Coronavirus 867 results

CORONAVIRUS: Monday 1/18/2021 roundup

Expanded vaccination eligibility tops tonight’s pandemic roundup:

400,000 MORE ARE ELIGIBLE: As reported here during the governor’s mid-afternoon briefing, the “everyone’s eligible” age in our state has just dropped five years, to 65. But that doesn’t mean everyone 65 and older can get vaccinated immediately – not enough doses have been delivered. However, only 42 percent of what’s been received in Washington so far has been administered, so it’s hoped that broadening the eligibility will raise that percentage. The governor also says there’s a deadline now – vaccine has to be given within a week of a provider receiving it.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Are you eligible? This website will tell you. If you are, it should also point you to places that have received vaccine. Also, this website has a list. In general, though, you’re urged to consult your health-care provider first.

COUNTY COUNCIL PROPOSAL: When the King County Council meets tomorrow, accelerating vaccination is on its agenda. Here’s the announcement:

With vaccination rollouts hitting snags nationwide, the King County Council will on Tuesday consider legislation to ensure all the resources of King County can be brought to bear in ensuring everyone has access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Sponsored by King County Councilmembers Rod Dembowski, Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Reagan Dunn, and Pete Von Reichbauer, it would require the Executive to lay out a detailed and robust plan to deliver the vaccines countywide, lower barriers to access, and have most King County residents vaccinated by June, with priority for older people and others at higher risk of death. The legislation will be considered and could be approved at the full council meeting Tuesday.

The 1 pm meeting will be livestreamed here.

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: No update today (and we haven’t yet found an explanation – the county has not skipped holidays previously) – so no daily summary from Seattle-King County Public Health.

STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.

WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 95.5 million cases, 2,022,000+ deaths. See the other stats – nation by nation – here.

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UPDATE: Governor promises to speed up COVID-19 vaccinations – including immediate eligibility for everyone 65+

3:04 PM: Right now, many pandemic-related questions are focused on vaccination availability – people wondering when and how they will get vaccine access. Viewable above (live and archived afterward), Gov. Jay Inslee is providing updates. We’ll add notes as it goes.

Inslee says it’s “the start of what we think of as the second stage of our vaccination initiative” – and says he has six announcements. First, the state is moving into Phase 1B of vaccinations, and changing the first tier so all Washingtonians 65 and older are eligible to get vaccinated immediately.

Also, those 50 and over who are living in “multigenerational households” are eligible immediately. (Note: This does not apply to parents living with children, but rather people giving cqre to someone such as a grandchild or niece/nephew, the state says.) Once about half the 1B “first tier” is vaccinated, they’ll move to the next tier.

2nd announcement: A statewide goal to make 45,000 vaccinations a day available in Washington as soon as possible. That’s three times the current rate. “Over the next several months we’ll be building toward that goal.” That’s dependent on receiving “more doses from the federal government,” he cautions.

3rd announcement: “We’re going to set up mass vaccination sites statewide,” with National Guard and other support. He lists four sites for starters, none in Seattle or King County (though as he notes, King County has some under development).

4th announcement: New criteria to ensure health-care providers are administering the vaccine appropriately – 95 percent of vaccine doses must be given within a week of being received by a provider. Any doses already received have to be given by next Sunday.

5th announcement: PhaseFinder is being launched so you can figure out where you are in terms of eligibility. He says that’s supposed to help you figure out where to get vaccinated, too. Here’s the link.

6th announcement: A public-private partnership to help marshal vaccination efforts. “We are going to mobilize thousands of people to save people from this virus.” He introduces pre-announced guests including reps of Microsoft, Starbucks, Kaiser Permanente, Sea Mar Community Health, and SEIU Local 1199.

3:24 PM: So far the execs haven’t offered specifics on their roles except that they’re supporting the effort. Kaiser Permanente Washington’s president notes that her company has mass-vaccination experience and is “all in.”

3:33 PM: Now speaking, new Health Secretary Dr. Umair Shah. He says the state has given more than 294,000 vaccine doses so far – 42 percent of what the state’s received – a better percentage than last week’s briefing. He stresses again that starting Phase 1B-1 means everyone 65 and older is eligible. He says those in 1B-1 should start hearing from their providers,. If you’re not in 1B-1, “continue to be patient.” But he also says they’re stressing measures to ensure leftover vaccine will not go to waste – giving providers some discretion (stand by for details on that).

3:45 PM: Now Q&A. First question about how many wasted doses – no specific number yet but “very minimal.” … The governor says “partners'” strategy previously might have been “we’ll wait for the doses and then figure out how to get them out” (paraphrasing), but now the plan is to plan to be ready for whatever arrives. He also noted that 2,400 pharmacies are now going to be part of the delivery system. … Next question observes, as we noted above, that it’s not clear what the “partners” will be doing, so they’re asking for elaboration. Also: How do you find out? Dr. Shah says providers have plans for contacting their members/patients; also, PhaseFinder is supposed to show locations near you “where the vaccine has been delivered.” He adds that another tool will be launched within two days – a dashboard with more info on how much vaccine has been received and administered, by county. … State officials promise they’ll make it easier to find out where the vaccine is. The governor adds that “the goal is to give people many kinds of opportunities.” But he cautions that 1.5 million are now eligible – and they only have a tenth of the supply that would require – so be patient. (Added: The state is getting 100,000 “first doses” each week right now.)

