News for the Week of March 1

News highlights for the week of March 1.

Latest Numbers. In Mercer Island, there have been 476 positive cases reported as of March 4. DOH reported a total of 323,839 confirmed cases as of March 3. There have been 5,032 COVID-19 deaths in Washington. For the latest city and county data, click here.

New guide for securing vaccine appointments. Click here for a visual guide explains how to make, change or cancel a high volume site appointment online. This document is housed under the "Getting vaccinated in King County" webpage.

Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup Approves Johnson & Johnson Vaccine. On Wednesday, the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup approved the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine. Click here to read the announcement.

A New COVID-19 Vaccine is Almost Here. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently granted emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Johnson & Johnson (J&J), or Janssen, COVID-19 vaccine. The J&J vaccine is the third vaccine is authorized for emergency use in the United States. And its arrival will soon make an impact on our state’s supply. Click here to read more from the State Department of Health.

WA DOH Statement on Federal School and Childcare Vaccination Plan. On Tuesday, federal and WA state officials announced a directive to all states to get every pre-K educator, K-12 teacher, and childcare worker at least one shot of COVID-19 vaccine in the month of March. Gov. Inslee announced that educators and childcare workers were immediately added to the current vaccine group – Phase 1B-Tier1. Read more here.

New Mass Vaccination Site at Lumen Field in the Works. On Monday, Seattle City officials announced that a mass vaccination site is in the works for Lumen Field (formerly Century Link Field). The site will be open to the entire region and officials anticipate that the site could administer 21,000 vaccinations daily. Click here for the Komo News article.

Air travel proclamation updated. Gov. Jay Inslee updated proclamation 20-83 regarding quarantine requirements for air travel now requiring air passengers to obtain a negative viral COVID-19 test within 3 days of travel or to present proof of recovery from COVID-19. Read the full news release here.

All Regions to Remain in Phase 2 - Rollbacks Paused. On February 25, the Governor announced that he was pausing any region moving back down to Phase 1, due in large part to how well the entire state is doing to bring the number of cases down. The State is in the process of answering how and when regions will move into the next Phase.

March 5 Situation Report. For highlights and information from the 52nd week of the City’s response to the pandemic click here.

Information for Businesses

SBA prioritizes smallest of small businesses in the Paycheck Protection Program. The U.S. Small Business Administration are taking steps with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to further promote equitable relief for America's small businesses, offering PPP loans to businesses with fewer than 20 employees and sole proprietors only beginning Feb. 24 through March 10, 2021. Read more here.

Employee screening tool for restaurants and other food businesses. Scroll midway down page to the 10 measures to help you comply with COVID-19 requirements for food establishments and select the first one for the employee screening tool now available in Chinese (Simplified), Korean, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese. Click here for the doc.

Updated document/COVID-19 plan requirements for vendors and Farmers Markets. Click here for the document (also found on the main Farmers Market permit homepage).

Reminders for safe building reopenings after COVID-19 closures. Low or no water use in vacant or underused buildings increases the risk to plumbing systems and potential for Legionella. Read the full news release here.

Vaccine News

Video: Why should BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) people communities trust these vaccines? Watch as Dr. Michele Andrasik, Senior Scientist in the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, discusses equitable inclusion of BIPOC people in the COVID-19 vaccine trials and emphasizes the importance of getting vulnerable communities vaccinated.

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

More than 70,000 COVID-19 vaccines given at state-led mass vaccination sites. Thanks to the hard work of DOH staff, the Washington National Guard, and local and private sector partners, 70,774 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered at the four state-led mass vaccination sites as of Feb. 27. Read the full news release here.

Resources

Isolation and Quarantine Calculator. If you test positive for COVID-19, do you know how long to isolate yourself to keep others safe from infection? What if you learn you are a close contact of someone who tested positive — do you know how long to quarantine? What date can you point to on your calendar that will signal the end of your isolation or quarantine? The Washington state Department of Health recently created an Isolation and Quarantine Calculator tool to take the guess work out of it. Visit www.doh.wa.gov/CovidCalculator and follow the instructions based on your particular situation.

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COVID-19 information pages are no longer updated. 

See the CDC's COVID website for current information and trends. 

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