News for the Week of January 18

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News highlights for the week of January 18.

State Opens COVID Vaccinations To Phase 1b. On Monday, January 18, Gov. Inslee announced that all older adults in Washington state over the age of 65 are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. People 50 and older who live in multigenerational households are also eligible if they meet certain conditions. Learn more about the expanded vaccine eligibility guidance. Collectively, these groups are known as Phase 1b - Tier 1. Due to limited supply of vaccine, not everyone will be able to access a vaccine right away, and you may experience delays due to the very high volume of inquiries. Access will improve as the supply chain widens and providers across King County receive more doses. Mobile vaccination teams are also reaching out to highest risk older adults, including those residing in adult family homes. Larger retirement homes and assisted living facilities already have vaccination programs underway.

How to Get Vaccinated

At this time, Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) recommends the following options if you believe you are currently eligible.

  • Call your doctor’s office or health care provider
  • Or use Washington State’s new online Phase Finder tool
  • Or call the State COVID Hotline at 1-800-525-0127

COVID-19 in Washington State: One Year Later. The first case of COVID-19 was announced in Washington state on January 21, 2020. This was the first time anyone had detected novel coronavirus in the United States. This day marked the beginning of our state’s response. Click here for the full article.

Inslee extends 26 proclamations relating to COVID-19. Gov. Jay Inslee issued extensions of 26 emergency proclamations, which were extended by the Legislature on January 15 with the passage of Senate Concurrent Resolution 8402. Read more here.

Job search requirements continue to be suspended during pandemic. The State Legislature voted to continue the suspension of job search requirements until the State of Emergency is withdrawn. This means you can continue to answer “no” to the job search question on your weekly claim until the suspension is lifted. Read more here.

Video Update from the City Manager. On January 19, the City Council meeting, City Manager Jessi Bon provided an update to the Council and community. Watch the update here.

January 22 Situation Report. For highlights and information from the 46th week of the City’s response to the pandemic click here. Note: The City is moving to one SitRep a month beginning in February. The January 22 report will be the final SitRep for January. Next report will be published on February 5.

Vaccine News

When is it your turn to get the COVID-19 vaccine? The COVID-19 vaccine is here. The vaccine is one of the best strategies we have now to protect ourselves and our loved ones from the virus that defined 2020. Eventually every adult and teen in Washington who wants the vaccine will be able to get one this year, but, for now, there is a limited supply. Read more about the vaccine roll out here.

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

Vaccine distribution update from the DOH. On January 13, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) shared key updates on our COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration efforts. Click here for the release.

Washington's new vaccine dashboard will offer new window into progress. The state, in partnership with Microsoft AI for Health, announced a new vaccine data tab now available on the DOH dada dashboard. Check out the latest state-wide data here.

What to Expect After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine. COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you from getting COVID-19. You may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. Click here for common side effects and more.

School News

MISD Hybrid In-Person Learning Timeline. MISD welcomed back first graders to in-person learning on Tuesday and kindergarteners began hybrid learning the week of January 4. The MISD hybrid learning schedule has grades 2-3 returning to in-person learning the week of February 8. For more on the schedule visit the Learning Forward page at

Updated message from Public Health regarding return to in-person learning. Feelings of fear and uncertainty in response to planning for expanded in-person instruction during the pandemic are very real for many people, and understandable given the unfamiliar and evolving nature of the COVID-19 outbreak. Click here for the full message from Dr. Jeff Duchin.

Updated guidance documents for King County Schools COVID-19 Response Toolkit. Public Health has developed the King County Schools COVID-19 Response Toolkit to support schools as they reopen for in-person instruction. This guidance is intended to supplement State guidance and resources with local contact tracing and COVID-19 response guidance. Click here for more info.

COVID-19 Reporting

Latest numbers. The Department of Health reported a total of 283,188 confirmed cases as of 11:59 pm on January 20. There have been 4,065 COVID-19 deaths in Washington. In Mercer Island, there have been 421 positive cases reported as of January 21. For that latest city and county data, click here.

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