News for the Week of November 23

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News and highlights for the week of November 23.

COVID-19 disease transmission exceedingly high in Washington: three-day cumulative total for cases is over 6,000. The Washington State Department of Health’s (DOH) data report for Monday includes a backlog of cases. So, while we are reporting 6,277 new cases today, that number represents roughly three days’ worth of cases. Click here for the full press release.

COVID-19 testing unavailable at some locations during Thanksgiving holiday. If you are planning to get tested this week, check the schedule for temporary service closures in observance of Thanksgiving and call any of the site locations if you have any questions. Follow this link for more information on testing sites in King County.

Video: As COVID cases skyrocket, an update from Dr. Jeff Duchin. As cases skyrocket and hospitalizations increase, Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County, shared updates on COVID-19 and what the public needs to do to turn the outbreak around. View the video here.

Department of Health urges people to limit Thanksgiving gatherings, not seek screening tests. On Friday evening, the Department of Health (DOH) released a statement discouraging people without symptoms from seeking tests. DOH strongly urges everyone to limit their holiday celebrations to only members of their immediate households. They also encourage anyone with symptoms or close contact with someone who is infected (or suspected to be infected) with COVID-19 to get tested now. For more, click here.

Inslee announces additional COVID-19 financial support. On November 20, Gov. Jay Inslee announced additional financial support funds for families and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The total new economic supports amount to $135 million. Click here for more information.

Mercer Island Updates

Video Update from the City Manager. The next video update will take place during the Tuesday, December 1 City Council Meeting. Watch the update on MITV-21 or YouTube.

Situation Report. Due to the holiday, there will be no SitRep posted on November 27. Click here to get caught up on previous SitReps.

In-Person Learning Update from MISD Supt. Colosky. On November 21, Superintendent Colosky provided another update to the community about a delay in the plan for students to return to in-person. As of November 21, anticipated in-person learning for kindergarten will begin in January. Click here for her update.

Information for Businesses

New SSTAR Program mobile outreach schedule for bars and restaurants. Public Health's Food Protection Program is going mobile and is giving away free safety supplies for bars and restaurants throughout King County. Click here for more information.

New document for food establishment managers: Required Information for COVID Prevention and Control Plan for Restaurants with Close Contacts. Found on the webpage, "When food workers are positive for COVID-19", if you operate a restaurant or other food service facility in King County, you are required to submit a COVID Prevention and Control Plan for approval under specific circumstances.

Vaccine News

COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan update from the Washington State Department of Health. The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) continues to make progress with our COVID-19 vaccine distribution planning efforts, and are hopeful a safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19 will be available before the end of the year. This week we heard encouraging news about a second COVID-19 vaccine candidate. We are excited that there are potentially two very effective vaccines close to being ready for approval. Follow this link for the full update.

Resources

Coping with COVID: It’s not just you. Dealing with COVID-19 has been difficult for everyone. As we move into fall, we face even more challenges: changing weather, schoolwork, holidays and gatherings, and strong political opinions. Feeling stressed or overwhelmed? It’s not just you. The things you’re feeling and experiencing are normal during a disaster, and there are things you can do to cope. To help you navigate this unprecedented time, we are bringing you a podcast series of conversations with experts on many of the topics we’re facing daily. Click here for more.

Ways to Help

YFS Winter Holiday Program. The MIYFS Emergency Assistance Department is planning their annual Holiday program for families experiencing economic insecurity on the Island. The goal is to ensure no child would celebrate their family's winter holiday without a gift or a special holiday meal. The anticipated cost this year to serve 50 families (including 90 children) is $13,000, which will require additional donations to support. Please consider making a donation today at www.miyfs.org/donate.

Keep it local King County. As King County follows statewide temporary restrictions on public gatherings, Public Health - Seattle & King County and King County Executive Constantine is encouraging residents to patronize local businesses. Learn more about how to help here.

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