Vashon Island: 4 confirmed positive cases, zero deaths (date of last positive test: April 13).
King County: 7,221 confirmed positive cases, 514 deaths.
Washington State: 17,512 confirmed positive cases, 975 deaths.
RE-OPENING PROGRESSThe Vashon Chamber of Commerce has partnered with VashonBePrepared on a series of free back-to-business planning workshops. Businesses attending the virtual workshops on how to safely re-open their establishments will receive a free tool kit including signage, masks, hand sanitizer and other basics. The campaign will be funded by the Vashon COVID Relief Fund.
We are currently in Phase 1 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s four-phase Safe Start plan. The earliest Phase 2 could begin is the week of May 24 but most observers believe Inslee will not launch Phase 2 for most of the state until after the current Stay Home, Stay Safe order runs out on May 31. Phase 2 allows limited capacity opening of many businesses but with some rigorous safety requirements
Inslee’s office has already published Phase 2 requirements for some business types. For example, restaurants will be required to hold customers below 50% occupancy and provide single-use menus. Retail stores during Phase 2 will be required to hold customers below 30% occupancy. Detailed information on requirements and other resources can be found at vashonchamber.com.
Unemployment keeps rising on Vashon, following national and regional trends. The most recent Washington State Employment Security department figures showed 100 new unemployment applications for Vashon, bringing the island total to 1,175, estimated to be more than 20% of the island workforce. The EOC Unemployment Support Branch provides free assistance on obtaining unemployment benefits, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (206) 200-3236.
Public Health Seattle & King County published a new directive strongly urging people to wear fabric face coverings in public places. The directive is for indoor places such as grocery stores and businesses and also outdoors when it’s difficult to maintain six feet apart from others.
Vashon Island Growers Association will not open the Farmers Market this year. Many farmers have been collaborating on multiple offerings at certain farm stands. Find farm stands at tinyurl.com/y9ohf97f.
The Vashon Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated on March 12. Wednesday, May 20 marked day 70 of activation for the all-volunteer emergency response team. Over 50 volunteers have so far logged more than 7,000 hours of work time for the response through the nonprofit, VashonBePrepared.
VashonBePrepared: Emergency response expenditures total $95,000 including three disbursements to island partner organizations (see below), plus emergency operations costs for virus testing, town halls, and the Community Resources Hub. An additional $50,000 has been put in reserve for future testing costs, to sustain any long term effort. Fundraising for the Vashon COVID Relief Fund has reached the halfway mark of the $425,000 goal.
Household and Neighborhood Support Branch: Made final arrangements this week for Disbursement #3 from the Vashon COVID Relief Fund for social service and economic recovery partners. The distributions are made every two weeks and to date, the Relief Fund has paid more than $77,000 for community support to vendors including the Food Bank, Senior Center, VYFS, DOVE Project, the School District, Interfaith Council to Prevent Homelessness, St. Vincent de Paul and Vashon Chamber of Commerce.
Business Support Branch: Partners with the Vashon Chamber of Commerce. A current major project is creating a program of back-to-business workshops including free tool kits to help Vashon businesses reopen. A series of business-to-business round tables have been held with a range of Vashon business types to help design the contents of the tool kits that are being funded by the Vashon COVID Relief Fund.
Unemployed Worker Support Branch: Tracks Vashon unemployment filings and offers consultation interviews. The branch has conducted more than 275 consultations with islanders, helping them file for unemployment. The branch has recently added a job counseling service to aid those who are seeking work now or when pandemic restrictions have been eased.
Medical Support Branch: This group is working with EOC Logistics Section on optimizing and possibly relocating the testing site presently based at Mukai. The Vashon Medical Reserve Corps estimates that more than 220 islanders have been tested for COVID-19 so far, about 2 percent of the island population. MRC operations include the Medical Reserve Corps COVID-19 testing project, the PPE Task Force and the Community Care Team Help Line.
This information has been compiled from the daily Situation Reports produced by the EOC Situation Section. Situation Reports are normally internal updates, but for this emergency, VIFR Fire Chief Charlie Krimmert ordered sharing these reports with the public to help islanders stay informed and safe. This partnership with the Beachcomber helps achieve that goal. To receive daily reports and other emergency information emails, go to voiceofvashon.org/alerts.