News for the Week of January 4

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News highlights for the week of January 4.

City Receives CARES Act Grant to Reinstate Youth and Family Services Positions. At the January 6 Regular Meeting, the City Council voted to accept a $243,000 grant from the WA State Dept. of Commerce Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Fund, supported by the CARES Act. Seven school-based Counselors and one Emergency Assistance Coordinator have been restored to full-time for the entire 2021-2022 biennium. Click here to read more.

Inslee announces Healthy Washington–Roadmap to Recovery. On Tuesday, Gov. Jay Inslee announced “Healthy Washington — Roadmap to Recovery,” a COVID-19 phased recovery plan. Beginning on January 11, the state will follow a regional recovery approach with every region beginning in Phase 1. Read more here.

Washington Vaccine Prioritization: Phase 1 Tiers A and B. On January 6, the State DOH released guidance for the next phase of COVID-19 vaccination. The department worked closely with the Governor’s Office to finalize prioritization for phase 1B, which is broken up into four separate tiers. It’s important to note that Washington is still in phase 1A of vaccinations, and will continue to be for the next few weeks. Click here for more information on groups eligible for vaccination in phase 1A and 1B.

Straight Talk About the New Variant COVID-19 Strain. A compilation of tweets from Dr. Jeff Duchin, Chief Health Officer posted on January 2nd on the new COVID-19 strain. Click here to read more.

New survey shows how COVID-19 is impacting basic needs, mental health, and social supports in King County. The coronavirus pandemic has brought dramatic changes to our lives – beyond the illness and death directly caused by the virus. Rising unemployment, increased needs for food assistance, and remote schooling are all economic and social impacts of COVID-19 that go beyond the daily counts of new cases or deaths. New data from the Washington State Community Recovery Oriented Needs Assessment (CORONA) survey show how widespread these impacts are. Click here to learn more.

Inslee extends proclamation related to COVID-19; two others expire. Gov. Jay Inslee today updated Proclamation 20-49, which generally prohibits garnishment for consumer debt in certain circumstances, by replacing the specific reference to CARES Act stimulus payments with ‘federal stimulus payments’. This is a technical update. No other changes were made. This proclamation expires Jan. 19, as previously approved by the Legislature. Proclamation 20-58 waiving/suspending the legal requirement that employers pay shared work benefits and Proclamation 20-63 directing DSHS to expand the Family Emergency Assistance Program expired.

Video Update from the City Manager. Click here to watch City Manager Jessi Bon’s January 5 update on the latest COVID-19 information and update on City services.

January 8 Situation Report. Click here for highlights and information from the 44th week of the City’s response to the pandemic.

Vaccine News

King County COVID-19 Vaccine Data At-a-Glance. Page updated on Tuesdays:

  • Vaccine doses allocated to 70 facilities in King County: 107,925
  • King County residents who have received at least one dose of vaccine: 35,655
  • Vaccine doses allocated to Public Health – Seattle & King County: 3,900
  • Vaccine doses given by Public Health – Seattle & King County: 2,860

Health insurers to waive copays and deductibles for COVID-19 vaccines. Most health insurers in Washington state have signaled their intent to immediately waive all cost-sharing for COVID-19 vaccinations. Policyholders will be covered regardless of where they receive the vaccination. Read the full news releases here.

COVID-19 vaccine distribution update from the Washington State Department of Health. The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) continues to make progress with their COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration efforts. As of Tuesday, January 5, 425,900 doses of vaccine had been delivered to the state, which includes allocations from both Moderna and Pfizer. Of that supply, providers have reported 110,225 total doses of vaccine administered since phase 1A began in mid-December. There is up to a three-day lag in data reported to the state database, so the actual total may be higher. These numbers also include doses set aside for long-term care facilities. The state also announced decisions on phase 1B groups plans. For more information click here.

School News

Kindergartners Return to In-Person Learning. MISD successfully welcomed back kindergarten to buildings on January 6 with all required safety measures in place. Click here for more.

COVID-19 Reporting

Latest numbers. The Department of Health reported a total of 253,401 confirmed cases as of 11:59 pm on January 6. There have been 3,634 COVID-19 deaths in Washington. In Mercer Island, there have been 388 positive cases reported as of January 7. For that latest city and county data, click here.

January 7, 2021 data note from WA DOH. Total case counts may include up to 550 duplicates and negative test results data are incomplete from November 21-30, 2020 and December 23 through today. Thus, percent positivity (Testing tab) and case counts should be interpreted with caution. The Epidemiologic Curves tab is the most accurate representation of COVID activity and is updated daily as new cases are identified and duplicates are resolved.

Last Call…

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