News for the Week of October 5

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News and headlines for the week of October 5.

Update on vaccine planning from Washington State Department of Health. The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) is making steady progress making plans around an expected COVID-19 vaccine. The department is encouraged by the information the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released on Tuesday clarifying the process for FDA review and licensure of COVID-19 vaccines. For more information, click here.

Governor Relaxes some Phase 2 Activities. On October 6, Governor Inslee announced more activities will be permitted in each county statewide, depending on their specific Recovery Phase including newly relaxed restrictions on movie theaters, restaurants, real estate, youth sports, adult recreation, league games, and more. Click here for details.

Flu Season is Here. According to health officials, the flu vaccine should be considered “essential” this year. While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect our daily lives, autumn brings with it another unwanted visitor – the flu. The presence of both viruses could put more people in the hospital and strain Washington’s health care system. We may not have a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 at this time but we do have one to prevent flu. State health experts want you to take action. Click here for information on how to take action.

Emergency Warning Signs of COVID-19. As we head into cold and flu season, it is important to understand the symptoms of COVID-19 and when to seek medical help. The CDC reminds us to keep an eye on our flu-like symptoms that could be COVID-19. If you or a family member is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately: Trouble breathing, Persistent pain or pressure in the chest, New confusion, Inability to wake or stay awake, Bluish lips or face. Click here for more.

K–12 Internet access program allows more students to learn from home. This week, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) finalized contracts with three internet service providers — Ziply, Presidio, and Comcast — to provide the service to up to 60,000 students and their families through the end of the 2020–21 school year at no cost to the family. The program is reserved for students who are low-income and did not have internet access before August 2020. To participate in the program, potentially eligible families should receive information, including a promo/offer code from a provider, from their local school district. Families may also contact their district to request information. More information from OSPI is available here.

Grants available for art and cultural organizations. The Washington State Department of Commerce and the Washington Arts Commission have partnered to provided federal CARES Act funding to art and cultural organizations impacted by COVID-19. Grants are available up to $10,000 each, no funding match is required.

Technical assistance for minority and non-English speaking business owners. Non-English speaking and other multi-ethnic small business owners are closing at disproportionately higher rates due to COVID-19. These business owners now have more places to seek help. Commerce has partnered with 20 organizations across the state to providing targeted technical assistance to help with access to funding and other help. Click here for more.

Supporting others in crisis. Unlike other health emergencies, mental health crises don't often have consistent signs, instructions, or resources on how to help or what to expect. Learning about mental health is an important first step. Read more here.

October 9 Situation Report.. Click here for highlights and information from the 32nd week of the City’s response to the pandemic.

More updated regulations/guidance from the County and/or the Governor’s office:

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