News for the Week of December 14

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News highlights for the week of December 14.

Vaccines Arrive; Watch Fred Hutch Webinar on Vaccine Safety and Development. On December 14, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Washington and first doses will be administered starting this week. Click here for more.

First Doses of Vaccine Arrive in King County. It’s a remarkable milestone that the first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine are on the ground in our community. Public Health – Seattle & King County is one of several healthcare providers receiving limited quantities of COVID-19 vaccine this week. Hospital systems in King County will receive approximately 17,000 doses of vaccine in this first distribution, with Public Health scheduled to receive 3,900 doses. Read more at Public Heath Insider.

Updated vaccine allocation numbers. The Department of Health was contacted by Operation Warp Speed yesterday evening and told that Washington’s Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine allocation will be 44,850 doses rather than the 74,100 doses the state expected to receive. The state was not given an explanation as to why the allocation was reduced, and do not currently have allocation numbers beyond next week. The state still expects to receive the remaining Pfizer-BioNTech doses we ordered for this first week (62,400 total doses). Read the full news release here.

More doses of vaccine on the way as statewide vaccination effort continues. On Wednesday, the DOH announced that it anticipates receiving tens of thousands more doses of COVID-19 vaccine later this week. 31,200 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine have already arrived in Washington, and the state will be getting 29,250 additional doses later this week. These doses will be delivered to a total of 39 sites covering 29 counties. Additionally, 1950 total doses will go to three tribes or Urban Indian Health Programs this week. Read more here.

COVID-19 safety behaviors remain necessary, even as vaccinations begin. As the first COVID-19 vaccinations begin this week, the State DOH is reminding people that it is very important to continue taking measures to prevent the spread of the virus. Click here for more from the DOH.

Winter Holidays. The safest way to celebrate winter holidays is to celebrate at home with the people who live with you. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. With COVID-19 cases on the rise, the safest way to celebrate holidays is to stay home and celebrate with the people who live with you. Although the pandemic has been stressful and isolating, getting together with family and friends who do not live with you can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu. This holiday season, consider how your plans can be modified to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep your friends, families, and communities healthy. Click here for more information and fun ideas!

Information for Businesses

Free safety supplies available for bars and restaurants. The January 2021 schedule of locations where bar and restaurant owners can pick up free COVID-19 safety supplies is now available and includes facemasks, gloves, thermometer, hand sanitizer, disinfecting solutions, posters and educational materials. Click here for more information.

Why you should be cautious when you're taking a break at work. There's no respite from the fight against COVID-19 – not even in the workplace breakroom. In fact, the place workers go to relax on the job can be a high-risk location for transmission of the coronavirus. Read how one King County business has tackled the COVID-19 era breakroom.

School News

Inslee announces updated school guidance for in-person instruction. On Wednesday, Gov. Jay Inslee and Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal announced an update in the metrics used to inform local school district decisions for in-person learning. They also announced $3 million from set aside funds to be distributed to implement health and safety protocols. The update to the school health and safety toolkit comes after recent data showed limited COVID-19 transmission in school environments when state health and safety protocols are implemented. Click here for more information on the Governor’s announcement.

State releases updated guidance around in-person learning. The DOH released updated metrics to help local leaders and school officials make decisions about in-person learning and the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in the school environment. Changes to the metrics include revisions to the COVID-19 incidence rates to consider when making decisions about who to prioritize for in-person learning. We’ve also included further clarification that local leaders should consider test positivity and trends in cases and hospitalizations to inform decisions about in-person learning, in addition to what they’re already considering. Click here for the metrics.

Resources

Coping with COVID: Healthy communication. During the December holidays in the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many opportunities for tough conversations with family and friends. We may have differing opinions on how to celebrate the holidays while keeping ourselves and our families safe, and it can be hard to share those opinions when you want to keep the peace. Click here to learn about what’s happening with our emotions and behaviors, and skills for having challenging conversations during stressful times. Catch up on the full Coping with COVID series here.

COVID-19 Reporting

Antigen positive test results now included in DOH dashboards. Starting Wednesday, the DOH began including antigen-positive COVID-19 cases in the COVID-19 Data Dashboard and the COVID-19 Risk Assessment Dashboard. Antigen-positive testing data had previously been included in a separate weekly report. With this inclusion, the DOH notes that reporting antigen-positive test results will provide a more accurate picture of community transmission and help guide efforts to respond to COVID-19. Click here to learn more about the updated reporting for antigen-positive testing.

Last Call…

December 18 Situation Report. Click this link for highlights and information from the 41st week of the City’s response to the pandemic. This will be the final Situation Report for the year. We will resume updates in January.


Due to the Christmas holiday, there will be no news highlights next week. Look for the next news highlights on December 31.

Happy Holidays!

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