COVID-19 Information

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King County is in Healthy Washington Recovery Phase 3

The City of Mercer Island is committed to sharing up-to-date information on the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with the community. These pages share the latest information, resources, and more.

Click on the shortcut buttons below to access the most requested information.


Still not finding what you're looking for? Use the search bar! There is A LOT of information on our coronavirus information and resource pages. If you can't find something, just type the topic in the search bar at the top of the page and you should be able to find it!


King County is in Healthy Washington Recovery Phase 3

The City of Mercer Island is committed to sharing up-to-date information on the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with the community. These pages share the latest information, resources, and more.

Click on the shortcut buttons below to access the most requested information.


Still not finding what you're looking for? Use the search bar! There is A LOT of information on our coronavirus information and resource pages. If you can't find something, just type the topic in the search bar at the top of the page and you should be able to find it!

  • Mercer Island Mobile Vaccine Teams

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    19 Mar 2021
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    Last week, the Mercer Island Fire Department EMT’s started administering the COVID-19 vaccine to eligible Island residents.

    MIFD Mobile Vaccine Teams are assisting mobility-challenged residents or those who have experienced difficulties in securing appointments. This program was made possible with approval by the WA Dept of Health, and supplies and specialized training from Bellevue Fire Department's Paramedics.

    Emergency Management staff have reached out to local long-term care facilities and adult family homes so that they are aware of the availability of this service.

    If you or a loved one (a resident over the age of 65) needs assistance scheduling vaccine appointment, YFS Geriatric Specialist, Marjorie Carlson may be able to help. She can be reached at (206) 275-7752 or marjorie.carlson@mercerisland.gov.

  • News for the Week of March 15

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    19 Mar 2021
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    News highlights for the week of March 15.

    Latest Numbers. In Mercer Island, there have been 486 positive cases reported as of March 19. DOH reported a total of 331,820 confirmed cases as of March 17. There have been 5,168 COVID-19 deaths in Washington. For the latest city and county data, click here.

    Mercer Island Mobile Vaccine Teams. Last week, the Mercer Island Fire Department EMT’s started administering the COVID-19 vaccine to eligible Island residents. MIFD Mobile Vaccine Teams are assisting mobility-challenged residents or those who have experienced difficulties in securing appointments. Emergency Management staff have reached out to local long-term care facilities and adult family homes, but if you or a loved one (a resident over the age of 65) needs assistance scheduling a vaccine appointment, YFS Geriatric Specialist, Marjorie Carlson may be able to help. She can be reached at (206) 275-7752 or marjorie.carlson@mercerisland.gov.

    State Advances Phase 1B2 Vaccine Eligibility; Next Two Vaccine Eligibility Tiers Open March 31. On Wednesday, Washington moved into Phase 1B2. People in Phase 1A, 1B1, and 1B2 can now get vaccinated. For information on who falls into this new phase, the state's new vaccine locator website, and next phases, follow this link. Additionally, people in Phase 1B3 and 1B4 will be eligible for the vaccine beginning March 31. Vaccination appointments will open to anyone age 60 and older, as well as to many workers in congregate settings such as foodservice, manufacturing, and construction. Follow this link for information about these upcoming tiers.

    Phase 3. This coming Monday, March 22, the entire state will move into Phase 3. Phase 3 will allow 50% occupancy in most indoor venues including gyms, restaurants, retail, and theaters. Click here for details from the Governor’s office.

    City Facilities Closed Through June 1. During Tuesday’s City Manager’s Report, Jessi Bon announced that City facilities will remain closed through at least June 1. Those facilities include City Hall, Mercer Island Community and Event Center (MICEC), and the Luther Burbank Admin Building (Municipal court is open for scheduled cases and hearings and following COVID protocols). Staff will re-evaluate as we get closer to June and can assess vaccine eligibility and distribution. Click here for the full City Manager’s report.

    Long-Term Care Visits Now Allowed. Visits at long-term care and nursing home facilities have now resumed. The state eliminated visitation phases, in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the CDC. Outdoor visitation remains the safest, preferred option, but indoor visitation will be permitted for visitors or residents who are fully vaccinated. Compassionate care visits will still be permitted, regardless of vaccination of either party. Click here for the announcement.

    March 19 Situation Report. Given the significant updates to vaccine eligibility, mandate to provide in-person learning at public schools by April, and the statewide move into Phase 3 on March 22, the City is issuing a special SitRep. Click here for highlights and information from the 54th week of the City’s response to the pandemic.

    Information for Businesses

    How to create a COVID-safe work environment. Employers are responsible for reducing the risk of COVID-19 in the workplace. See the new flyer with information for businesses and workers on how to make your workspace safer. Flyer is available in Amharic, Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Dari, English, Japanese, Korean, Marshallese, Oromo, Farsi, Punjabi, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Tigrinya, Ukrainian, Vietnamese. This flyer also shares information on how to make a safer breakroom. The place workers go to relax on the job can be a high-risk location for transmission of the coronavirus, but these tips can reduce risk.

    Vaccine News

    King County COVID-19 Vaccine Data At-a-Glance. Page updated daily here.

    School News

    CDC Updates Guidance on Physical Distancing for Students. New guidance from the CDC revises physical distancing recommendations to reflect at least 3 feet between students in classrooms and 6 feet between adults (teachers and staff), and between adults and students. Follow this link to the CDC's updated operational strategy for schools.

    Resources

    Need a ride to get the vaccine? The vaccine is an important part of ending the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re eligible in Phase 1B1, you should get yours now! And if you have Apple Health (or Medicaid), you might even be able to get a ride there. Transportation barriers shouldn’t keep you from getting protected from COVID-19. Click here to learn more.

    King County Household Assistance Request program updated. Do you and your family need financial support to successfully isolate or quarantine? Anyone living in King County who tests positive or is exposed to COVID-19 may be eligible to receive a one-time household bill payment of up to $1500 to help pay their current rent, mortgage, utility, water, phone and internet bills. See updates to eligibility to the program and how it works by clicking here.

    Inslee announces extension of eviction moratorium. Gov. Jay Inslee announced that the statewide eviction moratorium will be extended through June 30. Read the full news release here.

  • State Advances Phase 1B2 Vaccine Eligibility

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    18 Mar 2021
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    On Wednesday, Washington moved into Phase 1B2.

    People in Phase 1A, 1B1, and 1B2 are eligible to get vaccinated. This includes:

    • All people over 65 years-old
    • All people over 50 years-old who live in a multigenerational household
    • Residents of long-term care facilities
    • Health care workers
    • High-risk first responders
    • Educators and staff for pre-K through 12th grade
    • Childcare providers
    • People 16+ who are pregnant or have a disability that puts them at high risk.
    • High-risk critical workers:
      • First Responders
      • Court of Law
      • Public Transit
      • Grocery Store/Food Bank
      • Agriculture/Fishing Vessel/Food Processing
      • Corrections

    As of March 17, an estimated 244,000 King County residents are now eligible under Phase 1B2. This is on top of nearly 105,000 recently eligible K-12 staff/childcare workers and the over 82,000 adults aged 65 and older who have not yet received a first dose. The county is asking residents for continued patience as vaccine supplies continue to ramp up and to not try to schedule an appointment until they are eligible.

    Next Vaccine Phases

    On Thursday, the Governor announced an expansion of vaccine eligibility, adding another two million Washingtonians to upcoming tiers. On March 31, vaccination appointments will open to anyone age 60 and older, as well as to many workers in congregate settings such as foodservice, manufacturing, and construction. All those who are eligible today will remain eligible. Learn more about eligibility phases here.

    Where to Get the Vaccine

    The state Department of Health (DOH) launched a new vaccine locator website that uses current data to identify doses near you: www.vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov.

    Seattle Mass Vaccination Site at Lumen Field Now Open. A mass vaccination site at Lumen Field (formerly Century Link Field) is open and operating. The site is open to the entire region. Appointments can be scheduled at www.seattle.gov/mayor/covid-19/vaccinations. Current site vaccination levels: 5,000 doses over 2-3 days. Once vaccine supplies increase, the site could administer 20,000 vaccinations daily.

  • News for the Week of March 8

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    12 Mar 2021

    News highlights for the week of March 8.

    Latest Numbers. In Mercer Island, there have been 482 positive cases reported as of March 12. DOH reported a total of 327,672 confirmed cases as of March 10. There have been 5,107 COVID-19 deaths in Washington. For the latest city and county data, click here.

    Seattle Mass Vaccination Site Opens this Weekend. Preparations for a mass vaccination site at Lumen Field (formerly Century Link Field) are just about buttoned up with plans to open on Saturday, March 13. The site will be open to the entire region and officials anticipate that once vaccine supplies increase, the site could administer 20,000 vaccinations daily (current levels hold vaccinations at 5,000 doses over 2-3 days). Appointments will be open to all eligible WA adults and can be scheduled online. Click here for the Patch News article.

    Statewide Move into Phase 3 on March 22. Effective March 22, the entire state will enter Phase 3, a new third phase of the Healthy Washington: Roadmap to Recovery, allowing up to 50% occupancy or 400 people maximum, whichever is lower, for all indoor spaces. Phase 3 includes a return for in-person spectators for professional and high school sports. Additionally, the state will be transitioning from a regional approach back to a county-by-county evaluation process. Click here for more info.

    State Prepares to Move to Phase 1B2 on March 17. On March 11, the state announced that will advance to Phase 1B-Tier2 (1B2) on March 17, earlier than anticipated. Phase 1B2 includes essential workers in the following groups: (1) First responders, law enforcement, and firefighters, (2) Grocery store workers, (3) Workers in agriculture and food processing, (4) Public transit employees, and (5) Corrections employees at jails and detention centers. Phase 1B2 also includes anyone 16 and older who is either pregnant or has a disability that puts them at higher risk. Click here to learn more.

    Governor Orders All Public Schools to Provide Some In-Person Learning. Effective next week, an Emergency Proclamation requires schools to offer some in-person learning at least 2 days/week, under hybrid models. By April 5 for K-6th grade and April 19 for K-12 30% of weekly teaching hours must be in-person. Existing safety protocols (masks, cohorts, ventilation, etc) will continue.

    WA State and CDC guidance on safe behaviors post-vaccine. If someone has been fully vaccinated, they can: (1) Gather indoors with fully vaccinated people in private residences without wearing a mask, and (2) Gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household in private residences (for example, visiting with relatives who all live together) without masks, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Vaccinated people should continue to wear masks when they're in public, avoid crowds and take other precautions when gathering with unvaccinated people who are at high risk of serious illness from COVID-19. Read the full news release here.

    Situation Reports. The City has moved to monthly Situation Reports (SitReps), available the first Friday of the month. The next SitRep will be available the afternoon of April 2. Click here to catch up on the latest information and reports.

    Information for Businesses

    Small Business virtual webinars support Washington's business comeback efforts. The monthly SBRR COVID-19 Impact Webinar, a free one-hour webinar, supports Washington's business comeback efforts. It provides an overview of resources, updates, emergency rule changes, and other impacts affecting small businesses to create a new successful path forward. Register for upcoming webinars in English or Spanish.

    New "How to create a more COVID-safe workplace" poster available in multiple languages. Check the in-language directory to find this poster available in most languages.

    Vaccine News

    You’ve Been Vaccinated or Have an Appointment, Now What? Make sure to sign up for V-Safe the smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Through v-safe, you can quickly tell CDC if you have any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Depending on your answers, someone from CDC may call to check on you and get more information. V-safe will also remind you to get your second COVID-19 vaccine dose if you need one. Click here for more info or to register for V-Safe.

    More than 2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered in Washington. DOH announced that health care providers have given more than two million doses of COVID-19 vaccine since rollout began in mid-December. This milestone follows several major achievements in the past week, including reaching the state’s goal of giving 45,000 doses of vaccine per day and approaching 100,000 doses of vaccine administered at four state-led mass vaccination sites in just six weeks. Read the full news release here.

    King County COVID-19 Vaccine Data At-a-Glance. Page updated daily here.

    King County COVID Vaccine Delivery Progress Report updated. Vaccine supply continues to be the key constraint. For the week of March 1, the latest estimate is that 45,490 doses were allocated to providers in King County, including 39,730 first doses. This is a decrease in number of doses over the previous week, and both demand and provider capacity remain much greater than the number of doses allocated to our county. Read the report.

    Last Call…

    No nursing home visits yet in Washington state, but a new plan is coming. The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services says it is working on changes to the state's reopening plan for long-term care facilities following federal guidance issued Wednesday that nursing homes should resume visits for all residents. Click here to read the Seattle Times article (possible paywall restrictions).

    Another strain of the coronavirus is in our community. Viruses mutate all the time, and numerous strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that cause COVID-19 have been identified around the world. When mutations change the virus in ways that matter to human health, it's called a variant of concern (VOC). Three VOCs present in the United States have been singled out as worrisome, and now all three have turned up in our community. Click here for the full article.

  • Statewide Move into Phase 3 on March 22

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    11 Mar 2021
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    On Thursday, the state announced that effective March 22, the entire state will enter Phase 3, a new third phase of the Healthy Washington: Roadmap to Recovery, and a return for in-person spectators for professional and high school sports.

    Additionally, the state will be transitioning from a regional approach back to a county-by-county evaluation process.

    Phase 3

    The new phase will allow up to 50% occupancy or 400 people maximum, whichever is lower, for all indoor spaces and applies to all industries and indoor activities currently allowed, including but not limited to restaurants, gyms and fitness centers, and movie theaters, among others.

    Physical distancing and masking protocols must continue to be enforced.

    Sports guidance will change in Phase 3 to allow in-person spectators at events for the first time in a year. Spectators will be allowed to attend outdoor venues with permanent seating with capacity capped at 25%. The change effects both professional and high school sports, as well as motorsports, rodeos, and other outdoor spectator events. Social distancing and facial covering are still required.

    Larger venue events are capped at 25% occupancy, or up to 9,000 people, whichever is less, and must follow spectator guidelines.

    A full list of industry-level changes for the new phase will be released next week.

    New Metrics

    With the transition back to a county-by-county evaluation process, the state will be monitoring counties individually. Evaluations will be conducted every three week, on Mondays, with any possible changes taking effect Friday. The first evaluation scheduled for April 12.

    As with the previous evaluation process, large and small counties will have different sets of criteria. If any county fails one or more of the metrics below, that county will move down one phase. (See graphic for metrics.)

    If at any point the statewide ICU capacity reaches greater than 90%, all counties will move down one phase.

    For more information, see the Governor’s press release.

  • Vaccine Timeline: Moving to Phase 1B2 on March 17

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    11 Mar 2021
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    On March 11, the state announced that will advance to Phase 1B-Tier2 (1B2) on March 17, earlier than anticipated.

    Phase 1B2 includes essential workers in the following groups:

    • First responders, law enforcement, and firefighters.
    • Grocery store workers.
    • Workers in agriculture and food processing.
    • Public transit employees.
    • Corrections employees at jails and detention centers.

    Phase 1B2 also includes anyone 16 and older who is either pregnant or has a disability that puts them at higher risk.

  • March Maskness - Mask Giveaway Friday, March 12

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    22 Mar 2021
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    Mercer Island Emergency Management Volunteers will be in Mercer Island parks handing out masks on Friday, March 12 from 9:00 - 11:00am. Swing by and pick up a fresh face covering!

    • Aubrey Davis Park: by the restrooms/ball fields
    • Luther Burbank Park: north parking lot area
    • Mercerdale Park: by the pergola
    • Pioneer Park: SW corner by SE 68th and 84th Ave SE
  • News for the Week of March 1

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    05 Mar 2021

    News highlights for the week of March 1.

    Latest Numbers. In Mercer Island, there have been 476 positive cases reported as of March 4. DOH reported a total of 323,839 confirmed cases as of March 3. There have been 5,032 COVID-19 deaths in Washington. For the latest city and county data, click here.

    New guide for securing vaccine appointments. Click here for a visual guide explains how to make, change or cancel a high volume site appointment online. This document is housed under the "Getting vaccinated in King County" webpage.

    Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup Approves Johnson & Johnson Vaccine. On Wednesday, the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup approved the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine. Click here to read the announcement.

    A New COVID-19 Vaccine is Almost Here. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently granted emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Johnson & Johnson (J&J), or Janssen, COVID-19 vaccine. The J&J vaccine is the third vaccine is authorized for emergency use in the United States. And its arrival will soon make an impact on our state’s supply. Click here to read more from the State Department of Health.

    WA DOH Statement on Federal School and Childcare Vaccination Plan. On Tuesday, federal and WA state officials announced a directive to all states to get every pre-K educator, K-12 teacher, and childcare worker at least one shot of COVID-19 vaccine in the month of March. Gov. Inslee announced that educators and childcare workers were immediately added to the current vaccine group – Phase 1B-Tier1. Read more here.

    New Mass Vaccination Site at Lumen Field in the Works. On Monday, