West Seattle, Washington
We’ve reported previously on COVID-19 cases and deaths at Providence Mount St. Vincent in West Seattle. Today we have an update from The Mount’s Molly Swain:
We are grateful to share that it has been more than 4 weeks since we have had a positive case test result of COVID-19 here at The Mount. As of Monday, June 1st, we do not have any positive COVID-19 cases among residents or patients.
We are very sad to share, however, that one additional resident has passed away, for a total of 7.
There are still 8 caregivers who are positive and are recovering at home.
The Mount (4831 35th SW) is West Seattle’s largest long-term-care/assisted-living facility, with other programs on site including the Intergenerational Learning Center.
Today we welcome Trivas Family Medicine as a new WSB sponsor. New sponsors get the chance to tell you about what they offer – here’s what Trivas would like you to know:
Trivas Family Medicinee is a primary care clinic in West Seattle run by Courtney Johnson, MD. Trivas is a Direct Primary Care clinic, which is a membership-based style of care. People become members by paying a simple, affordable, monthly membership fee (similar to how you use Netflix), and then you can access your health care whenever you want or need it! Services include care of all ages, care of acute symptoms or chronic illnesses, physicals and well-child checks, primary-care office procedures, and may include Coronavirus testing.
Members enjoy open access to their personal physician by office visit, video, phone, or text. Same-day and next-day visits are almost always accommodated (and always with the same doctor!). All visits are scheduled for 30 or 60 minutes so you have plenty of time to have your questions answered. If medications, labs, imaging, or specialty care are recommended, then we preferentially refer to lower cost or wholesale options.
Trivas Family Medicine is a great option for people who have health concerns during the Coronavirus crisis! If you have lost your health insurance, didn’t have it to start with, or have a high-deductible plan, Trivas offers excellent care at an affordable price! If you have insurance, but your doctor is on the other side of an impassable bridge, consider getting amazing care locally!
Due to the personalized nature of this style of practice, we limit the inflow of new patients. High volume medicine is not our style. We are, however, eager to help those whose ability to address health concerns has been compromised by this public health crisis, economic downturn, and diminished access to downtown clinics.
You can find more details, signup information for Trivas Family Medicine, and how Direct Primary Care works, on our website at trivasfamilymedicine.com. Or send an email or call if you have questions!
We thank Trivas Family Medicine for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.
As we start to proceed through reopening so much of what’s been closed because of the virus crisis, the West Seattle/Fauntleroy YMCA (WSB sponsor) has a message for its members:
We are getting ready to welcome you back to the Y.
We miss you! It’s been hard to be away from the people we care about. Thank you for persevering and doing your part to stay safe and stop the spread of coronavirus. We are so looking forward to welcoming community back to the YMCA of Greater Seattle. Visit the link on our website to learn about what we are planning for your welcome back, as well as where to find updates as more information becomes available.
Due to our Fauntleroy YMCA location being used for summer camp, it will not be reopening immediately for member use. Instead, when we do reopen, we ask that all members utilize the West Seattle location through the summer.
As we first reported last week, a new weekly COVID-19 testing site is about to start up at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) on Puget Ridge. We’ve been working all week to get additional details, and info just came in, as follows:
UW Medicine and the Seattle Dept. of Neighborhoods are opening a mobile COVID-19 testing site at South Seattle College’s main campus in West Seattle starting May 29. The testing site is open Fridays only, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. SSC agreed to be the host location to help improve testing access for the communities of south and southwest Seattle, and south King County.
Location & Time
When: Fridays only from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., beginning May 29
Where: South Seattle College’s North Parking Lot, accessed by Entry 1, located at 6000 16th Ave SW. (campus map here). Please Note: Visitors should only use Entry 1/North Parking Lot entrance. South Seattle College’s physical campus is otherwise closed to the public in response to COVID-19 with very limited exceptions for essential staff and programs approved by the state. The college is operating remotely until further notice and will run summer and fall quarter classes in accordance with public health guidelines.
Testing Site Details
Anyone experiencing the following symptoms can come to the testing site, speak with medical staff from UW Medicine and, if qualified for testing, get tested on-site:
Shortness or breath or difficulty breathing
Gastrointestinal symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
New loss of taste or smell
There is no cost to be tested. If you have health insurance UW Medicine will bill your insurance.