3:57 PM: Now that the governor’s eligible (69 years old), he says he plans to get vaccinated within several days (along with wife Trudi Inslee). … How can the state get more vaccine? Pfizer has assured the state that they’re increasing production, the governor says, for one. “We should have high confidence that the numbers of doses will increase in coming months.” He also urges providers to make appointments rather than holding back for fear they won’t have vaccine. … The briefing wraps up at 4:13 pm; the archived video should be available above shortly.

BOTTOM LINE: Though many more people are eligible, there’s not enough vaccine available – yet – for them all to get it immediately. Public Health Seattle/King County elaborates on this here. … Here’s what the governor’s website has published about all this.

CORONAVIRUS: Sunday 1/17/2021 roundup

Big data corrections top tonight’s pandemic updates:

KING COUNTY’S NEWEST NUMBERS: The cumulative totals from the Public Health daily-summary dashboard are all below last night’s numbers, due to this data correction:

Now, the numbers:

*71,982 people have tested positive, 292 fewer than yesterday’s total

*1,179 people have died, 9 fewer than yesterday’s total

*4,593 people have been hospitalized, 72 fewer than yesterday’s total

*796,252 people have been tested, up 5,256 from yesterday’s total

One week ago, the King County totals were 68,472/1,140/4,447/773,510.

STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.

WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 95 million cases and 2,030,000+ deaths, 397,000 of them in the U.S. – see the nation-by-nation breakdown here.

VACCINE NEWS: Dr. Anthony Fauci says two more vaccines – one the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine – are within weeks of seeking federal approval for use.

NEED FOOD? The Delridge Grocery Cooperative is able to offer essential food boxes to Delridge-area families in need through donations – contact DGC to find out more.

GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? westseattleblog@gmail.com or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!

CORONAVIRUS: Saturday 1/16/21 roundup, including our weekly West Seattle trend check

Midway through the weekend, here are the pandemic toplines:

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: First, the cumulative totals from Public Health‘s daily-summary dashboard:

*72,274 people have tested positive, 1,043 more than yesterday’s total

*1,188 people have died, 8 more than yesterday’s total

*4,665 people have been hospitalized, 99 more than yesterday’s total

*790,996 people have been tested, 2,922 more than yesterday’s total

One week ago, those totals were 67,945/1,140/4,397/771,203.

WEST SEATTLE TRENDS: Here’s our weekly check of this stat, with numbers shown in two-week increments via the “geography over time” tab on the daily-summary dashboard, combining the totals from the West Seattle and Delridge “health reporting areas” (HRAs). For the past two weeks, 271 positive test results; 220 in the 2 weeks before that; 422 in the two weeks before that. … We also are noting WS death totals each week; the HRAs are a more precise count than the zip codes we used previously, since two of West Seattle’s five ZIP codes also stretch outside the area. The total deaths for the entire pandemic in the two HRAs comprising West Seattle: 51, same as a week ago.

STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.

WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 94.4 million people have tested positive, and more than 2,022,000 million people have died; U.S. deaths exceed 395,000. Most cases: U.S., India, Brazil, Russia, UK (same as last week). See the breakdown, nation by nation, here.

MORE THAN A MORATORIUM? An eviction moratorium continues. But the rent will eventually be due. The Seattle Renters Commission is supporting a movement to do more – a movement advocating canceling rent and mortgages.

GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? westseattleblog@gmail.com or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!

CORONAVIRUS: Friday 1/15/21 roundup

46 weeks have now passed since the Friday night announcement of the first King County case of COVID-19. Here are tonight’s updates:

KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Public Health daily-summary page, cumulative totals:

*71,231 people have tested positive, 684 more than yesterday’s total

*1,180 people have died, 15 more than yesterday’s total

*4,566 people have been hospitalized, 71 more than yesterday’s total

*788,074 people have been tested, 5,123 more than yesterday’s total

And from the new COVID Vaccination Among King County Residents dashboard (updated weekdays):

*82,382 people have received one dose

*11,640 people have received both doses

*141,375 doses have been allocated to King County

One week ago, the first four totals were 67,068/1,138/4,375/767,530 – we’ll add vaccination numbers after tracking them for a week.

STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.

WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 93.8 million cases, 2 million deaths – see the nation-by-nation numbers here.

PHASE 1 FOR WEEK 2: The second “Roadmap to Recovery” report since the governor’s announcement of a new reopening plan is out. It shows every region in the state will continue in Phase 1 next week. The weekly reviews are on Fridays.

OPEN-AIR SERVICE: As part of the rules for Phase 1, some food/drink establishments are seating patrons in “open air” – sort of an indoor/outdoor hybrid.

ANOTHER NEW DASHBOARD: Besides the vaccine dashboard mentioned above, King County also has one with weekly updates on outbreaks – what type of settings they’re happening in, for ecample.

COUNTY HEALTH OFFICER’S BRIEFING: Dr. Jeff Duchin provided another video briefing, saying we’re on a “roller coaster” – see it here. He expressed concern about the more-contagious new variant (though it hasn’t been detected here yet) – “beware and prepare” to be ready, he said. “The virus has gotten smarter and faster.”

GOT INFO OR PHOTOS? westseattleblog@gmail.com or text/voice 206-293-6302 – thank you!

BIZNOTE: More West Seattle establishments offering ‘open-air’ indoor-outdoor seating

In the first week of the new statewide “Healthy Washington” reopening roadmap, businesses are still exploring the fine print. For food and beverage businesses, though indoor dining is still banned in Phase 1, “open-air” service is allowed as well as outdoor seating. That means establishments such as Best of Hands Barrelhouse (Instagram photo above) that have walls with multiple windows can offer 25 percent capacity seating with those windows open. The Lodge in The Junction plans to start offering open-air seating tomorrow; the West Seattle Junction Association tells us Matador and JaK’s Grill have it too, and others are planning to follow. This is in addition to the numerous establishments that already have patio and/or “pod” outdoor seating, from Mission Cantina (WSB sponsor) and several Alki spots in the north, to places like The Bridge and The Westy in the south. You can read the new state guidelines here. Phase 1, by the way, will last at least one more week; the state is announcing every Friday what phase regions will be in as of the following Monday, and today’s news is that everyone stays in Phase 1 – although you can see on page 4 here that the Puget Sound region, including King County, was close.

