Current VashonBePrepared Newsletter

Older COVID Situation Reports can be found below.

News from VashonBePrepared /
Noticias de VashonBePrepared 

Published by the Vashon Emergency Operations Center 

#106 - Friday, September 29, 2023

[Newsletter version]

Vashon Risk Level: Concerning Rise in COVID Hospitalizations, But Still Basic

In Case You Missed It: Get Your Free COVID Tests Now

Delayed Vaccine Shipments Mean Delayed Appointments

September National Preparedness Month: Medical Needs

En esta ocasión tampoco tendremos la traducción al español del boletín informativo de VashonBePrepared.


Vashon Risk Level: Concerning Rise in COVID Hospitalizations, But Still Basic

The COVID hospitalization rate continues its slow rise in our exposure area, including King County as well as Pierce and Kitsap counties. COVID hospitalizations are not far below the level that would trigger an increase from Basic Risk to Elevated Risk. That’s concerning for several reasons. The official COVID case rate in our region is severely under-reported to public health agencies, and we know the hospitalization rate is a lagging indicator of COVID prevalence in our community. We all seem to know several people with COVID at the moment. In addition, we are getting into the annual respiratory virus season that combines the health impacts of COVID, flu, and RSV.

  • Wear N95 mask indoors in public if:
  •   Exposed to COVID.
  •   At risk for health or other reasons.
  •   You live with or spend time with someone at high risk.
  • Keep vaccinations up to date, including boosters.
  • Maintain good ventilation at home and at work.
  • Avoid those with suspected or confirmed COVID.
  • If exposed to COVID, wear a mask in public and avoid contact with those at high risk for 10 days.
  • Always home-test if you have symptoms.
  • If you test positive, isolate for at least 5 days and until you test negative.
  • If immunocompromised, discuss additional prevention actions with your healthcare provider.

The VashonBePrepared COVID Risk Advice Tool aggregates data in our exposure area. That includes King, Pierce, and Kitsap counties because the island ferry routes generate thousands of roundtrips daily to those mainland areas. The primary metric evaluated by the Vashon Medical Reserve Corps is the COVID hospitalization rate because that is reliably reported by public health agencies. As mentioned above, the test result reporting systems that existed during the early years of the pandemic were demobilized at the county and state levels when the official state of emergency declaration ended in May of this year.

In Case You Missed It: Get Your Free COVID Tests Now

The current wave of COVID cases on the island means people need to be testing to know when they should isolate to keep from spreading COVID. That’s why it’s important to stock up on COVID tests. Fortunately, the federal government revived the free test kit program earlier this week. As with the old program, your test kits will be delivered in the mail. There will be no charge, and you can order four rapid COVID tests for your household by going here:

Delayed Vaccine Shipments Mean Delayed Appointments

There have been delays around the country in shipping the new COVID vaccine to healthcare providers, and that includes Vashon Pharmacy. You can keep checking for appointment availability at the pharmacy by going to the immunization appointment

You can use the pharmacy’s new consolidated immunization page to choose multiple vaccinations at a single appointment, including the possibility of getting your COVID and flu shots together.

September National Preparedness Month: Medical Needs


September is National Preparedness Month. A key theme this year is being ready to get by if your source of essential medical needs has been cut off. On Vashon that could be an earthquake shutting down ferries for an extended period, or even major damage to our only pharmacy.

Here’s a quick list of tips, curated from the complete list you can find here:

  • Always have at least a two-week supply of all your medications. Keep a medication list including dose, frequency, and the name of the prescribing doctor. Replace medications in your go kit regularly to make sure they don’t expire.
  • Have an extra two-week supply of any medical supplies you use, such as bandages, ostomy bags or syringes.
  • Secure a backup power source for all medical equipment requiring electrical power — beds, breathing equipment or infusion pumps.
  • If you use oxygen, have an emergency supply for at least two weeks, including your expendable supplies such as tubing, solutions and medications.
  • You might need to leave your home with little notice, so keep a bag packed at all times that contains your medication list, supplies for two weeks, and copies of vital medical papers such as insurance cards and power of attorney.



Situation Report Archive for 2020 - 2021

The Situational Awareness team of the Vashon Emergency Operations Center was tasked with monitoring the COVID-19 event and reporting relevant information and updates to the VashonBePrepared teams and public during 2020 and the first half of 2021.

Below you'll find links to PDFs of the full Vashon Situation Reports. Regular publication of these Situation Reports ended on June 22, 2021. 

We update Voice of Vashon Alerts: Subscribe for email updates and check Vashon Emergency News for additional sources of regional emergency news.

123 movies