Walk-up and drive-up visitors are welcome. Please note due to King County Metro bus service reductions in response to the pandemic, the college does not currently have Route 125 or 128 service to campus. Visitors should only use Entry 1/ North Parking Lot Entrance, where UW Medicine staff will direct you.
Neighborcare Health also has been doing COVID-19 testing in West Seattle, outside its High Point clinic.
2:33 PM: For the second consecutive day, Gov. Inslee is having a mid-afternoon media briefing, this time described as “an update on the state’s long-term-care COVID-19 testing plan and farmworker protections.” But with three days left in the stay-home order, that’s likely to come up in Q&A at the very least, so we’ll be adding notes as it happens.
The agricultural topic is first, and he notes that 100,000 people work in that industry in our state; he’s issuing a “proclamation with clear guidelines” for both employers and workers. He makes note that workers are striking in Yakima. He and Labor & Industries director Joel Sacks mention a few points of the new rules, including access to face coverings and more handwashing stations.
2:45 PM: Erik Nicholson of the United Farm Workers is also speaking, detailing workers’ concerns and how they’re being addressed by the new rules. He says that the governor’s action reinforces the essential nature of farm work. … The governor then moves on to the long-term-care topic. He notes that his 103-year-old grandmother is in a facility. The state is issuing an order to broaden testing requirements in LTC and assisted-living facilities. All residents and staff must be tested by June 12th, except memory-care facilities have an extra two weeks – if they haven’t been tested recently. The state will send the facilities test kits and PPE, Inslee says, and will pay the lab costs for staff (for residents, he expects that insurance will cover the cost).
2:55 PM: Secretary of Health John Wiesman is elaborating on this. He notes that they’ve continued to see a decline in outbreaks at these facilities. He says it will enable them in particular to focus on facilities that haven’t had outbreaks, to be sure no one is infected but asymptomatic.
3:01 PM: On to Q&A. First one is about penalties for violating the new farmworker-protection rules. The governor stresses that while “sanctions are available,” he expects that won’t be needed as the “vast majority” of businesspeople are complying. … Second question notes that a judge is expected to rule Monday on the governor’s stay-home order; the governor says the filing of a lawsuit is not affecting his decisionmaking, but that aside, “We believe we’re on very firm ground” as he acted on an obligation “to save people’s lives.” … Next question, Snohomish County wants to seek a variance despite not meeting the current requirements, any comment on that? The governor says he’s been talking with people there but as for what’s next, he’ll have decisions “in the days ahead” about “what happens June 1” … He also says the state’s been getting testing supplies that will allow that to be ramped up. … Is the farmworker announcement too little too late? He says, “We’re making decisions on an hourly basis with huge ramifications on people’s lives.” … In response to another question, he says he’s looking into whether the state can create a relief fund for undocumented workers without legslation … Does the Employment Security department director still have his full confidence? Yes, he said, noting that the department has recovered $300 million. … What about the ongoing reports that some deaths counted as COVID were not? The governor says even with that, it could still be higher than reported, but to some degree the specific number is irrelevant – “hundreds of deaths …is a pandemic.” He also criticizes politicians (without naming them) who have claimed the pandemic was “a hoax” and/or going to end quickly. And he goes on to say masks can be very effective so it’s dangerous when “leaders …and I can think of at least one” deride them. Other questions from there focused on the protections for farmworkers and how those will be monitored/enforced. … Last questions include, what’s to keep people from Phase 1 counties in central Puget Sound “flooding” nearby counties that have been allowed into Phase 2? The governor says that hasn’t been seen yet and they’re hoping it won’t.
In closing, he says that “masking requirements” will be an increasing component of strategy to keep the virus from spreading even as things open up. Wearing one is a sign of your love for your community, he stresses. He wraps at 3:37 pm.
Our regional blood supplies need a boost now that more health-care services are resuming. If you can donate, this month’s West Seattle pop-up drive has two more days to go this week – Wednesday (10 am-6 pm) and Friday (9 am-5 pm). at Combat Arts Academy (5050 Delridge Way SW). You can book an appointment online by going here, or by phone – call 800-398-7888, Ext 1 – or email, email@example.com.
That’s the newest city-provided “hygiene station,” installed this morning in the northeast corner of Junction Plaza Park – portable toilets with a hand-washing station. We reported in late March on the first round of installations, which included one at Westcrest Park; the second round of installations did not include any West Seattle sites. After getting a tip about this one, we asked the city if any others were being installed in West Seattle; the reply – “A hygiene station was also deployed at Salvation Army White Center, located at 9050 16th Ave SW” (in South Delridge). The original city announcement says these sites “will be accessible 24/7 and serviced daily, with waste removal, needle disposal, and supplemental cleaning.”