CORONAVIRUS: Thursday 1/14/21 roundup

Tonight’s virus-crisis update:

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Public Health daily-summary dashboard, here are today’s cumulative totals:

*70,547 people have tested positive, 453 more than yesterday’s total

*1,165 people have died, 14 more than yesterday’s total

*4,495 people have been hospitalized, 1 more than yesterday’s total

*782,951 people have been tested, 508 more than yesterday’s total

One week ago, the four totals we track were 66,486/1,132/4,377/765,546.

STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them, county by county, on the state Department of Health page.

WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 93.1 million cases worldwide, 23.3 million of them in the U.S. See the nation-by-nation breakout here.

SITUATION REPORT: Elaborating on some of the trends we mentioned last night while summarizing state health officials’ briefing last night, here’s the newest statewide situation report.

SFD’S MOBILE TEAM ROLLS: As promised, the city’s first phase of the new vaccination program got going today:

NEED FOOD? 2-5 pm tomorrow at Food Lifeline (815 S. 96th) HQ, emergency food boxes are available.

GOT PHOTOS/TIPS? 206-293-6302, text or voice, or westseattleblog@gmail.com – thank you!

CORONAVIRUS: Wednesday 1/13/21 roundup

Tonight’s pandemic toplines:

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Seattle-King County Public Health daily-summary dashboard, the cumulative totals:

*70,094 people have tested positive, 572 more than yesterday’s total

*1,151 people have died, 3 more than yesterday’s total

*4,494 people have been hospitalized, 6 more than yesterday’s total

*782,443 people have been tested, 2,212 more than yesterday’s total

One week ago, the four totals we track were 65.631/1,117/4,340/763,306.

STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them, county by county, on the state Department of Health page,.

WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: See them, nation by nation, here.

VACCINATION UPDATES: This was the main topic of today’s weekly briefing by state health officials. Our state has received 624,000+ doses so far, and has administered about 32 percent of them – 201,660. While that’s not fast enough, they say that statewide the rate is getting up to 15,000-20,000 per day, and that’s encouraging. They hope to expand to Phase 1B within a few days but urge everybody who’s eligible in Phase 1A to hurry and get their shots. One big challenge, said Health Secretary Dr. Umair Shah – they need a more consistent supply funneled by the feds. They’re not only not getting a consistent supply, they’re not getting a long-range projection that will further enable planning.

TRENDS: Also at the briefing – last week’s downward trend in cases has ended and many parts of the state are headed back upward, spiking. The hospitalization rate, however, is not spiking … so far. You can see the entire briefing by going here.

GOT INFO? Email us at westseattleblog@gmail.com or phone us, text or voice, at 206-293-6302 – thank you!

CORONAVIRUS: Tuesday 1/12/21 roundup

Here are the latest local pandemic toplines:

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: First, the numbers, as shown in today’s daily summary from Seattle-King County Public Health – the cumulative totals:

*69,522 people have tested positive, 334 more than yesterday’s total

*1,148 people have died, 7 more than yesterday’s total

*4,488 people have been hospitalized, 22 more than yesterday’s total

*780.231 people have been tested, 2,448 more than yesterday’s total

One week ago, the totals were 65,144/1,110/4,327/760,782.

STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.

NATIONAL/WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 91.5 million cases worldwide, 22.8 million of them in the U.S. – see other nation-by-nation stats by going here.

VACCINATION TEAMS: The City of Seattle will set them up through SFD to go to small adult care homes and vaccinate residents and staff, starting Thursday. Here’s the announcement.

BRIEFING TOMORROW: State health officials will present their weekly briefing at noon Wednesday – here’s the link.

NEED FOOD? Food Lifeline‘s South Park HQ offers emergency food boxes 2-5 pm Friday (January 15th), at 815 S. 96th.

GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? westseattleblog@gmail.com or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!

CORONAVIRUS: Monday 1/11/21 roundup

A prominent West Seattle resident has just announced she’s tested positive, and that tops tonight’s pandemic roundup:

REP. JAYAPAL TESTS POSITIVE: Late tonight, West Seattle-residing U.S. House Rep. Pramila Jayapal announced she has tested positive for COVID-19. From her news release:

United States Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) received a positive COVID-19 test result tonight after being locked down in a secured room at the U.S Capitol where numerous Republican lawmakers recklessly refused to wear masks in the moments after the January 6 attack. Dr. Brian Monahan, the Attending Physician of the United States Congress, advised representatives and Congressional staff on Sunday that those in the secured room could have, “been exposed to another occupant with coronavirus infection.” The duration in the room was multiple hours and several Republicans not only cruelly refused to wear a mask but mocked colleagues and staff who offered them one.

Jayapal’s news release – which you can read in full here – says she has been quarantining since Wednesday, suspecting that she and others might have been exposed.

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: Here are the toplines of today’s daily summary from Seattle-King County Public Health – the cumulative countywide totals:

*69,188 people have tested positive, 716 more than yesterday’s total

*1,141 people have died, 1 more than yesterday’s total

*4,466 people have been hospitalized, 19 more than yesterday’s total

*777,783 people have been tested, 4,273 more than yesterday’s total

One week ago, the totals were 64,912/1,096/4,296/759,558.

STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.

WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: See them – nation by nation – here.

GETTING VACCINATED: We checked with West Seattle care facilities and learned that some are already vaccinating patients/residents and staff, while others will be doing it soon.

PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM: As noted in a reminder today from the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce, applications are now open for this federal assistance for small businesses.

HELP FOR WORKERS: Also now open, applications for the city program offering $2 million in grants to low-income hospitality workers. Check your eligibility here.

AWAITING YOUR ‘ECONOMIC IMPACT PAYMENT’? Don’t be surprised if it shows up as a debit card (we were).

YOUR TEST MAY BRING A TEXT: In hopes of boosting the effectivenesss of the WA Notify tool, people who test positive are going to get texts with a code – even if they’re not using the tool.

GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? westseattleblog@gmail.com or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!

PANDEMIC: Here’s how vaccinations are going at West Seattle care facilities

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Though we’ve heard a lot about less-than-rapid rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines in the four weeks since the first doses arrived in our state, people are indeed getting vaccinated, including here in West Seattle.

Last Friday, we briefly mentioned that vaccinations had begun for our area’s largest senior-care center, Providence Mount St. Vincent. So today we followed up with The Mount and some other West Seattle care centers to see where they’re at with vaccinating patients/residents and caregivers – the first groups eligible under our state’s prioritization plan.

(Photos courtesy Providence Mount St. Vincent)

PROVIDENCE MOUNT ST. VINCENT: Vaccination is happening in phases, The Mount’s Molly Swain tells WSB, in this update that even features a playlist:

The team at Providence Mount St. Vincent was thrilled to close out the New Year and welcome 2021 with their initial vaccine clinic held for Long Term Care residents and staff on December 31st. Approximately 90 percent of The Mount’s Long Term Care residents received the vaccine with a few opting out. This clinic was operated in partnership with Walgreens who will be back on-site on January 21st for second doses as well as first doses for Assisted Living residents and additional caregivers. Of The Mount’s nearly 500 caregivers, it is estimated that nearly half have been vaccinated both through the on-site clinic as well as through local Providence hospital resources.

Currently there are no residents who are positive with COVID-19. Through our bi-weekly caregiver testing, we continue to periodically identify a small number of positive caregivers. Following a two-week period of no positive caregiver results, two new cases were recently identified.

(L-R: Kaylea Watkins, BSN, RN, Infection Preventionist; Tanisha Mojica, MSN, ARNP, FNP-BC, Director of Clinical Services; Lester Sauvage, MD; Charlene Boyd, Administrator)

Our team has enjoyed the attached music playlist during the :15-:30 minute waiting period after receiving the vaccine, we thought others might enjoy!

The Mount reported 14 COVID-19 deaths during outbreaks last year.

PARK WEST NURSING/REHAB CENTER: Vaccinations are also under way for this facility in North Admiral, which reported an outbreak late last year that took four lives. Spokesperson Nicole Francois says, “Their first round of vaccinations took place last week. Park West partnered with Walgreens. They report that everything went well. Our staff was particularly impressed with the care team from Walgreens because they were well-staffed, well-prepared, and ready to perform the vaccination process. The vaccinated Park West staff and residents received the Pfizer vaccine.”

QUAIL PARK MEMORY CARE RESIDENCES OF WEST SEATTLE: At this Junction center, vaccination is about to start, says executive director Brian Anderson: “Our first vaccine clinic day is tomorrow! We have 2 more clinic dates following that one, so all that participate have the opportunity to get both shots. The vaccine clinic is taking place in the community for the residents and staff. We have great participation at this time. Everyone choosing to receive the vaccine is very excited.”

BROOKDALE: At Brookdale-Admiral Heights, spokesperson Tina Bendermacher tells us, “Our first round of vaccinations will happen here at our community on January 17th with CVS; our second is February 7th. Residents and staff will be vaccinated.”

THE KENNEY: The senior-living center north of Lincoln Park tells WSB that it “will offer COVID-19 vaccinations to its residents and staff this month.” The Kenney’s nonprofit parent company Heritage Ministries says in its response to our inquiry:

The Kenney will offer the option to receive the vaccine to all of their residents, including assisted living, memory support, and those residing in independent living, as well as staff members. The community will initially receive the Moderna vaccine, and will offer multiple clinics on-site at The Kenney to ensure all those who wish receive the immunization are able to do so. A licensed and COVID-19 vaccine-certified pharmacist will perform all vaccine administration.

AEGIS LIVING: The memory-care-focused complex in west Admiral is also in the planning stage. Spokesperson Nandi Butcher tells WSB, “Our Aegis Living Vaccine Task Force is hard at work scheduling COVID-19 vaccine clinics for residents and staff at every one of our communities. West Seattle vaccine clinic dates are in the process of being confirmed … The vaccine will be a game changer for our seniors and frontline care teams. It can’t come soon enough.” Aegis dealt with a deadly outbreak that we reported in September.

The people getting vaccinated now in our area are in the earliest prioritization phase; this graphic shows who’s next, and the state’s draft plan (page 8) outlines what phases are likely to look like after that – while warning everything’s subject to change.

BIZNOTE: Some reopenings as Phase 1 of new plan begins

As of today, the new statewide “Healthy Washington” plan is in effect, and every area of the stqte starts off in Phase 1. Though some restrictions carry over – no indoor dining/drinking yet, for example – there’s some loosening for certain fitness, recreation, and entertainment businesses. A few local notes:

Southgate Roller Rink in White Center, our area’s only roller rink, is reopening for hourly private rentals, up to 6 people, starting Wednesday.

