CORONAVIRUS: Tuesday 2/23/2021 roundup

Tonight’s pandemic notes:

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: Checking today’s daily summary from Seattle-King County Public Health – the cumulative totals:

*81,379 people have tested positive, 102 more than yesterday’s total

*1,357 people have died, 12 more than yesterday’s total

*5,083 people have been hospitalized, 1 more than yesterday’s total

*895,001 people have been tested, 2,481 more than yesterday’s total

One week ago, the totals were 80.317/1,321/5,008/879,299.


NATIONAL/WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 112.1 million cases worldwide, 28.2 million of them in the U.S. – see other nation-by-nation stats by going here.

ANOTHER VARIANT: From the state Health Department:

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) along with Public Heath – Seattle & King County and the UW Medicine Virology Lab, announce that the B.1.351 variant of SARS-CoV-2 has been detected in King County, WA.

The variant, initially identified in South Africa, was identified yesterday through genomic sequencing at the UW Medicine Virology Laboratory. The patient tested positive for COVID-19 on January 29, 2021. Other details about the case, including travel history are not available as the person was not able to be reached through contact tracing efforts.

At the same time, a virology lab found evidence of 19 additional cases of the B.1.1.7 variant strain in Washington state. First identified in the United Kingdom, this brings the total number of known cases of the B.1.1.7 variant in Washington state to 39. Currently, there are no confirmed cases of the P.1 variant that originated in Brazil.

So why does this matter? The announcement quotes King County Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin as saying, “The B.1.1.7 variant can spread more readily and B.1.351 viruses might reduce vaccine effectiveness.”

VACCINATION SITUATION: Karen emailed today to say she got an appointment at a South King County pharmacy through the volunteer-run – so if you’re still searching, and up for traveling, that might be your breakthrough.

GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!

14 Replies to "CORONAVIRUS: Tuesday 2/23/2021 roundup"

  • double masking February 24, 2021 (8:17 am)

    Finding that a cloth mask with a bandana over it works quite well. You can wear the mask much of the time, and have the bandana around your neck to pull up when more layers would be smart, like on transit, or in stores, etc. And it’s cozy on chilly mornings.

    • JamesJ February 24, 2021 (10:30 am)

      I’ve been doing a KN95 with a 3-layered mask with filter inserts. Both fit very tight and I can tell it’s not letting much in. It’s a little challenging to breath, but you have to just be careful to not over-exert yourself. I had to run to catch the bus one morning, got pretty light-headed. Had to go to the doctor for something called hypoxia, but I’d rather in the hospital overnight for that, than dying from COVID!!

      • AMD February 24, 2021 (11:50 am)

        Double-masking IS recommended, but for all masks, and not using all masks.   The goal of the double mask is to get a better fit for cloth or surgical face coverings when a KN95 is not available.  The KN95 can provide a good enough fit on its own so the extra mask isn’t adding much (if any) additional protection, for whatever that’s worth.

      • double masking February 25, 2021 (6:29 am)

        Thanks JamesJ for sharing your experience and how important it is not to overdo it. A 3 layer mask + filter + N95 is not recommended in general and combined with the exertion is a recipe for breathing and oxygen trouble. Glad you’re okay!

        I do not suggest people wear masks that make it difficult to breathe, or to swap hypoxia for covid. But, I do suggest exploring how to safely make your masking more protective in some situations, because, the risks with covid vary and can be significant for many.

        For me, a combination of a cloth mask and a bandana works well in situations when I temporarily want to increase protective barriers, such as on a bus or in a store. I can breathe comfortably with this combo, so long as I’m not exerting myself. This many layers would not be okay for me if I was running or biking, though.

        People need to try different combinations of masking for themselves that feel okay, you need to be able to breathe comfortably. If you ever feel you are unable to breathe sufficiently while masking, you need to adjust that so you can breathe.

        Also, stay way hydrated folks. Hydration is important for lung function and health.