We start today with two notes about COVID-19 testing. First: Public-health authorities say it’s increasingly available, and urge people to get it ASAP if they start showing symptoms. That info is here. Meantime, people who need testing may be eligible for a drive-through event happening today and tomorrow in SODO. Registration is required. From the announcement:
QFC and Fred Meyer announced a partnership with the City of Seattle and the Seattle Mariners for free COVID-19 drive-thru testing. The first testing will be at T-Mobile Park in Seattle, May 13-14.
Testing Site Information:
● Dates: Wednesday, May 13 and Thursday, May 14
● Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
● Location: T-Mobile Park Parking Garage at 1250 1st Ave S. Seattle – south entrance (Massachusetts and Occidental)
● Registration is required. Register at krogerhealth.com/covidtesting or call 1-888-852-2567 (select option 1, then option 3).
Those eligible will next select a testing location and appointment time. Then, registrants will receive an email confirmation with pre-appointment paperwork to complete. When a person arrives for their test, they should have their photo ID ready and should leave their window rolled up for check-in, until a health-care practitioner comes to the car to administer the test.
For the testing, patients remain in their cars throughout the process, which is completed in just a few minutes using self-administered test kits. The test uses self-administered nasal swabs, which are less painful and designed to increase safety. This onsite testing is supported with laboratory services provided by eTrueNorth, a contractor of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Test results are expected within approximately 48 hours. The Seattle testing site is estimated to have capacity for 250 vehicles per day.
2:48 PM: We’re monitoring an online media briefing with Mayor Jenny Durkan, County Executive Dow Constantine, and city/county Public Health Director Dr. Jeff Duchin. They’ve just announced they are urging everyone to wear a mask (face covering) in public. Why now? It’s a “precarious” time, said Constantine. It’s a new public-health “directive.” Durkan, meantime, says advice and directives keep evolving because “there is no playbook” for “this virus.” Dr. Duchin says the fight against the virus is likely to last “many months.” He says his directive re-emphasizes the CDC’s recommendation. He also notes that it’s not a matter of protecting yourself, but protecting others. PHSKC’s Matias Valenzuela stresses that there won’t be penalties or law enforcement of this, and that they are working on mask availability for those who are having trouble getting them.
3 PM: In Q&A, Constantine is asked, why issue this directive if it won’t be enforced? He says he believes that as with other directives, people will comply. Dr. Duchin reiterated that people can be contagious without symptoms, and so – again – wearing a face covering is “an important strategy” to protect others, just in case. … Durkan and Constantine says the city and county will be distributing masks/face coverings to community groups – 45,000 and 115,000, respectively. … “Wearing a mask is a sign that together, we care about one another,” adds Dr. Duchin, while reiterating that his directive is “strongly urging,” not requiring masks. But: Businesses CAN require customers to wear face coverings, the mayor notes, if they choose to have that requirement. … What works best, in fabric face coverings? Snug, multiple layers, Dr. Duchin elaborates. … He’s also asked to elaborate on current trends. The number of cases/deaths has “stabilized,” he says, but they’d like to see fewer. “We’re continuing to see too many cases. … We haven’t suppressed transmission as much as we should.”
3:17 PM: The briefing is over. Video is expected soon via Seattle Channel (added below); we’ll add that and official links when available.
The COVID-19 response interrupted plans for West Seattle mobile blood drives, and compounding that with the bridge shutdown, it’s been challenging for local would-be donors to be able to help. Now, there’s a way! Combat Arts Academy (5050 Delridge Way SW) is hosting “pop-up blood drives” starting today. CAA’s Sonia Sillan sent this word from Bloodworks Northwest:
Combat Arts Academy Gym in West Seattle will be hosting a new Pop-Up Donor Center, providing donors a convenient, local location to donate blood during statewide stay-at-home orders. The governors of both Washington and Oregon recognize the crucial role that Bloodworks donors fill in sustaining community health, so leaving home to donate blood is a crucial and safe activity exempt from both states’ stay-at-home orders. Local, state, and national leaders are unanimous – donating blood remains a critical and safe activity for community health.
