- In this section we are providing a summary of the current changes in the Situation Report on Tuesdays & Fridays. For a PDF of the full Situation Report click on the link to the right. To receive these updates via email, sign up for alerts here or view email version here. See archived items in the PDF section to the right on this Situation Report page.
Current Virus Statistics:
Vashon Island COVID-19 Case Count as of 10/30/20:
- 2,350 Total persons tested, 27 persons tested since last Situation Report on Tuesday
- 30 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases, 1 new case since last Situation Report on Tuesday
- Date of last positive test: October 30
- 1 person had been hospitalized. Date of last hospitalization: April 10
- 0 Vashon deaths
King County COVID-19 Case Count as of 10/30/20:
- 27,423 confirmed positive cases, 902 new since last Situation Report on Tuesday
- 804 deaths, 13 new since last Situation Report on Tuesday
Washington State COVID-19 Case Count as of 10/29/20:
- 106,573 confirmed positive cases, 3,073 new since last Situation Report on Tuesday
- 2,366 deaths, 45 new since last Situation Report on Tuesday
NOTE: Federal law prohibits Public Health - Seattle & King County from releasing the names of patients (HIPAA Act). For consistency of day-to-day data reporting for Vashon, the EOC uses only the Zip code data from the Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) dashboard.
Local Business Precautionary Closure:
Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie has closed for one week, one of several precautionary COVID safety steps the business is taking after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19. The safety closure began today and the store plans to reopen next Friday, November 6, assuming follow up testing of staff goes well. The only public exposure to the employee at the Roasterie took place a week ago, and was limited to Saturday, October 24th. The Medical Reserve Corps asks anyone who was served at the barista counter last Saturday, October 24th, to call the testing site help line so you can be screened for possible testing. The Medical Reserve Corps number is: (844) 469-4554. The number may be busy. If so, leave a message and you will get a return call as soon as possible. Please keep the line free and only call if you were served at the barista counter last Saturday, October 24th.
During the closure of the Roasterie, the space will be deep-cleaned, using procedures that go beyond the usual safety guidelines from Washington State Department of Health and Public Health -- Seattle & King County. All employees who worked at the same time as the employee who tested positive were being tested today and are being asked to quarantine for a full 14 days, a total of nine individuals, or half the total staff. Minglement Marketplace will remain open but isolated from the Roasterie. The annual display of pumpkins on the Roasterie front porch will be lit tonight and tomorrow night, the store's traditional celebration for Halloween. Safe drive-by viewing is encouraged. The previously announced root soup and roll handout will not be happening after all this year.
Halloween caution: "Being within six feet of somebody who isn’t part of your household, even if outdoors, is risky now. Door-to-door trick-or-treating is very hard to do safely, because there has to be good masking and physical distancing of at least six feet or more," said Dr. Sadiya Khan, a physician, epidemiologist and assistant professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “People are trying to come up with creative ways of passing out candy. But I’d be worried for potential spread from any contact with people outside your household," she said. "I’m more hesitant to even do socially distanced activities with large groups of kids and adults gathering outdoors.” Khan added, that her children plan to dress up in costumes and she’ll hide candy around the house for them to find.
