Current Vaccination Eligibility: Everyone 12+
Virus statistics: Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) reports 121 positive cases of COVID-19 on Vashon since the pandemic began, an increase of three cases since the last edition of this report.
Getting better, but not yet in the clear: King County Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin says the King County new case rate is down 64% from the now-ebbing fourth COVID-19 spike since the pandemic began: “Incidence rates among all groups are decreasing. We’re moving in the right direction but not down as far as we want to be.” Dr. Duchin reported that the B.117 variant (the one first detected in the U.K.) remains the most common variant detected in our state – which means “the viruses out there are better at spreading person to person among the unvaccinated.” If you’re not vaccinated, you’re at “significant risk,” he said. He explained that unvaccinated people, based on a Washington Department of Health study, are actually at higher risk than they were a year ago, citing the fact that 97% of current King County COVID-19 cases are among people who are unvaccinated.
VASHON VACCINATION AVAILABILITY
The overview: Activity has been light at the two island vaccination locations. with plenty of vaccine supply to meet the need.
Finish your vaccination: Both Sea Mar and the Pharmacy are providing second-dose vaccinations for anyone who wants one, even for people who got their first dose at an off-island provider. For details on how to complete your vaccination process, see below for information on the island’s two vaccination locations.
Walk-up, pop-up: Medical Reserve Corps and EOC volunteers have been offering pop-up vaccination clinics around town. No appointment is required. The next one will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. tomorrow, Friday, June 4, at Thriftway.
Vashon Pharmacy: You have two choices to get vaccinated at Vashon Pharmacy. You can make an appointment online at VashonPharmacy.com/COVID. Or, you can just drop in without an appointment from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday. Please go to the rear of the Pharmacy where the white vaccination tents are set up and you’ll be able to get your shot there, or you’ll see a sign directing you inside the Pharmacy. A Spanish-language interpreter is on-site during most hours of operation.
Sea Mar Clinic: You also have two choices at Sea Mar for getting your vaccination. You can make an appointment by calling the Sunrise Ridge clinic at (206) 463-3671. Or, you can drop in without an appointment. Sea Mar vaccinates most weekdays, but it’s good to check availability on the Sea Mar website before dropping by, in order to find out what vaccine is on offer and to make sure they’ll be open: SeaMar.org/COVID-Vaccine. A Spanish-language interpreter is available for early visits beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesdays only.
Vaccination free to all: All COVID-19 vaccinations are free to all. If you have insurance, you’ll be asked for your information so providers can recover the cost of administering the free vaccine, but there’s no co-pay. If you do not have insurance, the cost is covered anyway and you will not be charged.
Questions about vaccination: If you have questions, please call (844) 469-4554 and select option 4. That will connect you to one of the Medical Reserve Corps doctors who can respond with information. You can’t make a vaccination appointment at that number. For an appointment, follow the directions in the Sea Mar and Pharmacy sections above.
Full-time and in-person school: Vashon Island School District Superintendent Dr. Slade McSheehy announced that schools will go back full-time and in-person in the fall. The decision applies to all grades pre-K through 12 and will be the default model for all students. The District announcement indicated there will be information coming soon for families who prefer a virtual independent study approach. The District will comply with state Department of Health standards, which currently include face coverings, ventilation, cleaning/disinfecting, physical distancing and other COVID-19 safety practices.
CDC says summer camp can be mask-free: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance for children at summer camps, saying fully vaccinated staff and campers may go without masks, except where required by local regulations or business/workplace policy. Unvaccinated children can also go without masks most of the time when they are outside. The CDC advice noted that it will be okay for camps to be supportive of staff or campers who choose to continue to wear a mask. At press time, the state Department of Health and Public Health – Seattle & King County had not yet provided local directives for the CDC recommendations.
Local health officer masking directive still in effect: The directive from Local Health Officer Dr. Duchin, issued last week, will remain in effect until 70% of King County residents 16 years or older are fully vaccinated. At press time, the County was around 65% fully vaccinated. The directive strongly encourages continued masking indoors, even by those who have been vaccinated.
Vashon getting vaccinated: On Vashon, 86.2% of residents aged 12 and older have had a first dose of vaccine, and 68.5% have completed their second doses (or are fully vaccinated from one dose of J&J). Vashon has the highest first dose vaccination rate of any King County community.
Emergency Operations Center (EOC): Vashon’s pandemic emergency response was activated 14 months and three weeks ago (449 days). Our current operational priorities are health, food security, housing security, and economic recovery, as established by the Incident Commander, Fire Chief Charlie Krimmert, and approved by the VashonBePrepared Board.
MRC/EOC: Planning and support continue for a series of mobile vaccination clinics. See the Vaccination Availability section for details of pop-up clinics scheduled this week. Second-dose vaccinations will be taking place in the coming weeks at the school district to complete vaccinations before school lets out, getting students ready for summer activities.
EOC: The Plans Section has been working with the currently activated volunteer teams to look ahead to demobilization, as Vashon vaccination rates continue to rise and disease rates remain at a steady low level. The teams hope to be able to wind down pandemic response activities to a monitoring/standby level by the end of June. A decision will soon be made whether to peg the reduced activity level to the Governor’s full reopening order set for June 30 or to take that step sooner if the statewide first dose vaccination rate reaches 70% before then. EOC Drill Night took place this week, for the first time in nearly 15 months. Attendance was available both in-person and online. The session focused on lessons learned from the pandemic activation. The After-Action Review will inform planning for the Cascadia Rising 2022 earthquake exercise next year, as well as the new Community Emergency Operations Plan that is currently being drafted.
Volunteers: For the last full week reporting period, 41 volunteers contributed 433 hours of work to VashonBePrepared’s pandemic emergency response. That brings the total contributed hours to nearly 30,200 since the activation began. At the FEMA reimbursement grant rate of $31.72/hour, VashonBePrepared volunteers have delivered almost $957,850 of contributed in-kind value. VashonBePrepared gives thanks to the staff and volunteers of local social services agencies for their many hours of extra work logged during the pandemic in support of the community.
This information is compiled from the Situation Reports produced by the EOC Situation Section and provided to The Beachcomber to help islanders stay informed and safe. To receive reports and other emergency information emails, go to VoiceofVashon.org/alertsignup.