Thankfully, the number of new coronavirus cases in our region has been declining recently, which means that soon, hospitals will once again be able to begin performing elective surgeries which were cancelled or delayed during the first weeks of the COVID-19 outbreak in a successful effort to stabilize the blood supply. The resumption of these surgeries will increase the demand on our blood supply – in addition to the cancer, trauma, transplant, and critical surgery patients we always support – and to meet that challenge, we need all our donors to step up. So pre-book your next donation to make sure patients get the fighting chance they deserve.
All donations at this Pop-Up Donor Center and our other Donor Centers are by appointment only to provide the safest donation environment and adhere to all social distancing guidelines. Additionally, no walk-ins, guests, or people under age 16 are permitted onsite. Your one-hour donation appointment is a safe and essential action to support local hospitals.
Various dates and times are available; you can make an appointment by going here. (Thanks to the readers who tipped us about this just before we heard from Sonia at CAA!)
Need health care? West Seattle’s Neighborcare Health clinic wants you to know what’s changed – and what hasn’t:
Due to the COVID-19 crisis and the governor’s stay-at-home orders, Neighborcare Health at High Point has seen a drop in demand for services in the last few weeks. Therefore, we have temporarily reduced medical clinic hours of operation from 10 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. (Phone hours for scheduling are generally Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm.) We are closely monitoring the demand and will expand hours as needed.
Even with changes in hours, patients do not need to delay health care. We continue to offer testing and evaluation for COVID-19, and provide for other routine and immediate health-care needs. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms and wants a COVID-19 test can likely get a test. People must first make a phone appointment with one of our medical providers.
Our care team members can also thoroughly address many other health issues through phone appointments, such as ongoing care for chronic conditions (e.g. diabetes, high blood pressure), care for new issues, and help with stress and anxiety. Neighborcare offers interpretation services and has put safety measures in place in the clinic if a patient needs to be seen in-person.
Our High Point dental clinic is closed, but other Neighborcare Health dental clinics are open for emergency dental services and are welcoming non-Neighborcare patients, as well.
We know a lot of our neighbors are facing unexpected challenges with lost income or insurance. Neighborcare Health provides health care no matter a person’s ability to pay, offers a sliding fee discount and can help people understand insurance options and enroll. The High Point WIC team is also available to help people with food assistance.
Call 206-461-6950 to make an appointment for concerns about COVID-19, emergency dental care, or any other health needs.
And for those who have the ability to support our mission, we are still raising funds through our Spring Give online fundraiser to continue our work in providing quality health care for all.
The Neighborcare clinic is at 6020 35th SW.
Two Providence Mount St. Vincent residents/patients who tested positive for COVID-19 have died. The Mount announced that in an update sent today, eight days after announcing that 15 residents/patients and 10 caregivers there had tested positive. At the time, The Mount said a second round of testing was planned, and this update includes news on that:
Thank you to our West Seattle friends, neighbors, and family members of The Mount for continuing to express care and concern for the residents, patients, and caregivers at The Mount. We have been humbled by the outpouring of love we have received in the form of handmade masks, deliveries of flowers and goodies as well as messages of support. We hope you know how much this all means.
Thanks to Providence ExpressCare, we did a second round of COVID-19 rapid testing this week where we tested 732 residents/patients and caregivers. Due to the tremendous work of our team, we are doing an excellent job at controlling the spread of COVID-19 by caring not only for our patients and residents, but also in taking care of each other. The results of our second round of testing show a stabilization of the spread of COVID-19.
One new resident/patient tested positive and two caregivers tested positive. Additionally, several of those patients/residents who previously tested as positive, are now in the process of clearing with first step negative test results. These will be confirmed with a second test. Today there are 8 residents/patients who are positive for COVID 19. Caregivers will be cleared to return to work through caregiver health.
We are deeply saddened that two of our residents/patients who tested positive for COVID-19 have died. These two individuals were cherished members of The Mount family and our collective hearts are broken. We extend our deepest sympathies to their families and loved ones and we are keeping them in our prayers in their time of loss.
The safety and well-being of our residents, patients, their families and our caregivers remains our top priority, especially at this time. Even with signs of improvement, we will not let our guard down as we know how quickly this virus can spread. Our heightened infection control protocols, including the use of appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE), remain in place and we continue daily monitoring of all residents, patients, and caregivers for any signs of illness. COVID-19 has our full attention and we are committed to protecting everyone in our care. We will continue to share updates with the community as needed.
The Mount (4831 35th SW) is West Seattle’s largest long-term-care/assisted-living facility, with other programs on site including the Intergenerational Learning Center day care.
