluntary to activate or download. He says 200,000 people already have downloaded or enabled since it went live this morning. So what does closeness – making you eligible for an alert – mean? It uses the CDC definition – within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more. But it’s “not a failsafe for whether or not you’ve been exposed to COVID-19,” he warns – it’s “another tool.”
Joining him is University of Washington president Ana Mari Cauce, talking about the UW’s role in developing and testing WA Notify, and stressing its privacy protections.
2:52 PM: Inslee notes that applications will open soon for the new small-business grants and urges businesses to be ready to apply via coronavirus.wa.gov. Then it’s on to Q&A. When will we know about a Thanksgiving spike? Probably not for another week or so, Secretary of Health John Wiesman says, while adding that hospitalizations are still increasing.
3:04 PM: More questions about the vaccines – yes, the state is still planning an independent review, but that’s expected to be quick; the governor says he has “more and more confidence” in the federal review. Secretary Wiesman says they’re still finalizing the prioritization of who gets it when.
In response to another question, he says there are no “imminent announcements” regarding restrictions, and the most important thing people can do is continue to behave safely. Regarding whether the restrictions will lift in mid-December or continue, “There’s no imminent decisions in that regard, nor can we make them today” – it all depends on what course the pandemic takes, and personal behavior can affect that in a big way.
3:17 PM: Back to the app. It’s a complement to existing contact tracing. For more on how it works and how to use it, go here…. And another vaccine question: The governor stresses it will take months of vaccinations before enough people are vaccinated “to break the chain of transmission.” … The state is seeking the Moderna vaccine as well as the one it’s slated to get first, the Pfizer vaccine, and expects to get both, Secretary Wiesman said.
3:36 PM: The briefing ends with the governor noting that WA Notify is another way to have some power over the pandemic. (The video window above should convert to the archived recording of the briefing soon.)
Thanks to Tom for the tip! With dry weather expected most of the week, West Seattle Thriftway (4201 SW Morgan; WSB sponsor) is getting some parking-lot work done. The back entrance (off 42nd SW) is closed today while they’re repaving the lot on that side, proprietor Paul Kapioski tells us, but it will reopen tomorrow; also tomorrow, they’ll work on the north side of the main lot, and the central part on Wednesday. There’s still parking and the store’s still accessible.
Reader report from Ellie: “Our 2009 Toyota Prius had its catalytic converter stolen when parked on the street at 25th and Hudson. It’s normally in a garage but we had to leave it out due to the Delridge road work closing driveway access. Apparently these have been on the rise recently, as it is fairly easy to remove in under 2 minutes from below the car and it contains precious (metals). … It’s happening to more Priuses than other cars, and there are guards that can be installed to help prevent it. It was a bit of a nightmare to discover as the repair costs are more expensive than the car itself. Fortunately for us we have comprehensive coverage that will cover it but there’s still a hefty deductible.” Earlier this fall, the Southwest Precinct issued an alert that these thefts were spiking; they’ve been a problem off and on for years – our archives include reports going back to 2008.
Even if we don’t see snow or ice, we will see an abundance of polar bears in West Seattle this season – thanks to the West Seattle Polar Bear Challenge. It’s all sorts of good things bundled up in one, according to the announcement we received to share with you:
The mission of the West Seattle Polar Bear Challenge is to:
*Create holiday fun for the West Seattle community – A Polar Bear Scavenger Hunt
*Collect food for the West Seattle Food Bank at polar bear locations
*Build awareness about “supporting local” and drive business into local stores and restaurants for takeout
The West Seattle Polar Bear Challenge is a scavenger hunt with a cause.
There are already 40 participating homes and businesses around our community, and the numbers are growing every day. You can view the interactive Polar Bear Scavenger Hunt map here. Big or small, an inflatable or simple picture in your window, the more polar bears and bins the merrier.
The West Seattle Polar Bear Challenge begins on December 1, 2020 and will run through January 1, 2021. On January 1, 2021, our Polar Bears will be down on Alki, the famous location of the Polar Bear Plunge, for one final opportunity to contribute to the West Seattle Food Bank.
Learn more and get involved here:
To make it easy to participate, the website includes a form to submit your address to be included on the map, downloadable signs and donation bin labels, and more.
Organizers tell us this is simply an “effort of several families and friends that have come together to make it happen.” (We’ll of course be adding it to the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide – anything this season that you want the community to know about and/or be part of, let us know!)
