News for the Week of October 19

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News and headlines for the week of October 19.

Relief Grants Available for MI Businesses and Organizations. On October 20, the Mercer Island City Council unanimously approved a new grant program to support Mercer Island businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19. Apply for a relief grant today!

MI Thrift Shop Resumes Donation Collections (New Process). Beginning October 31, the City’s Thrift Shop will resume accepting donations by temporarily relocating all donation center operations to the Mercer Island Community and Event Center (8236 SE 24th Street). This will allow more space for processing and the ability to quarantine all donated items. Initially, donation hours will be on Saturdays only, from 10:00am-3:00pm. Visit the Thrift Shop website for all of the details!

Resource: King County launches new webpage on flu resources for older adults and people with disabilities. Why is it important to get a flu shot this year? Getting a flu shot will make it easier for you and your primary care provider to decide how to treat any viral infection this winter. There is a lot of overlap between flu symptoms and early COVID-19 symptoms. If you have any symptoms and you have had the flu vaccine, that will be useful information to help decide on the best course of testing and treatment for you. Free to low-cost flu vaccine is available in King County. Learn more at www.kingcounty.gov/findaclinic.

8 Things to Know about Vaccine Planning. There is currently no authorized or approved vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the United States; however, the U.S. government’s Operation Warp Speed program has been working since the pandemic started to make a COVID-19 vaccine available as soon as possible. There may be a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines before the end of 2020. If there is limited supply, some groups may be recommended to get a COVID-19 vaccine first. Find out the 8 things you need to know about vaccine planning here.

Washington’s ‘Interim COVID-19 Vaccination Plan’ submitted to CDC. The Washington State Department of Health submitted its interim vaccination plan for COVID-19 vaccine distribution to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by the stated deadline of October 16, 2020. Click here for the interim plan.

100,000. On October 22, the State reported the 100,000th Washingtonian diagnosed with COVID-19. A sad and sobering milestone. Click here for more.

Concern that climb in cases means ‘fall surge’ is starting; Experts say we must act now to reverse trend. Data from the Washington State Department of Health show that case numbers in western Washington counties are climbing at an alarming rate, near or beyond previous peaks in some areas. As cases in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties continue to trend sharply upward, health officials warn we may now be entering the fall surge. Read the full news release here.

Safer Gatherings: Coping While Apart. During normal times, the fall and winter months are wonderful times to gather. So, limiting and changing the way in which we gather with family and friends isn’t easy. It may cause feelings of stress, anxiety or depression. This time of year, it’s important that we practice self-care and support others who may be feeling lonely or isolated. For more information and tips on safer gatherings this fall, visit coronavirus.wa.gov/gatherings.

Travel during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Travel increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. Your chances of getting COVID-19 while traveling also depend on whether you and those around you take steps to protect yourself and others, such as wearing masks and staying 6 feet away from people outside your household. Airports, bus stations, train stations, and rest stops are all places travelers can be exposed to the virus in the air and on surfaces. These are also places where it can be hard to keep your distance from others. Click here for more information.

Resource: King County is hiring – join the COVID-19 response team. See latest job opportunities the County is offering related to managing the pandemic. Visit their main jobs homepage for a list of all other job opportunities with Public Health - Seattle & King County.

Resource: WIC Helps Families in Many Ways. Washington WIC gives families access to nutritious food and provides health screening, risk assessment, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and referrals to health and social services. The program provides essential services for pregnant people, new and breastfeeding moms, infants, and children under five. Most pregnant people and young children on Medicaid or Basic Food (SNAP) qualify for WIC services. Given layoffs and other economic consequences related to COVID-19, people may be seeking WIC services for the first time. WIC has capacity and welcomes new families. To find WIC services in your area: Text "WIC" to 96859, visit ParentHelp123's Resource Finder, or call the Help Me Grow WA Hotline at 1-800-322-2588.

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