Two months into the COVID-19 outbreak in our region, health-care workers’ need for PPE (personal protective equipment) remains great. The Seattle Mask Brigade – a volunteer effort – asked us to remind you how you can help with what they’re doing = “collecting donated masks from around the greater Seattle area and delivering them to hospitals and nursing homes that are running out”:
Most donations are just a few masks (less than 20) that people have lying around in their emergency kit, but they all add up! So far we have coordinated deliveries of over 25,000 donated masks to hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, shelters, food banks, and more. We usually distribute masks within a day of receiving them.
Our small group has helped folks in over a dozen cities around the country launch their own mask brigades, from Los Angeles to New York to Louisville.
Our website is seattlemaskbrigade.org. There’s a form on our website where people can sign up to donate N95 masks, surgical masks, homemade cloth masks, and nitrile gloves (we will accept opened/unsealed boxes of masks). Our volunteers pick them up from donors’ porches within a day or two. We also have a form where health-care workers can request masks.
The need for masks is critical. Even with PPE arriving from the government, we are still receiving urgent requests and we need more donations to be able fulfill them. In the past week donations have been decreasing, but requests for masks have not. Recently we’ve received a lot of requests for homemade cloth masks that can be reused.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Jason Grube just installed that window mural at Barre3 in South Admiral, and sent the photo with this explanation:
Hope Grows Here is a community-based project, supported by MultiCare and MultiCare Foundations, that promotes health, hope, and healing through art, kindness, caring, and service. Their featured project “Window Gardens,” uses floral art and words of gratitude to provide a moral boost and sense of connection for anyone who sees it. Everyone is encouraged to participate.
This particular installation is now up at the Barre3 studio on California, owned by Sarah Heitman. Rotator Creative in Tacoma contacted me to create it and DCG One in SODO donated paper for it. Anyone who participates can tag #HopeGrowsHere or send pictures to MultiCare.
email@example.com is the address for photos.
PPE goes from head to toe. Closer to the latter end are shoe-covering “booties,” recently collected and donated by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate (WSB sponsor), which has also launched another community-service drive, as they explain:
The brokers from both West Seattle and Burien Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate offices pulled together their on-hand inventory of foot coverings commonly used at open houses and in homes for sale.
The booties were dropped off to an offsite location and one broker then delivered them to their destination. The shoe coverings were distributed at various locations within the Multicare Health System; the Ambulatory Pharmacy teams were the primary recipients of the booties. This was something that came together fast to help fill an urgent need. We learned of the need on a Wednesday and by Friday we had all the booties collected.
We are still able to collect and deliver donations, so if people would like to donate their unused foot coverings they can contact Tay Krull at TayKrull@BHHSNWRE.com.
They’re supporting WestSide Baby, too, with an awareness campaign:
We started our awareness campaign with the intent to support WestSide Baby and the incredible service they provide for children in need. It’s so important in times like these that our amazing charities that provide necessary services are still supported and not forgotten. Through awareness we are hoping to help fill the diaper needs for WestSide Baby.
WestSide Baby has a button on the front page of their website right now – “Give a Gift Today” – and we are encouraging our Realtors and our community to donate directly through their website to make the best and fastest impact. You can donate at WestSideBaby.org. We plan to continue to draw attention and make donations through the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order.
After multiple tips about more coronavirus cases at Providence Mount St. Vincent in West Seattle – 2 1/2 weeks after the first case was reported – we asked Providence for comment today. We received this confirmation in response this evening:
On March 30, we reported a single confirmed case of COVID-19 at Providence Mount St. Vincent. Thanks to Providence ExpressCare, we recently conducted rapid-testing of our entire community of caregivers, residents, patients, and active volunteers for COVID-19.
Through previous onsite testing and the additional rapid testing, we have confirmed a total of 15 of our residents/patients and 10 of our caregivers have tested positive for COVID-19. All residents/patients who tested positive have been cohorted together in a separate area of the building with dedicated staff providing care. The caregivers who tested positive are quarantined at home. The Intergenerational Learning Center (ILC) continues to operate safely to support our caregivers and the community. None of the teachers nor caregiver parents tested positive.
The safety and well-being of our residents, patients, their families and our caregivers remains our top priority, especially during this time. We are committed to stopping the spread of this infectious disease. Our highly-trained caregivers are following all of our heightened infection control protocols, including the use of appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE), in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) guidelines, while providing our residents/patients expert and compassionate care.