-Though the new guidelines allow bowling by private small-group rental too, West Seattle Bowl says it’s staying closed until Phase 2.

-Same with The Admiral Theater‘s parent company Far Away Entertainment – current plans are for closure until Phase 2.

-Some fitness facilities are reopening for allowable services, with time and capacity limits – West Seattle Health Club in North Delridge, for one, planned to reopen today.

“Healthy Washington” says progress will be evaluated by region, rather than by county, so King County is part of a region also including Pierce and Snohomish counties. The metrics for advancing to Phase 2 (see them here) involve improvement percentages rather than hitting specific numbers. The state says it’ll make weekly evaluations on Fridays, and any changes will take effect on subsequent Mondays.

CORONAVIRUS: Sunday 1/10/21 roundup

Tonight’s pandemic updates :

KING COUNTY’S NEWEST NUMBERS: Here are the cumulative totals from the Public Health daily-summary dashboard:

*68,472 people have tested positive, up 527 from yesterday’s total

*1,140 people have died, unchanged from yesterday

*4,447 people have been hospitalized, up 50 from yesterday’s total

*773,510 people have been tested, up 2,307 from yesterday’s total

One week ago, the King County totals were 64,578/1,091/4,249/755,666.

STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.

WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 90.2 million cases and 1,934,000+ deaths, 374,000 of them in the U.S. – see the nation-by-nation breakdown here.

NEW REOPENING PLAN STARTS TOMORROW: Even though the entire state will be in Phase 1 of the new “Healthy Washington” plan as it begins tomorrow, that still means some changes – as shown on this graphic from the governor’s office:

As we’ve done throughout the pandemic, we’ll be publishing notes from businesses that are reopening – send info to westseattleblog@gmail.com.

CONFUSED ABOUT WHEN YOU’LL BE VACCINE-ELIGIBLE? While vaccination in our state is still in the earliest stage of Phase 1, health officials announced the outline of who’s in the next subphases. That’s led to questions – so in case you’ve been wondering too, here’s the document with more details. It also includes the tentative outline of who’ll be in subsequent phases. P.S. If you wondered about the “comorbidities” mentioned for some eligibility in the announcement, the full-details document points to the CDC’s list.

GROCERY BAGS: Another local store is allowing personal reusable bags again – Metropolitan Market. (Trader Joe’s now allows them too. Any others? Let us know! – ADDED 12:54 AM: Thanks to the reader who just emailed to point out that PCC allows them too – and, this page points out, has for almost 7 months.)

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CORONAVIRUS: Saturday 1/9/21 roundup, including our weekly West Seattle trend check

Here are tonight’s pandemic toplines:

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: First, the cumulative totals from Public Health‘s daily-summary dashboard:

*67,945 people have tested positive, 877 more than yesterday’s total

*1,140 people have died, 2 more than yesterday’s total

*4,397 people have been hospitalized, 22 more than yesterday’s total

*771,203 people have been tested, 3,673 more than yesterday’s total

One week ago, those totals were 64,109/1,091/4,245/755,169.

WEST SEATTLE TRENDS: Here’s our weekly check of this stat, with numbers shown in two-week increments via the “geography over time” tab on the daily-summary dashboard, combining the totals from the West Seattle and Delridge “health reporting areas” (HRAs). For the past two weeks, 256 positive test results; 271 in the 2 weeks before that; 434 in the two weeks before that. … We also are noting WS death totals each week, as the HRAs are a more precise way of counting those than the zip codes we used briefly, since two of West Seattle’s five ZIP codes also stretch outside the area. The total deaths for the entire pandemic in the two HRAs comprising West Seattle: 51. That’s two more than a week ago.

STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.

WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 89.6 million people have tested positive, and more than 1,926,000 million people have died; U.S. deaths exceed 372,000. Most cases: U.S., India, Brazil, Russia, UK (which this week passed France, which is now #6). See the breakdown, nation by nation, here.

STAY HEALTHY STREETS: Will any of the three in West Seattle become permanent? Watch for “outreach,” the city says.

GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? westseattleblog@gmail.com or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!

CORONAVIRUS: Friday 1/8/21 roundup

It’s now been 45 weeks since the Friday night announcement of the first King County case of COVID-19. Here are tonight’s updates:

KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Public Health daily-summary page, cumulative totals:

*67,068 people have tested positive, 582 more than yesterday’s total

*1,138 people have died, 6 more than yesterday’s total

*4,375 people have been hospitalized, 2 fewer than yesterday’s total (state says, “Hospitalization data are incomplete today due to a data processing interruption”)

*767,530 people have been tested, 1,984 more than yesterday’s total

One week ago, those totals were 63,299/1,091/4,194/750,194.

STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.

WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 88.8 million cases, 1.9 million deaths – see the nation-by-nation numbers here.

PHASE 1 FOR WEEK 1: The first “Roadmap to Recovery” report since the governor’s announcement of a new reopening plan is out. It shows every region in the state will start out in Phase 1. The next review will be next Friday.

VACCINE DISTRIBUTION: Two developments today, both reported hereSeattle Public Schools superintendent Denise Juneau wants the state to move more district personnel higher up the prioritization list, given that a fifth of the district’s students will be eligible to return to in-person learning March 1st; the county, meantime, plans to launch high-volume vaccination sites and mobile teams.

EXTRA TESTING TOMORROW: COVID testing is part of a health-services event in the parking lots at Highland Park Elementary tomorrow – 10 am-2 pm, all welcome, 1012 SW Trenton. Here’s our preview.

