Current COVID Newsletters

If you are looking for the old COVID Situation Reports, they can be found here.
News from VashonBePrepared
Published by the Vashon Emergency Operations Center 

Newsletter version

#40 - Friday, June 24 , 2022

·      Vashon COVID Monitoring: New Cases Continue

·      COVID Vaccines Are Now Approved for Children Under 5

·     Is It COVID or Not? Feeling Sick but Testing Negative

·     Make a Plan for If You Test Positive After-Hours

·      Latest Vashon COVID Statistics

Les quiero comunicar que en esta ocasión no tendremos el boletin informativo en español. Como siempre, toda la información pertinente se mencionara en el siguiente programa de Mi Gente Latina. 

Vashon COVID Monitoring: New Cases Continue

The previous week has brought 19 newly reported cases on the King County COVID data dashboard, with a total of 32 new cases for the two weeks ending June 18. However, Vashon Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) saw an aggregated count of 40 just for last week. They are consistently seeing about twice the count seen at the county dashboard. Contributing factors likely included end of school year activities and the highly contagious Omicron variant. Vashon’s overall rate of 9,199 new reported cases per 100,000 people is less than half the rate of 20,195 per 100,000 for King County as a whole.

Vashon MRC tracks the official statistical dashboard maintained by Public Health — Seattle & King County (PHSKC), the COVID dashboard posted by Vashon Island School District, test data from Vashon Pharmacy, and your reports to the MRC helpline. Please continue to help MRC track island COVID trends by reporting your positive home tests to the MRC helpline: (844) 469-4554.

COVID Vaccines Are Now Approved for Children Under 5

On Sunday June 19, the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup confirmed that vaccines for children aged 6 months to 5 years are safe and effective. Vaccine providers in Washington are now able to administer Pfizer or Moderna vaccines to this newly eligible age group. The COVID-19 vaccine is free to all.

Where and when can I get my child vaccinated?

  • Vashon Pharmacy (children 3+ years) – Moderna in stock, Pfizer expected soon. Make appointments at VashonPharmacy.com 
  • SeaMar Vashon – Vaccines on order but arrival date unknown. Call (206) 463-3671 for appointments.
  • Vashon Natural Medicine – Not providing vaccines yet. 
  • Public Health — Seattle & King County – Vaccines offered at some locations. Check at KingCounty.gov/vaccine 

As a parent, what do I need to know?

Some excerpts from epidemiologist Katelyn Jetelina’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) (tinyurl.com/YLE-under5s): 

What’s the vaccination schedule for this age group?

Moderna: two doses, spaced one month apart. A third dose is likely to be recommended soon, which will improve protection. Each dose is one-fourth the dose for adults.

Pfizer: three doses – two doses spaced three weeks apart, and a third dose two or more months after the second dose. Each dose is one-tenth the dose for adolescents and adults.

Does my child need the vaccine? Yes. Children aged 0 to 4 years have experienced a significant burden of disease from COVID, and 442 American children in this age group have died so far. While younger children are less likely to become seriously ill or die, more children are dying from COVID in the US than from other vaccine-preventable diseases (see chart below). Children in this youngest group experienced more hospitalizations than other pediatric age groups, and one in four children in this age group who were hospitalized for COVID ended up in the ICU. Children can get long COVID, and vaccines may reduce chances of long COVID by 15-50%. 

Are the vaccines safe?

Vaccines given to this age group during clinical trials resulted in mild or moderate side effects, with no safety concerns. No children in the clinical trials developed myocarditis or pericarditis. More at: tinyurl.com/YaleMed-under5

Are the vaccines effective?

More from Dr. Jetelina: “Clinical trials found that antibody numbers were comparable to the older age group. In other words, the 2 doses of Moderna and 3 doses of Pfizer worked.” 

Is It COVID or Not? Feeling Sick but Testing Negative

Since coronavirus testing became widely available, health experts have encouraged us to test when we develop COVID-like symptoms. But increasingly, people are speaking up about being sick, almost certainly with COVID, and repeatedly testing negative. Experts point to a variety of factors, including vaccines, our immune system, and the virus itself. 

Last month in the New York Times, science journalist Melinda Wenner Moyer explored this topic after it happened in her family. Moyer and her husband were vaccinated and boosted, and their children were fully vaccinated. Their 7-year-old daughter became ill after being exposed at school and quickly tested positive on a rapid-antigen test. Moyer’s husband and their 11-year-old son soon became sick with classic coronavirus symptoms. But they tested negative for seven days straight; Moyer never became ill and continually tested negative. She turned to experts to understand what had occurred.