Four things to know about this post-holiday-weekend Monday:
LOCAL CYBER MONDAY SHOPPING: With the pandemic-fueled boom in online shopping, the designation of today as “Cyber Monday” has been a bit eclipsed, but – if you’re going to shop online, please spend local. We have a list of more than 40 local retailers/makers offering online shopping, with direct links, is in the SHOPPING SPOTLIGHTS section atop our West Seattle Holiday Guide. Please explore! The list will be there all season. (We’re still adding, too! Email suggestions to email@example.com – thank you!)
LETTER CARRIER SENDOFF: If you’re in the west Alki area, Marc sent this note:
All right, Alki community, let’s celebrate a staple of your community, especially those who live west of 64th Ave SW. Today is your USPS letter carrier Dado Gabut‘s last day. He has been with the post office for more than 36 years and has worked many areas of the 98116 zip code. Bring your dogs and your smiles in congratulating such an amazing man, letter carrier, and staple of your community. His route is down by the Alki Lighthouse and ends at the end of the west part of Alki’s walkway (around 2 pm). Thank you Dado for being a glowing example of the services USPS provides to the community. Let’s celebrate!!!
NEW APP & OTHER PANDEMIC NEWS: Governor Inslee has a 2:30 pm media briefing at which he’ll talk more about a new app just announced today, the “anonymous exposure notification tool” WA Notify. You will be able to watch the briefing here. (We’re also two weeks from the initially announced end of increased restrictions, so he’ll undoubtedly be asked about that too.)
SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS’ REOPENING PLAN: Will in-person learning resume this school year? The SPS School Board has a work session on in-person learning, starting at 4 pm this afternoon. The agenda includes info on how to watch.
During this pandemic-altered school year. PTSAs and PTAs are focused on helping students and families with the most basic of needs, as the economic crunch leaves more struggling than ever before. Here are three ways you can help another local school community:
‘Tis the season for giving! Please help our Chief Sealth International HS students and their families.
There are many ways to help CSI; please consider giving to one or both of these important crowdfunding campaigns below. Please share these links with your friends and family that would also be able to support our CSI community.
CSI PTSA General Fund
We are not able to hold our annual auction. Help us replenish our annual PTSA budget to provide needed essentials for our students.
Gift Cards for Sealth Families
This campaign will help our CSI families that are in need of basic supports, many for the first time. If you are able, we would appreciate your donation.
Another way to help Sealth is by using our Amazon link for all of your Amazon Cyber Monday shopping! We get a greater percentage of your sales by entering the site through this link. Bookmark it and help all year by doing your usual shopping. Or just enter the site through the link on our CSI PTSA website.
Thank you, Sealth supporters! We appreciate every one of you. Wishing you all the best through the holidays and cheers to a less chaotic 2021!
The Chief Sealth PTSA
6:07 AM: Welcome to Monday, November 30th, the 252nd morning without the West Seattle Bridge.
Delridge project: Work is scheduled to resume today; here’s this week’s plan.
Highway 99 tunnel: Southbound closure this Friday night-Saturday morning, 10 pm-7 am, for maintenance.
Metro – Back to regular schedule
Water Taxi – Back to regular schedule
CHECK TRAFFIC BEFORE YOU GO
West Marginal Way/Highland Park Way:
Highland Park Way/Holden:
The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):
Restricted-daytime-access (open to all 9 pm-5 am) low bridge:
The main detour route across the Duwamish River, the 1st Avenue South Bridge (map) . Here are two cameras:
The other major bridge across the river – the South Park Bridge (map). Here’s the nearest camera:
Going through South Park? Don’t speed. (Same goes for the other detour-route neighborhoods, like Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge.)
Checking for bridges’ marine-traffic openings? See the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed.
Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.
The long holiday weekend’s ending – hope yours has been safe and healthy. Just a few notes tonight:
KING COUNTY’S NEWEST NUMBERS: Here are the cumulative totals from the Public Health daily-summary dashboard – keep in mind that testing availability was reduced during the holiday weekend:
*43,740 people have tested positive, up 356 from yesterday’s total
*858 people have died, up 2 from yesterday
*3,190 people have been hospitalized, up 26 from yesterday’s total
*626,435 people have been tested (the state backlog of negative results hasn’t been resolved yet, so King County calls this number frozen, but it’s still changing – up 340 from yesterday)
One week ago, the King County totals were 38,672/835/2,973/620,676.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 62.7 million cases and 1,459.000+ deaths – see the nation-by-nation breakdown here.
PARKS PROGRAMS, AT HOME: Seattle Parks is out with a brochure for December’s virtual programming, since in-person programs are still on hold.
GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT? OR? firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!