NEW TEST SITE: In her weekly newsletter, City Councilmember Lisa Herbold announced that a mobile testing van is now visiting Holy Family Church (20th/Roxbury) 9 am-3 pm Tuesdays and Fridays.

TASTY GIFT: Two West Seattle mental-health-care providers just gave health-care workers and a local restaurant a two-in-one boost.

GOT INFO OR PHOTOS? westseattleblog@gmail.com or text/voice 206-293-6302 – thank you!

HELPING: Delicious delivery supporting West Seattle health-care workers and restaurateurs

(WSB photo)

A truly special delivery this afternoon at Providence Mount St. Vincent in West Seattle gave a boost to both health-care workers and local restaurateurs. At left in our photo are Suzanne Roberts and Lisa Riebe, West Seattle mental-health-care providers. They paid Admiral District restaurant Circa – whose co-proprietor Gretchen Evans is at center – to cook up 85 dinners for front-line workers at The Mount. The staff doesn’t dine on site, so the dinners were foil-wrapped and ready for them to take home after work. There to accept the special delivery were, at right, Colleen Farrell and Molly Swain from The Mount. Evans tells WSB that Roberts did this last spring, too, buying meals from Circa to deliver to Harborview Medical Center employees. She added that it’s hoped “this may inspire those who want to support restaurants and frontline workers by going to their favorite restaurant and offering to buy meals for those working on the front lines in some regard. It’s a double dose of donating. It’s been amazing!”

P.S. The Mount team told us their recent outbreak is under control, with no new cqses in their most recent testing, and vaccination for caregivers and residents has begun.

VACCINATION: Seattle superintendent wants higher priority for educators & other personnel; King County announces clinic/mobile plan

Two developments today as the COVID-19 vaccination rollout continues:

SUPERINTENDENT’S LETTER: Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Denise Juneau sent a letter to the governor and state/local health officials, asking them to move teachers and other school personnel higher up in the queue, as the district prepares to bring back 10,000 students March 1st. From the news release about her letter (which contains its full text):

The superintendent is urging prioritization of vaccinations for the following personnel who will be providing in-person instruction and services:

• Preschool educators
• Kindergarten educators
• First-grade educators
• Special-education educators*
• Principals
• Assistant principals
• Safety & Security personnel
• Nutrition Services personnel
• Custodial personnel

* For students receiving moderate to intensive in-person special education services and students who require in-person services to meet goals outlined in their Individualized Education Program (IEP).

Her letter says limiting early prioritization to educators over 50 “does not make sense.’ She also offers the use of SPS facilities for vaccination clinics.

KING COUNTY PLAN: In a midday media briefing, King County Executive Dow Constantine and others announced plans for “high-volume county vaccination sites” starting around February 1st, and mobile teams ASAP, in hopes of stepping up the pace of vaccination administration. No specific locations yet, but South King County is the most likely general area. Constantine said the county will allot $7 million for this, hoping for eventual state/federal reimbursement but not waiting for it. One stat cited during the briefing: Only about 2,000 people are getting vaccinated in King County right now, a pace that would mean it would take close to 2 years before all of the county’s adults get it. Here’s more info on today’s announcement.

CORONAVIRUS: Thursday 1/7/21 roundup

Tonight’s virus-crisis update:

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: The Public Health daily-summary dashboard did not post a 12/31 daily update, so we don’t have the week-ago numbers, only today’s cumulative totals:

*66,486 people have tested positive, 855 more than yesterday’s total

*1,132 people have died, 15 more than yesterday’s total

*4,377 people have been hospitalized, 37 more than yesterday’s total

*765,546 people have been tested, 2,240 more than yesterday’s total

STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them, county by county, on the state Department of Health page.

WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 88 million cases worldwide, 21.5 million of them in the U.S. See the nation-by-nation breakout here.

HOW THE PANDEMIC HAS CHANGED LIVES: King County has published results of a survey done lqte in the summer.

NEED FOOD? 2-5 pm tomorrow at Food Lifeline (815 S. 96th) HQ, emergency food boxes are available.

GOT PHOTOS/TIPS? 206-293-6302, text or voice, or westseattleblog@gmail.com – thank you!

CORONAVIRUS: Wednesday 1/6/21 roundup

Tonight’s pandemic toplines:

WHO GETS THE VACCINE NEXT: In state health officials’ weekly briefing, vaccine prioritization was the big news. Here’s the announcement about who’s in the next phases. Also made public, an update on how vaccination is going so far – more than 420,000 doses have been delivered, but only 110,000 have been confirmed administered. For those who like to follow the numbers, the state expects to launch a vaccine dashboard next week, with updates at least three times a week.

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: Now, from the Seattle-King County Public Health daily-summary dashboard, the cumulative totals:

*65.631 people have tested positive, 487 more than yesterday’s total

*1,117 people have died, 7 more than yesterday’s total

*4,340 people have been hospitalized, 14 more than yesterday’s total

*763,306 people have been tested, 2,524 more than yesterday’s total

One week ago, the four totals we track were 61,392/1,082/4,116/740,836.

STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them, county by county, on the state Department of Health page,.

WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: See them, nation by nation, here.

LOST TO COVID AT 101: The latest obituary we published was for Bettie Dunbar, who lost her life to the virus days after her 101st birthday.

GOT INFO? Email us at westseattleblog@gmail.com or phone us, text or voice, at 206-293-6302 – thank you!