Safer Gatherings. With Halloween only a day away and more holidays following right behind, it is a good time to review your plans. Gathering in groups—even with people we know—may spread COVID-19. The more people we interact with at a gathering and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the risk of becoming infected. Washington State Department of Health has put together a Safety Checklist for gatherings, and tips on having conversations with friends and family while planning a gathering. Visit: https://coronavirus.wa.gov/information-for/you-and-your-family/safer-gatherings
Halloween Contests. This year the Chamber of Commerce will hold online costume and pumpkin carving contestsas safe alternative Halloween activities due to the COVID pandemic. Visit the Chamber website for more information on how to join, and submit your photos to be entered in one of five costume categories to win a festive prize. Vashon’s Unofficial Mayors, Vashon Sisterhood, will be the panel of judges picking the winners. The Chamber of Commerce Halloween website is at https://www.vashonchamber.com/costume-pumpkin-contest
Vashon Island School District in Partnership with Camp Burton will hold the Haunted Drive Thru on Halloween, October 31st. The drive thru event at camp Burton is free to the public and open from 4pm to 9pm. For more information, visit https://www.campburton.com
Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning has many of the same symptoms as COVID-19 and may be difficult to tell apart. "Influenza and (Covid-19) hijack the cells, mostly in lungs, where they reproduce and that's where the main damage is often done" and where symptoms stem from, said Dr. Jeremy Brown, an emergency care physician and author of "Influenza: The Hundred-Year Hunt to Cure the Deadliest Disease in History." Carbon monoxide, on the other hand, poisons people by hooking onto hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the body. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that's produced when a fossil fuel — coal, oil or natural gas — is burned by furnaces, portable heaters, generators, vehicles, stoves, grills, gas ranges or fireplaces. The best way to tell whether symptoms are from carbon monoxide exposure is to install a carbon monoxide detector, Brown said. Since carbon monoxide sinks, CDC recommends having one in your basement is critical, but the potential for exposure can be on any floor, so detectors should be installed in the main living areas and in or near bedrooms so you can be woken up by an alarm while sleeping. https://www.cdc.gov/co/faqs.htm
New Developments since Last Report:
Washington’s Department of Labor & Industries notes that virus activity is accelerating dangerously throughout the United States, including Washington. Virus spikes threaten our health, our schools and our economy. Workers and employers can help to halt the fall surge by following five key COVID-19 safety requirements required by law: https://www.lni.wa.gov/forms-publications/F414-167-000.pdf
- Employees must practice social distancing and mask up.
- Employees must wash their hands frequently and thoroughly.
- Workplaces must be routinely sanitized.
- A plan must be written and in place to address worker illness.
- Employees must be educated about COVID-19 and how to work safely.
Sick workers or those believed to have been exposed should self-quarantine. If workers show symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone with the virus or its symptoms, they should self-quarantine for 14 days. This may be a difficult conversation to have with a worker reliant on their wages, but they may use paid leave to cover the absence. Employees may use accrued sick leave if asked to quarantine. Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), an additional budget of sick leave is available to symptomatic workers. Up to two weeks (80 hours) of paid sick leave is to be provided at their regular rate of pay. https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employee-paid-leave
Gov. Jay Inslee issues "Stay Safe - Vote Safe" proclamation. This proclamation temporarily suspends any COVID-related orders that could be interpreted to restrict access to voting centers and student engagement HUBS by persons intending to register to vote, obtain a ballot, receive assistance with a ballot, deposit a ballot or use other voting-related services. "The right to vote is one of the cornerstones of our democracy," Inslee said. www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/Gov.%20Inslee%20Voting%20Memo%2010.27.2020.pdf
Washington State Department of Health reports COVID-19 activity intensifying across Washington State. The best estimates of the reproductive number (how many new people each COVID-19 patient will infect) were 1.34 in western Washington and 1.12 in eastern Washington as of October 10. The goal is a number well below one. “Any spike in COVID-19 cases will jeopardize our progress toward reopening schools, strain our healthcare system and increase risks during holiday gatherings,” said Deputy Secretary of Health for COVID-19 Response Lacy Fehrenbach. “High rates in the community increase the chance that someone at your gathering—even people you know well and trust—could have COVID-19. If we act now, we can get these increases in control in time for the holidays.” For the full report, visit https://covid.idmod.org/data/WA_Situation_Report_19_COVID-19_transmission_across_Washington_State.pdf
King County Elections reminds residents to practice social distancing and to wear a face covering that covers their nose and mouth for voter safety. On Vashon, ballots can be dropped of at the secure Voting Box located at the library. County voting box ballots are picked up daily by King County Elections. If you choose to visit a Vote Center in person you will be required to wear a mask. https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/elections.aspx
Washington State Department of Health warns health care professionals with Washington licenses: Beware of scammers falsely claiming to represent the Washington State Department of Health – and don’t send money to anyone without being certain of the recipient’s identity. There have been at least two apparent attempts to defraud Washington providers. https://www.doh.wa.gov/Newsroom/Articles/ID/2441
Governor Jay Inslee announced Washington State has joined California’s COVID-19 Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, which will independently review the safety and efficacy of any vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration for distribution. Last week, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced the panel made up of nationally acclaimed scientists with expertise in immunization and public health. Oregon and Nevada have also joined the Safety Review Workgroup. See Governor Inslee’s full press conference here. Read Governor Newsom’s press release at https://www.gov.ca.gov/2020/10/27.
