News for the Week of November 30

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News and highlights for the week of November 30.

MIYFS Parent Support Series Continues. YFS is again partnering with PTA Parent Edge to offer two free online mental health presentations on December 8 and 9. For more info visit http://miparentedge.org/.

Video Update from the City Manager. Click here to watch City Manager Jessi Bon’s December 1 update on the latest COVID-19 information and update on City services.

December 4 Situation Report. Click here for highlights and information from the 39th week of the City’s response to the pandemic.

Top Headlines

Washington state and King County adopting CDC’s new quarantine guidelines. On December 3, the DOH announced that it is adopting the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to reduce quarantine for people who have been exposed to COVID-19. Although both the Washington State Department of Health and CDC currently recommend a quarantine period of 14 days, there are circumstances that allow for a shortened quarantine. Click here to learn more.

WA Notify: New COVID Exposure Notification App. On Monday, Governor Inslee announced that Washington residents have a new way to help stop the spread of COVID-19. WA Notify(External link) is a completely private app for smartphones that can inform people if they have been exposed to COVID-19 by another app user who later tests positive. Click here for more on how the app works.

Inslee updates restrictions for religious and faith based organizations. Gov. Jay Inslee updated restrictions for religious and faith based organizations. The update clarifies that religious and faith-based organizations can hold outdoor services with up to 200 individuals, regardless of location, so long as physical distancing is followed and face coverings are worn. This modification expands where outdoor services can be held. Read the full guidance document here.

Information for Businesses

Applications open for new round of state Working Washington business grants. Small businesses struggling to survive the impact of COVID-19 can apply now for up to $20,000 in a new round of $50 million in state Working Washington grants. Priority is focused on businesses with annual revenues of $5 million or less in 2019 and those most impacted by the recent public health measures, as well as businesses in sectors that have experienced significant, cumulative impacts. Examples include full-service restaurants, fitness centers, bowling alleys and music and event venues. Information and applications for this third round of Working Washington Business Grants are available through an online portal on the Washington State Department of Commerce website at www.commerce.wa.gov/bizgrants. Commerce encourages businesses to apply by Dec. 11. Read the full news release here.

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 its COVID-19 vaccine distribution planning efforts. The State is hopeful they will have a vaccine to begin administering by mid-December. The federal government has given an estimate of 62,400 doses of the Pfizer vaccine for our initial allocation. They have also shared that the State should receive an estimated total of around 200,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine by the end of December. Regular weekly shipments should begin in January. Click here to continue reading.

This Week in Operation Warp Speed. The US Department of Defense issued an update on the initiatives, actions, and accomplishments across Operation Warp Speed. Click here to learn more about vaccine and therapeutics development, manufacturing, distribution, and more.

COVID-19 vaccine fact page (available in 17 languages). While we wait for vaccines to be approved, Public Health – Seattle & King County is working with the Washington State Department of Health on plans, procedures, and systems for eventual vaccine distribution. Click here for the fact pages.

Resources

Join Becky Reitzes from Public Health – Seattle & King County in Zoom conversation. The conversation will be on the Zoom platform where Becky will discuss the basics of the virus and how to stay safe during the holidays. Please register by 12pm on Dec. 8 to receive a Zoom invite. Click here for more.

Seattle-Area Emergency Food Resources Map. There are resources across King County to provide emergency food during the COVID-19 pandemic. Find food banks, meals to go, and student meals through the Seattle-Area Emergency Food Resources Map.

Jobs with King County Available. The jobs website gets updated weekly with new available positions. If you don't see a role that meets your interest and qualifications, bookmark the site and check back at a future date to see what's available.

Coping with COVID: Developing resilience. Information about mental health and self-care has been popping up everywhere as we collectively cope with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Buzzwords keep showing up to describe what people are going through right now: “burnout,” “compassion fatigue,” and “resilience.” Understanding these experiences can help us care for ourselves in the months ahead, read more here.

Ways to Help

Support Local Families! The YFS Winter Holiday Gift program supports local families experiencing economic insecurity by helping provide gifts or a special holiday meal. The need this year is greater than ever. We’re getting close to our goal to help the 50 Mercer Island families, including 90 children under the age of 18, who are supported by the program. $9,416.58 of the $13,000 goal has been received. Please help us close this gap by visiting http://www.miyfs.org to donate online or checks can be made out to the MIYFS Foundation and be deposited (in an envelope) in the secure white lockbox in the City Hall parking lot.

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