CORONAVIRUS: Here’s who gets vaccinated next – state announces upcoming phases

As promised, state health officials went public today with information about who’s eligible for the next phases of COVID-19 vaccination. In case you missed the noon briefing, here’s the announcement:

Today the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) released guidance for the next phase of COVID-19 vaccination. The department worked closely with the Governor’s Office to finalize prioritization for phase 1B, and we are pleased to be able to share eligible groups for this next phase of vaccination. This phase is broken up into four separate tiers.

In addition to partnership with Gov. Inslee and reliance on federal guidance, nearly 20,000 people across the state weighed in on the prioritization through focus groups, interviews, and surveys over the past few months. This feedback directly informed our recommendations for COVID-19 vaccine prioritization and allocation, and continues to help us make sure our vaccine plans are equitable and protect those most at risk from COVID-19 infections.

“Vaccine prioritization decisions are complex, but based in a need for equitable distribution,” says Secretary of Health Dr. Umair A. Shah. “Our priority has been to get the vaccine to high-priority people first.”

(The graphic above) shows the groups and the timeline for phase 1B. Broadly, groups eligible for vaccination in phase 1B include:

Phase 1B1 – (Tier 1)

All people 70 years and older
People 50 years and older who live in multigenerational households

Phase 1B2 – (Tier 2)

High risk critical workers 50 years and older who work in certain congregate settings: Agriculture; food processing; grocery stores; K-12 (teachers and school staff); childcare; corrections, prisons, jails or detention facilities (staff); public transit; fire; law enforcement

Phase 1B3 – (Tier 3)

People 16 years or older with two or more co-morbidities or underlying conditions

Phase 1B4 – (Tier 4)

High-risk critical workers in certain congregate settings under 50 years
People, staff and volunteers all ages in congregate living settings:
Correctional facilities; group homes for people with disabilities; people experiencing homelessness that live in or access services in congregate settings

Additional details of phase 1B will be posted on our website.

It’s important to note that we are not moving into phase 1B right now. Our state is still in phase 1A (PDF) of vaccinations, and will continue to be for the next few weeks. Many pharmacies, clinics and hospitals are vaccinating people in 1A1 (tier 1), and others have moved to 1A2 (tier 2). While phase 1A is still the priority, we hope that the release of phase 1B guidance will help facilities, counties and individuals plan for the months ahead. Once we’re ready to start phase 1B, we will let our communities know how and where to get vaccine.

That was stressed repeatedly during today’s briefing – if you’re in the newly announced phase, DON’T call your provider yet, because there’s no start date yet.

CORONAVIRUS: Tuesday 1/5/21 roundup

A new year, a new plan, and that’s where we start tonight’s roundup:

NEW REOPENING PLAN: Out with “Safe Start,” in with “Healthy Washington.” That’s the reopening plan announced by Gov. Inslee at his afternoon briefing. This time, instead of county by county, it’s region by region, and advancing in phases is dependent on improvements rather than specific numbers.

See the specifics of the first two phases – still no indoor dining before Phase 2 – here; see the briefing video here.

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: Now the numbers, as shown in today’s daily summary from Seattle-King County Public Health – the cumulative totals:

*65,144 people have tested positive, 232 more than yesterday’s total

*1,110 people have died, 14 more than yesterday’s total

*4,327 people have been hospitalized, 31 more than yesterday’s total

*760,782 people have been tested, 1,224 more than yesterday’s total

One week ago, the totals were 60,799/1,066/4,100/739,941.

STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.

NATIONAL/WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 86.4 million cases worldwide, 21 million of them in the U.S. – see other nation-by-nation stats by going here.

IN-PERSON LEARNING UPDATE: Seattle Public Schools continues planning to offer in-person learning to preschool, kindergarten, 1st grade, and (some) special-education students starting March 1st. This update has answers to some common questions.

BRIEFING TOMORROW: State health officials plan to talk about vaccine prioritization during their weekly briefing at noon Wednesday – here’s the link.

NEED FOOD? Food Lifeline‘s South Park HQ offers emergency food boxes 2-5 pm Friday (January 8th), at 815 S. 96th.

GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? westseattleblog@gmail.com or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!

UPDATE: See what’s in the governor’s new reopening plan, ‘Healthy Washington’

2:38 PM: Gov. Inslee and state health officials have just begun a media briefing/Q&A. You can watch live (and, afterward, archived) video above. We’ll post toplines as it goes. …. He begins by saying he’ll be talking about “a new way to move our state forward during the pandemic.” He reiterates, “We are not out of the woods yet,” but the new plan “Healthy Washington” will kick in “once we see COVID activity reduced.” The plan will not result in significant immediate reopenings, Inslee says, but will take effect 1/11 with “certain fitness programs” and “some live entertainment” allowed. This will be implemented by region, not by county, because “health-care systems are regional,” he says. The state will be split into eight regions for this plan. Advancing phases will be automatic when certain reduction goals are met.

2:44 PM: New state health secretary Dr. Umair Shah is speaking now. He says “disease growth has slowed – even leveled off” in many parts of the state. He says the restrictions Inslee ordered in November ‘are working.” Dr. Shah reiterates that the regional approach is important because of the way health-care systems are configured. There will be four metrics a region will have to meet to advance phases, he notes. The metrics will be checked on Fridays and any moving forward or back would be done on a following Monday. (It’s clarified later, this could mean some are eligible for Phase 2 as soon as Monday.) He also says “some additional information about vaccines and the 1b category” will be out later this week.

2:51 PM: Assistant Secretary Lacy Fehrenbach elaborates on the metrics, which include hospitalization and test-positivity data. The first round of analyses will be posted this Friday, she says, and any movement would take place next Monday (1/11, the day the plan starts).