Global Entrepreneurship Month will offer free training and support for small businesses. Nearly 50 online sessions aim to help small businesses start and restart, and aim to bolster a historical trend of new business formation during economic downturns. Programs are provided by the Washington State Department of Commerce. Visit: http://startup.choosewashingtonstate.com
Gov. Jay Inslee issued a directive to the Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) to produce an emergency rule regarding continuity of pension benefits for school district employees continuing to experience work disruptions as a result of remote learning. The order also directs Employment Security to include DRS' forthcoming emergency rule in their evaluation of eligibility for the Shared Work Program. https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/directive
Vashon Island School District (VISD) continues to track COVID-19 activity levels in relation to efforts to bring back students in small groups for both learning and extracurricular activities. COVID-19 levels for King County continue to increase, currently at 105 cases per 100,000 over the last 14 days ending on 10/30/2020. The state school reopening framework requires cases fall below 75 cases per 100K, to begin a slow phase-in of in-person learning. https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1600/coronavirus/DecisionTree-K12schools.pdf
Vashon Youth and Family Services staff are available to support all families with in-person and distanced academic support and tutoring at the newly opened Family Resource Center. These services are offered every Thursday 3-5pm and Friday 12-4 pm. Contact VYFS at 206-463-5511 or email@example.com. VYFS has a dedicated telephone number and email for Spanish-speaking families to contact them with questions or concerns: 206-348-4488 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Progress on Community Support Operations:
Emergency Operations Center (EOC): Activation level is Maintenance & Monitoring. Operational priorities have been set at health, food and shelter. Community economic recovery efforts continue through our partnership with Vashon Chamber of Commerce. It has been 233 days (7 months, 19 days) since the EOC activated on March 12th.
Medical Reserve Corps/Community Engagement: The EOC assembled a team of six people to assess the positive case and potential contact exposures relating to Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie. The team includes physicians as well as communications experts to aid the business in its response and to help with public communications as the situation unfolds. For details see the above in this report.
Medical Reserve Corps/EOC Team: A team from Vashon Center for the Arts has met with Medical Reserve Corps and EOC Team representatives to launch a project to help VCA safely conduct a major streaming event around a music festival. Next week, the team will make a site visit to the Kay White Hall and the historic Blue Heron classroom building to help assess, among other things, building ventilation systems as well as the organization's existing extensive procedures for COVID-19 safety.
Medical Reserve Corps/Flu Vaccination: Over 400 flu vaccinations were added to the island tally this past week, now at a total of about 3,600 from on island providers. The total includes nearly 2,900 by Vashon Pharmacy and more than 600 by the Visiting Nurse Association drive through vaccination event two weeks ago. An unknown additional number of islander vaccinations have taken place at mainland locations. That suggests as many as one-half of all island residents have received flu vaccinations. Flu vaccination is especially important this year due to the double-whammy of seasonal flu combined with the COVID-19 pandemic. Remember: that free flu vaccinations are available at Vashon Pharmacy for those without health insurance, paid for by VashonBePrepared’s Relief Fund.
Winter Watch: Four EOC Team members, including Situation Section members, attended the annual winter weather emergency response workshop yesterday, presented by the King County Office of Emergency Management. The Situation Section has been monitoring potential seasonal impacts on the pandemic response. For example, road access to the MRC COVID-19 testing site might be limited, and volunteers at the drive up outdoor site may have to deal with harsh weather. In addition, a severe winter could drive people indoors in greater numbers, potentially increasing the chances of spread.
VashonBePrepared: The VashonBePrepared Board of Directors met this week to approve the 2021 budget. The budget plan assumes there will be some reimbursement of funds expended by the Vashon COVID Relief Fund for ongoing emergency disbursements to the island's social service agencies, although the amount and timing of those funds remains uncertain. The budget also sets aside some reserves for sustaining the MRC COVID-19 testing program well into 2021, in addition to funds for rapid emergency response in case of a major outbreak spike on the island.