Out of an abundance of caution, and to ensure accurate testing, we will conduct a second round of rapid testing next week for our entire community.
“Knowledge is power at a time like this,” said Charlene Boyd, Providence Mount St. Vincent Administrator. “A second round of testing will confirm an accurate count of cases at The Mount. It will also inform us of any additional spread of the virus by people not showing any symptoms. That information is critical and will enable our most fervent and directed response possible.”
We know how quickly this virus can spread. We continue daily monitoring of all residents, patients and caregivers for any signs of illness, especially a fever or cough. We are closed to visitors with the exception of end-of-life visits which are accommodated on a person-by-person basis, and we screen everyone that enters the building. In addition to our heightened disinfecting and cleaning procedures, we are wiping down high touch areas several times throughout the day.
We are working closely with state and local health authorities, as well as the CDC, to ensure we continue delivering safe, high quality care to all of our residents and patients. We have notified the families of all of our residents and patients, and the ILC families, about the situation and are sharing updates with the community as needed.
Providence Mount St. Vincent, also known as The Mount, is at 4831 35th SW and is home to more than 400 people who need either assistance or round-the-clock care.
Last week for the first time, both the Seattle Police and Fire xepartments published by-the-numbers updates on how COVID-19 was affecting their personnel. One week later, both have published updates. First, from SPD (we’ve added the comparisons from last week’s report):
The following information is accurate as of April 14, 2020 at 07:00 AM
Seattle Police Department (SPD) employees in either Quarantine or Isolation: 26 [down from 50 a week ago]
SPD employees who have returned to work based on Public Health guidelines: 235 [up from 194]
SPD employees who have tested positive for COVID-19: 7 [up 1]
SPD employees who have been tested at our First Responder testing site, but tested negative for COVID-19: 103* [up from 87]
* denotes an approximate number
The following information is updated as of 4 p.m. on April 13:
Quarantine and Isolation:
Members currently in quarantine or isolation: 6 members [down from 29 a week ago]
Total number of SFD personnel impacted since the beginning of tracking COVID-19: 88 members [unchanged]
Total number of SFD personnel who have completed their 14-day quarantine and returned to work: 82 members [up from 59]
This includes those who have received testing at the site designated for first responders and those who have shared their results from testing conducted at a private physician.
Total number of known SFD personnel who have tested positive for COVID-19: 16 members [unchangedd]
Total number of SFD personnel with a negative test results at first responder testing site: 70 members pup from 58]
Total number of SFD personnel who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have recovered: 6 members [up from 1]
No geographic or demographic breakdowns are available.
Since we first reported a week and a half ago on West Seattle’s strong>Nucor Steel making face shields with 3-D printers, the effort has scaled up in a big way. Here’s an update Nucor sent us to share with you:
After the initial deliveries, the massive scope of the shortage of appropriate personal-safety equipment became more apparent.
To scale up production beyond its initial capability of 100 face shields per week, Nucor Seattle turned to the community, collaborating with the West Seattle Blog to help elevate the effort in the West Seattle neighborhood, where Nucor Seattle’s mill has operated for more than 100 years. The resulting response included several area high schools, technical schools, and residents, who have loaned idle equipment or are using personal equipment to print components and donate supplies for assembly at the steel mill.
Nucor now estimates its capacity at around 100 face shields per day and growing.
School partners include: Franklin Pierce School District, West Sound Tech, Seattle Christian, the
Chehalis School District, and the Tacoma School District.
The first production of about 20 face shields was donated April 2nd to Providence Mount St. Vincent, a long-term-care facility located around a mile from Nucor Seattle’s mill and with which Nucor Seattle has partnered for the last decade.
Since last week, around 500 shields have been delivered to area hospitals, clinics, and care facilities. The team at Nucor Seattle has so far focused on immediate support for the public health response:
• Donation of excess Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to local area medical centers, including hundreds of N95 dust masks and nitrile gloves.
• Organizing on-site additive manufacturing (3D printing) capabilities and expanding efforts to include teammates, local schools, and community resident-owned equipment to help address critical shortages in PPE.
Nucor Seattle engineers specializing in additive manufacturing have worked around-the-clock to research needs and test designs. Currently, the effort is focused on producing National Institutes of Health (NIH) approved face shields for medical workers and frontline caregivers. Nucor is now printing holders for these face shields and has purchased and received donated plastic and straps under the guidelines issued by the NIH. Nucor is also researching and designing various forms of respirator components that can be fitted with household media such as coffee and vacuum filters.