2:55 PM: Inslee now turns to the vaccination effort and said he spoke with hospital CEOs this morning for an “assessment of our current vaccine rollout strategy.” CHI-Franciscan has administered 70 percent of what it’s received; Swedish, 67 percent; even higher percentages for some non-Western Washington systems. But he promises that efficiencies and “improvements” are being pursued, “to try to accelerate this program.” He says the CEOs expressed some concern about unpredictable delivery schedules keeping them from scheduling “large vaccine clinics.” He says more prioritization information will be coming from the Department of Health tomorrow, and a “Phase Finder” lookup will be launched so you can figure out what phase you’ll be in, and get notified when your phase is eligible. Moving the vaccine around has been “challenging,” he acknowledges.

Back to the disease situation: He says Washingtonians’ compliance during the holidays was good and that’s why things aren’t worse. He says “45 other states have higher infection rates” than ours. He believes that’s “saved thousands of lives.”

3:03 PM: Q&A. First is about more specifics on what’ll be allowed. Fitness – phase 1 starting 1/11, for example, “appointment-based fitness and training in gyms” with a space requirement. Live entertainment – “doing away with the blanket ban … (and instead implementing) restrictions on venues themselves,” so that something such as a person playing piano in a hotel lobby would no longer be banned. (We’re still awaiting the written details of the new plan.) … Another question is about how to find out about getting vaccinated if you are eligible. The hospital CEOs are willing to provide public access, for one, Inslee said, so a “regulatory change” is being pursued to enable that. He also suggested that “local smaller entities band together” to pursue access – say, small local dental clinics joining forces to contact a local hospital. First stop, though, should be “check with your health-care provider.” But so far, health-care workers and long-term-care facility residents and staff are who’s eligible. … In response to another question, the governor suggests that employers also can play a role in figuring out how to be sure their employees have access. … A little more info, in response to another question: Tennis would be allowed in Phase 1 as a “low-risk indoor sport.” … What about the idea of giving more people one dose of vaccine and worrying about the second dose much later? Dr. Shah says he’s not in favor of that so far – the vaccines were studied with two doses and they might be putting people at risk if they get one dose and not the other. Overall, the governor says, despite what you might have heard, “there’s very substantial vaccination activity going on in this state.” (He also mentions later that 30 percent of health-care workers so far have declined, and that rate needs to change.)

3:27 PM: Regarding the COVID-19 variants detected in other states/countries, Dr. Shah says they’re still watching for it and it’s another reason to remain vigilant with prevention efforts … In closing, the governor again thanked people for “saving lives” by following safety precautions. “We hope that people celebrate that accomplishment … there’s a reason for what we’re doing … life itself.”

4:30 PM: Full details are finally available – go here. Excerpt:

As for the metrics – from the Inslee website:

To go forward from Phase 1 to Phase 2, regions must meet all four metrics:

Decreasing trend in two-week rate of COVID-19 cases per 100K population (decrease >10%)
Decreasing trend in two-week rate new COVID-19 hospital admission rates per 100K population (decrease >10%)
ICU occupancy (total — COVID-19 and non-COVID-19) of less than 90%
COVID-19 test positivity rate of <10% To remain in Phase 2, regions must meet at least 3 metrics: Decreasing or flat trend in two-week rate of COVID-19 cases per 100K population Decreasing or flat trend in two-week rate new COVID-19 hospital admission rates per 100K population ICU occupancy (total — COVID-19 and non-COVID-19) of less than 90% COVID-19 test positivity rate of <10%. Regions that fail to meet two or more of the above metrics will be moved back to Phase 1. The metrics for each region will be updated on the Risk Assessment Dashboard every Friday. Dependent on a region’s metrics, DOH will move into a new phase — forward or backward — the following Monday.

CORONAVIRUS: Monday 1/4/21 roundup

Will the current restrictions really be lifted one week from today? We could find out as soon as tomorrow:

GOVERNOR PLANS TUESDAY BRIEFING: A new “reopening plan” announcement has been promised for this week, and that might be what we hear from Gov. Inslee at 2:30 pm tomorrow. The advisory:

Gov. Jay Inslee will address the media tomorrow via streaming video and telephone to give an update on the state’s response to the ongoing pandemic. The governor will be joined by:

Dr. Umair Shah, secretary, Department of Health
Lacy Fehrenbach, assistant secretary, prevention and community health, Department of Health
Dr. Scott Lindquist, state epidemiologist for communicable diseases, Department of Health
Nick Streuli, executive director of external affairs, Office of the Governor

We plan to carry the live feed here on WSB; you can also watch via TVW by going here.

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: Here are the toplines of today’s daily summary from Seattle-King County Public Health – the cumulative countywide totals:

*64,912 people have tested positive, 334 more than yesterday’s total

*1,096 people have died, 5 more than yesterday’s total

*4,296 people have been hospitalized, 47 more than yesterday’s total

*759,558 people have been tested, 3,892 more than yesterday’s total

One week ago, the totals were 60,632/1,056/4,066/736,574.

STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.

WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: See them – nation by nation – here.

TESTING, HEALTH-INSURANCE ENROLLMENT, MORE … will be offered at a Highland Park Elementary event, outdoors, 10 am-2 pm Saturday. All welcome.

ENCAMPMENT STILL COVID-FREE: So reported the site coordinator for the Camp Second Chance tiny-house encampment at this month’s Community Advisory Committee meeting.

NOTIFICATION TOOL UPDATE: The WA Notify tool is now being used by 1.63 million people (up 60,000 from a week ago).

GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? westseattleblog@gmail.com or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!