News for the Week of April 5

News highlights for the week of April 5.

Latest Numbers. In Mercer Island, there have been 518 positive cases reported as of April 9. DOH reported a total of 348,431 confirmed cases as of April 7. There have been 5,316 COVID-19 deaths in Washington. For the latest city and county data, click here.

Cases of COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough confirmed in Washington state. DOH is investigating reports of people who tested positive for COVID-19 more than two weeks after being fully vaccinated. Scientists call these "vaccine breakthrough" cases, which are expected with any vaccine. Read the full news release here.

Governor updates Healthy Washington criteria for county phases. On April 9, the Governor updated and clarified the criteria for counties to stay in Phase 3 of the state's Healthy Washington pandemic reopening plan. Under the plan that took effect in March, counties are individually evaluated every three weeks. The first evaluation occurs this Monday, and changes to a county's phase status take effect Friday, April 16. In advance of each county's evaluation, the governor established that: In order to move down one phase a county must fail both metrics for case counts and hospitalizations (under the previous plan, a county only needed to fail one metric to move back one phase). Click this link to learn more.

COVID-19 data show concerning increases in disease activity. DOH released the latest statewide situation report on COVID-19, which shows increasing transmission and daily case counts. At the Governor’s April 8 press conference, he strongly suggested that some counties will revert back to Phase 2 at Monday’s check-in. Watch the press conference here.

Situation Reports. The City has moved to monthly Situation Reports (SitReps), available the first Friday of the month. The next SitRep will be available the afternoon of May 7. Click here to catch up on the latest information and reports.

Information for Businesses

Small Business Administration's Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program launches this week. The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. The application portal opened April 8. Get more information here.

Vaccine News

King County COVID-19 Vaccine Data At-a-Glance. Page updated daily here.

COVID-19 vaccine distribution update from DOH. As of April 5, more than 3.7M doses of vaccine have been given across the state. Washington is currently averaging 59,592 vaccine doses given each day. Read the full update here.

School News

Guidance for graduation and other school ceremonies during the COVID-19 pandemic updated. Guidance for Graduation Ceremonies during the COVID-19 Pandemic outlines graduation models. It leaves decisions to school boards and superintendents to ensure safety and physical distancing. Ceremonies must align with the Governor's Healthy Washington Roadmap to Recovery guidance.

COVID-19 outbreaks in Washington state K-12 schools. Between Aug. 1, 2020, and Feb. 28, 2021, 134 COVID-19 outbreaks and 526 COVID-19 cases in K-12 schools were reported to DOH. Read the full March 31 report here.

Resources

FEMA to provide financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses. Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) will provide financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020. Applications will be accepted beginning April 12. Read more details here.

Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Home: Guidelines from the CDC. Cleaning with a household cleaner that contains soap or detergent reduces the amount of germs on surfaces and decreases risk of infection from surfaces. Disinfection to reduce transmission of COVID-19 at home is likely not needed unless someone in your home is sick or if someone who is positive for COVID-19 has been in your home within the last 24 hours. Learn more about how to follow recommended steps for cleaning and disinfecting your home when someone is sick here.

Supporting your child’s transition back into the classroom. As children make the trek back to school, King County Public Health reminds us that it’s important to be mindful of how the transition will affect them. While getting students back into the classroom is certainly progress in reopening our state, and good news for many parents, kids may react in all sorts of ways. Click here for the article.

Last Call…

Tax Day for individuals extended to May 17. It’s okay, you can breathe a temporary sigh of relief! The IRS has extended the filing deadline to May 17. Individual taxpayers can also postpone federal income tax payments for the 2020 tax year due on April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This postponement applies to individual taxpayers, including individuals who pay self-employment tax. Penalties, interest and additions to tax will begin to accrue on any remaining unpaid balances as of May 17, 2021. Visit the IRS newsroom for more information.

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