  • Triangle resident February 24, 2021 (8:58 am)

    On a whim yesterday I drove to the White Center SeaMar facility.  I arrived at 12:30 and was notified there were several no shows and they could vaccinate me at 3:00.  I returned at 3:00 for my first vaccine and left with an appointment for my second injection in three weeks.  

  • CarDriver February 24, 2021 (1:41 pm)

    Got my shot there today-and appointment for 3 weeks out! Also noticed, as of a couple of hours ago a BUNCH of openings at Admiral Safeway.

  • sam-c February 24, 2021 (2:22 pm)

    They’re still only in Phase 1B, right ?  I really hope shots/ appts aren’t going to waste.  I’ve been seeing comments on reddit of people making  more than one appt (just to make sure, like 1 at a Safeway pharmacy and 1 at a medical center), and having a hard time figuring out how to cancel one of them.   Or like Triangle Resident said above: finding out providers have had lots of cancellations…

  • Bandana February 24, 2021 (7:14 pm)

    Thank you for the CovidWA link. I see that the Sea Mar Community Health Center locations are now first come, first serve walk-in.

  • What? February 24, 2021 (8:38 pm)

    Doesn’t anyone see how crazy all of this is? Hypoxia? From wearing a mask (tight and secure) “running” to catch a bus.  You would rather go to a hospital (a true and scientific place for being exposed to “anything”) than catch Covid?  What are we all doing?  99.3% survival rate… any hypoxia long lifers out there?  Care to indulge?  Not negating those that have gotten sick… We are dangerously close to completely feel that having the sniffles, a cough, etc. puts everyone at risk.  We ALL know that if you have a fever, STAY HOME!  But my kid, and partner are both afflicted with allergies that make them sneeze ALOT.  I am so tired of them feeling shame for that… and they wear masks.  This is life people!  And now going to the hospital for Hypoxia is better than catching (dying) of Covid?  Really?  Please tell me I am not alone… and if I am, well… it’s gonna be a lonely, shameful, (boring, in my opinion), and unattainable lifestyle for anyone.  Just saying.

    • Pessoa February 24, 2021 (10:54 pm)

      Odd creatures, we humans.  

    • AMD February 25, 2021 (9:57 am)

      The person above who shared the anecdote about hypoxia was not wearing a mask within the CDC guidelines, so I would not in any way use this as a jumping off point for what we all “are doing”.  My mother said she’d rather die of COVID than give up her gym membership, which is equally extreme, and an equally rare response to the pandemic.  Most people have made reasonable adjustments, like wearing a KN95 mask, or taking steps to ensure a better fit with cloth and surgical masks (such as double-masking, or other options) and altered their activities to reduce transmission potential, but are otherwise living life, not ending up in the hospital with hypoxia, and not sacrificing their lives for 20 minutes on a spin bike.  To answer your question, this is what we all are doing.

  • bolo February 24, 2021 (10:50 pm)

    I tend to look on the brighter side. My seasonal allergies start around this time of year. This year, wearing a mask has brought my sneezing down to near zero :-)

    And I view the mask wearing during heavy exertion as similar to what the elite athletes training does to increase cardiopulmonary capacity. They train while breathing thru a restrictor, to strengthen their lungs and related organs. So I am getting the benefits of this elite athletic training regimen– FOR FREE! While helping to reduce bilateral virus transmission.

  • Michele Gilbert February 25, 2021 (9:42 am)

    My coworker (who is 52) and a teacher was able to get her first vaccine at the Seamar clinic in Burien without an appointment yesterday (2/24). She went at 4pm and while she was getting her shot, was told they had extra shots and asked her if she knew anyone who could get there in before they closed to be vaccinated. It seems like it might be worth checking out a Seamar clinic as they are giving vaccines to teachers over 50.  Our school nurse shared that Safeway on 1st and Roxbury was also giving vaccinations to teachers over 50. The CovidWA website is an excellent resource! Or, go directly to Safeway’s link at

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