News for the Week of September 28

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Lots of news this week! Expand this article for the latest headlines, resources, and information for the week of September 28.

Finding Mercer Island COVID-19 Data. King County has updated their data dashboards again and things have shifted a bit. If you are looking for Mercer Island specific information, click on the City-level tab on the daily summary page (there is a menu just above the charts and directly above the small King County logo). Once the City-level page finishes loading, select Mercer Island from the drop-down list of cities to compare. Numbers as of September 30 (King County staff update data between 3-5pm): 181 positive cases (up 2 from the previous day), 5 deaths (no new), 15 hospitalizations (no new), 8,352 all test results (64 new), and 5,911 people tested (33 new).

COVID-19 Literature Review. The UW’s Alliance for Pandemic Preparedness provides the public with a daily newsletter summarizing the latest COVID-19 scientific literature. If you are looking for more in-depth information on the pandemic, check it out today.

Health officials investigating COVID-19 outbreak at Salish Lodge & Spa in Snoqualmie. Public Health – Seattle & King County is investigating an outbreak of COVID-19 associated with the Salish Lodge & Spa in Snoqualmie. Public Health is recommending anyone who visited the Salish Lodge & Spa overnight or as a guest during the day get tested for COVID-19 and monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. Salish Lodge & Spa is working with Public Health to implement recommendations. Follow this link for the full press release.

Washington prepares to deploy new rapid COVID-19 tests. Within the next five to ten days the Department of Health will receive and distribute the first batch of Abbott BinaxNOW antigen test kits for COVID-19 from the federal government. These are rapid tests that can return results in as little as 15 minutes. The first batch will include 149,000 kits, and the state anticipates receiving nearly 2.3 million total tests between now and December. Learn more here.

Resource: COVID-19 Child Care Support. Do you need help with child care costs? You may qualify for financial assistance to pay for child care if you live or work in King County, fall within income guidelines and your income, work schedule, or access to child care has been negatively impacted by COVID-19 or you are an essential worker. Click here for more info.

COVID-19 in Children and Teens: Information for parents and caregivers about COVID-19 in children and teens. While fewer children have been sick with COVID-19 compared to adults, children can be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, can get sick from COVID-19, and can spread the virus that causes COVID-19 to others. Children, like adults, who have COVID-19 but have no symptoms (“asymptomatic”) can still spread the virus to others. Follow this link to read on.

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. While we don’t yet have a vaccine to prevent COVID-19, we do have one to prevent flu. State health experts want you to take action. Learn more here.

Resource: Free Vaccination Clinics in Kent on October 7 and October 17. Public Health – Seattle & King County is organizing two drive-thru clinics at the ShoWare Center in Kent on Wednesday, October 7 and Saturday, October 17 (previously October 10) in collaboration with the Seattle Visiting Nurse Association (SVNA) and the Kent School District. We’ll be offering all vaccines required for K-12 school entry (Hep B, Varicella, Polio, MMR, Tdap, DTaP plus flu vaccine to kids ages 4-18). All vaccinations will be provided at no cost and available to all kids regardless of insurance status. SVNA will be providing adult flu (at no cost to uninsured and underinsured community members). The clinics are open to all King County residents. For more info visit the Find a Vaccination Clinic webpage.

Antigen test results now being reported weekly. On September 30, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) started publishing a weekly report of positive antigen test results. Antigen tests can provide results in minutes, compared to much longer wait times for most molecular test results. Some antigen testing is already happening across the state, and that will only increase in the coming months, with more than 2 million Abbott BinaxNOW™ tests reportedly on the way from the federal government. Click here for more information.

Higher education's response to COVID-19. This fall, higher education institutions are grappling with how to balance quality education with the health and safety of students, faculty and staff. Collaboration between Public Health and local colleges has allowed for questions, discussion, and support as they determine how to achieve this balance. For the full article, click here.

Updated Recommendations for Pregnancy, Breastfeeding, and Caring for Newborns. Based on what we know at this time, pregnant people might be at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared to non-pregnant people. Additionally, pregnant people with COVID-19 may be at increased risk for other adverse outcomes, such as preterm birth. Click here for more info.

Transmission at a crossroads in Washington state going into fall. On September 25, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) released the latest statewide situation report. The report shows COVID-19 case counts continue to decrease overall in both eastern and western Washington, though some counties are experiencing plateaus or increases in disease activity. Click here for more information.

Discrepancy found in state epidemiology report. The Department of Health reported 992 new cases of COVID-19 on September 25. This includes 486 cases from Clark County that had been previously reported but had not been entered into the state’s data system. DOH and Clark County are actively collaborating to ensure that any remaining discrepancies are resolved promptly. For more on this story click here.

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

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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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