“Our teammates are working hard to design, optimize and produce materials approved by the National Institutes of Health, as well as reaching out to local medical centers and caregivers to learn how we can best support them on the frontlines of this public health crisis,” said Patrick Jablonski, Environmental Manager. “When our community learned of this effort, they stepped up to help and we have gone from 100 face shields in a week to about 100 face shields per day. We are proud to be able to use our resources to contribute to solutions but we are even more humbled by the response and immediacy with which our neighbors acted to help. We are all in this together.”
More than 300 people work at Nucor in West Seattle, which describes itself as “the biggest recycler in Washington State, using recycled scrap to produce materials used in building projects.”
WSB is able to provide news/information 24/7/365 thanks to the local businesses and service providers who sponsor our site. When a new sponsor joins the team, they have the opportunity to tell you what they offer – and today, we are welcoming Dr. Elizabeth MacKenzie as our newest sponsor. Here’s what she wants you to know:
Dr. MacKenzie is celebrating the 17th anniversary of her private psychology practice in West Seattle. She is excited to announce an expansion in her parenting services! Dr. MacKenzie provides behavioral therapy to parents of 3-9-year-old children, teaching discipline strategies that promote strong parent-child relationships and loving limits.
She is also enrolling small-group stress management/mindful classes for parents of preschool and elementary-aged children, with an emphasis on the challenges posed by COVID-19. Each 5-parent class will meet weekly via Zoom and the first class to fill will be offered free of charge! Dr. MacKenzie also provides assessments for children, youth, and young adults for ADHD/ADD, learning disorders, and associated social-emotional difficulties.
She is complimented on her laugh, problem-solving skills, high skill level, and love for her work. Dr. MacKenzie provides evidence-based services, drawing on many years of experience conducting parenting and clinical trials research, most recently as a Research Scientist at the University of Washington.
Dr. MacKenzie is providing services via telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. For treatment and evaluation services, she submits insurance claims on your behalf. Dr. MacKenzie can be contacted via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), phone (206.932.2590, x. 2), or via her website at www.west-seattle-psych.com.
We thank Dr. Elizabeth MacKenzie for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.
Both the SPD and SFD blog-format websites have just published updates on how COVID-19 has affected their staffing. First, from SPD Blotter:
Seattle Police Department (SPD) employees in either Quarantine or Isolation: 50
SPD employees who have returned to work based on Public Health guidelines: 194
SPD employees who have tested positive for COVID-19: 6
SPD employees who have been tested at our First Responder testing site, but tested negative for COVID-19: 87*
* denotes an approximate number
And from Fireline:
Members currently in quarantine or isolation: 29 members
Total number of SFD personnel impacted since the beginning of tracking COVID-19: 88 members
Total number of SFD personnel who have completed their 14-day quarantine and returned to work: 59 members
This includes those who have received testing at the site designated for first responders and those who have shared their results from testing conducted at a private physician.
Total number of known SFD personnel who have tested positive for COVID-19: 16 members
Total number of SFD personnel with a negative test results at first responder testing site: 58 members
Total number of SFD personnel who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have recovered: 1 member
Neither post includes by-precinct or by-station information.
5:04 PM: For the second day in a row, Gov. Inslee is gathering media (virtually) for a COVD-19 response update. Watch above, and read our as-it-happens notes below.
He opens by saying he’s extending the “stay-home order” through May 4th. (Its original expiration was to be April 6th.) He says it’s “morally necessary” because the full force of the virus hasn’t hit yet and modeling suggests at least 1,000 deaths, “and more will die if we stop now.” He says the percentage of positive tests is going up, so “we’re not out of the woods yet” and “we will not accept unnecessary deaths in our state.”
He acknowledges there are economic consequences and that everyone must find ways to support those who fall into financial hardship “through no fault of their own.” He reiterates that health recovery is vital for economic recovery. He quotes FDR about confidence and courage. “I have confidence in the courage of Washingtonians.” He stresses, “This is temporary. … All of us are leaders in this effort.”
While it’s OK to be outdoors, he extols “walks around the block” – but don’t, for example, go to Skagit Valley to see the tulips (which apparently some are doing even though the festival is canceled).
5:13 PM: Q&A starts with whether there might be another extension. “Ye, that is possible … but because Washingtonians are so committed to this, we are hopeful that will be the end.” But no guarantees. He also acknowledges that “rebuild(ing)” the economy “is going to take all of us.”
What will tell him it’s OK to lift the order? He says he is consulting many experts with lots of data, and we “have our destiny in our control” by continuing distancing.
Should people wear masks? The state health officer says that like federal experts, they’re evaluating that. She also says the peak is expected around Aprl 11th but “they are feeding new data into this model every day.”
5:37 PM: Q&A continues. The governor repeatedly stresses that social distancing must continue so we don’t “pull defeat from the jaws of victory.” He says the experts think person-to-person contact has been reduced by about 80 percent. He also reiterates the importance of mobilizing manufacturers to make PPE since we can’t rely on the federal government to mandate it. He says what’s happened to New York could have happened here if not for the measures taken. He also says Washington has “probably the second-highest per-capita testing” of any state.
5:41 PM: He wraps up with a Winston Churchill quote. The video window above should soon show the archived recording, so we’re leaving it up.
7:59 PM: Here’s the full news release from the governor’s office.
12:43 PM: Thanks for the tips. Three small tents labeled as “COVID-19 Testing” have gone up in the parking lot behind the Neighborcare Health clinic and High Point Library off SW Raymond east of 35th SW.
They don’t appear to be in use yet. Neighborcare’s website says, “Neighborcare is doing limited testing for COVID-19. … We are working to set up outdoor testing at multiple sites that ensures the safety of our staff and patients.” The notice asks patients to “call 206-549-5710 to talk to a nurse or medical provider before coming to a clinic.” We have a message out to the organization to ask about the High Point plan, and will add anything we find out.
1:27 PM UPDATE: Neighborcare has responded to our inquiry:
As of Friday, 4/3 Neighborcare Health at High Point will have outdoor COVID-19 testing and exams available for current Neighborcare Health patients by appointment only. Conducting tests and exams for patients with COVID-like symptoms outside in tents allows us to keep our patients, staff and the community safe. This model has been used by other health care systems in the area.
Neighborcare Health patients with respiratory illness symptoms, such as a cough, fever or shortness of breath, should call 206-548-5710 to make a phone appointment with one of our medical providers. We are asking patients not to come to the clinic, but to call first. Based on guidance from the Washington State Department of Health and the patient’s situation, the medical provider will determine if a patient should get tested and/or be seen in-person for an evaluation.
Our health care teams are also still available to help patients with other health care needs during this time. To help protect patients, staff and the community, we are temporarily scheduling most appointments by phone, including medical, behavioral health and nutritionist visits. If someone needs urgent or emergency dental care, they should call 206-548-5710 to schedule a phone consultation with a dentist before coming to a clinic.
In all cases, a health care provider will determine if a patient needs an in-person appointment. Interpretation services are available for in-person or phone appointments. For in-person visits, we put extra safety measures in place to protect patients and staff, such as screening all patients and visitors coming to the clinic, and limiting the time patients are in the waiting area.
As reported here on Wednesday, Gov. Inslee is asking Washington manufacturers to turn their expertise and capabilities to items desperately needed to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. We learned that one local company already has jumped in – Nucor Steel in West Seattle is making face shields with 3D printers – 20 so far, and gearing up to be able to make 100 a week. We spoke Wednesday afternoon with Nucor’s Patrick Jablonski, who has just sent photos and more information.
They are doing it with “both on-site and employee-owned additive manufacturing (3D printing) capability. Nucor Seattle engineers who specialize in additive manufacturing researched “needs, tested designs, and optimize Nucor-owned hardware in addition to their personal 3D printers at home. Currently, the effort is focused on producing National Institutes of Health-approved face shields for medical workers and frontline caregivers. Nucor is now printing holders for these face shields and has purchased plastic and straps under the guidelines issued by the NIH. Nucor is also researching and designing various forms of respirator components that can be fitted with household media such as coffee and vacuum filters.”
Once they came up with the idea, Jablonski told us, it only took about a week to formulate a plan. Now, they are working on optimizing production to 100 shields a week, and then might be able to increase the production rate.
The first 20 masks were donated to Providence Mount St. Vincent in West Seattle (which recently announced its first COVID-19 case). Jablonski says, “The Nucor Seattle team is continuing to reach out to local health care providers to learn about additional needs and design concepts.” Nucor also has donated extra PPE to local medical centers, including hundreds of N95 dust masks, and nitrile gloves.