Vaccination status is important in this scenario, immunologist Dr. Gigi Gronvall told Moyer. Once we are vaccinated, our immune systems start working much faster after an exposure. This activity slows viral reproduction and spread, and it may make us less likely to test positive. 

Despite testing negative, people–such as Moyer’s son and husband–may still feel sick. That’s because COVID symptoms, including fever, fatigue and runny nose, are caused by our immune systems fighting off the virus, and not by the virus itself, Moyer wrote. One expert told Moyer that it’s possible her husband and son tested negative repeatedly because COVID was replicating outside of the tests’ reach, possibly in their brains, hearts, kidneys or other organs. 

A big difference exists between never testing positive and not yet testing positive, Moyer stressed. Most people exposed to the virus and experiencing COVID symptoms will test positive eventually. However, many people may stop testing too early, likely creating further spread of the illness in the process. Dr. Gronvall recommends that people with two to three doses of vaccine should test with symptom onset and continue through day four or five of symptoms. Free tests continue to be available. Washington residents may request tests through Washington state at sayyescovidhometest.org and the federal government at COVID.gov.  

Public health officials urge people who have been exposed to COVID-19 but test negative to follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those guidelines include wearing a well-fitting, high-quality mask around other people for 10 days. To read Moyer’s account of her family’s experience in full, see tinyurl.com/moyer-story.

Make a Plan for If You Test Positive After-Hours

What do you do when the dreaded second line comes up on your home antigen test, and it’s outside normal clinic hours? Your first thoughts should be protecting those around you—isolating, masking, and notifying recent close contacts. 

Next, talk to your healthcare provider about possible treatment with an antiviral medication, such as Paxlovid. To be effective, Paxlovid has to be taken within the first five days of developing symptoms, but it is best started as soon as possible.

If you are in a high-risk category (e.g., age 65+, or with certain pre-existing medical conditions), plan ahead by knowing in advance how to get medical help after hours. Your provider or health-insurance plan may cover access to 24/7 phone consultations or a telehealth appointment with off-island urgent-care. More information: tinyurl.com/WADOH-testpositive

Call the MRC Helpline at (844) 469-4554 to report a positive test, and for further guidance.

Latest Vashon COVID Statistics from the King County dashboard

Source: Public Health — Seattle & King County (PHSKC) and Vashon Emergency Operations Center. New and historic case counts shown here reflect test results from the public health reporting system which does not capture results from home tests.

  • 19 = New cases reported since the last weekly report (32 new cases in 14 days)
  • 999 = Total COVID cases for Vashon residents since the pandemic began.
  • 17 = Patients hospitalized since the pandemic began.
  • 5 = Deaths since the pandemic began.
  • 94.0% = percentage of Vashon residents age 5+ who have completed the primary series, compared to 86.2% of the King County 5+ population.
  • 68.1% = percentage of Vashon residents age 5+ who have added a booster shot to their completed primary series.

For King County, the PHSKC dashboard for the last 30 days says people who are not fully vaccinated are:

  • 1.4 times more likely to get COVID.
  • 6 times more likely to be hospitalized for COVID.
  •  9 times more likely to die of COVID.

Noticias de VashonBePrepared 

Les quiero comunicar que en esta ocasión no tendremos el boletin informativo en español. Como siempre, toda la información pertinente se mencionara en el siguiente programa de Mi Gente Latina. 

Ultimas Estadísticas de COVID en Vashon

  • 999 = Total de casos de COVID, desde que empezó la pandemia.
  •  19 = Nuevos casos desde el último reporte (32 nuevos casos en las últimas dos semanas).
  •  17 = Pacientes hopitalizados, desde que empezó la pandemia.
  •  5 = Fallecimientos desde que empezó la pandemia.
  • >94% = residentes de 5 años para arriba en Vashon, completamente vacunados (comparado con el 86.2% de la población de 5 años para arriba del condado King.)

Las Estadisticas de Salud Pública — Seattle & Condado King muestran en los últimos 30 días, que la gente no vacunada está a un riesgo:

  •  6 veces más alto riesgo de que acabe en el hospital por COVID
  •  9 veces más alto de que se muera por COVID  

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.