News for the Week of January 25

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News highlights for the week of January 25.

Latest Numbers. DOH reported a total of 293,978 confirmed cases as of January 27. There have been 4,243 COVID-19 deaths in WA. In Mercer Island, there have been 435 positive cases reported as of January 28. For that latest city and county data, click here.


King County Moves to Phase 2 Beginning Feb. 1. On Thursday, January 28, the DOH announced that based on Governor Jay Inslee’s updated phased reopening plan, the Puget Sound region will move into Phase 2 beginning Monday, February 1. In Phase 2, restrictions on most activities are relaxed, slightly. Restaurants (and bars with food) can have indoor dining at 25% capacity, and gyms/fitness also can operate at 25% capacity (appointments not necessarily required). Click here for more Phase 2 details.

New "Roadmap to Recovery" dashboard. The State DOH, in partnership with Microsoft AI for Health, has launched the new Roadmap to Recovery dashboard that provides a detailed overview of the metrics used for measuring regional progress in the Governor’s “Roadmap to Recovery” phased reopening plan. The dashboard provides a state-wide view as well as regional data. Click this link to view the dashboard.

New COVID-19 Testing Requirements for All Air Passengers Arriving in the United States. If you plan to travel internationally, you will need to get tested no more than 3 days before you travel by air into the United States. You will need to show your negative result to the airline before you board your flight, or be prepared to show documentation of recovery. This can be proof of a recent positive viral test and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel. Click here for more.

Public-private vaccination effort. On Tuesday, the DOH announced the appointment of Mr. Dan Laster as Director of the COVID-19 Vaccine Action Command and Coordination System (VACCS) Center to create public-private partnerships. Microsoft, Starbucks, Kaiser Permanente, SeaMar, and SEIU 1199 agreed to partner with the state to support the vaccine distribution efforts. Full press release here.

FDA: “Beware of alcohol-based sanitizers from Mexico.” The U.S. FDA has issued an alert on alcohol-based sanitizers from Mexico: many have been found to contain a toxic substance known as methanol (wood alcohol). Check your hand sanitizer. Stop using it immediately if it's on this list:

Video Update from the City Manager. At the February 2 City Council meeting, City Manager Jessi Bon will provide an update to the Council and community. Tune in at 5:00pm on the Council’s YouTube Channel to watch the update or view it on MI-TV Channel 21.

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 February 5. Click here to catch up on the latest information and reports.

Information for Businesses

Free safety supplies for restaurants and bars in King County. The Safe Start for Taverns and Restaurants (SSTAR) program continues its mobile outreach to provide free supplies for food establishments including facemasks, gloves, thermometer, hand sanitizer, disinfecting solutions, posters and educational materials. Upcoming giveaway events include:

Farmers Market COVID-19 Plan Requirements updated. The plan for Farmers Market Coordinators, includes information on on how the market will control for health screening, social distancing and sanitation. Click here for more info.

Paycheck Protection Program resumed. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SB), in consultation with the U.S. Treasury Department, reopened the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for First Draw PPP Loans the week of Jan. 11. SBA began accepting applications for Second Draw PPP Loans on Jan. 13. You can find more information regarding application requirements and technical guidance on the Washington State Department of Commerce’s website and the U.S. Small Business Administration’s COVID-19 business relief page.

Vaccine News

Understanding mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines. Messenger RNA vaccines—also called mRNA vaccines—are some of the first COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States. COVID-19 mRNA vaccines give instructions for cells to make a harmless piece of the so-called "spike protein”, which the virus uses to enter cells in the body. After the protein piece is made, the cell breaks down the instructions and gets rid of them. The immune system recognizes that the protein doesn’t belong there and begins making antibodies to protect against future infection. People who get vaccinated gain this protection without having to risk the serious consequences of getting sick with COVID-19. Click here for more.

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

Washington COVID-19 vaccine distribution hits 500,000 total doses administered. Gov. Jay Inslee today announced progress toward the state’s goal of administering 45,000 vaccine doses a day. As of Monday, the state’s current seven-day rolling average was 23,960 doses administered. The governor also announced a record number of COVID-19 vaccines administered in a 24-hour period, with around 40,000 doses reported as of Monday. Washington also officially passed 500,000 vaccine doses administered and reported. Click here to continue reading.

Four mass vaccination sites open statewide this week. The DOH, with assistance from the Washington National Guard and local and private sector partners, is launching four mass vaccination sites throughout the state this week in Kennewick, Ridgefield, Spokane and Wenatchee. Click here for information on mass vaccination sites.

Statement on crossing state lines for vaccine. Given the limited supply of vaccine that is available at this time and our state’s commitment to equitable and fair access to vaccine, the state is requiring that those seeking COVID-19 vaccines in its four mass vaccination sites must either live or work in Washington state. People who register for vaccines at these four sites may be asked to provide one of the following: driver's license or work/school ID; letter with your address, utility bill; statement/letter with a Washington state address; or voucher from an employer, faith-based institution, health care provider, school, or other registered organization or agency, etc. that the person lives or works in Washington state. The vaccine site will not make a copy or record this information in any way. This is only to show that the person currently resides or works in Washington state. Click here for more.

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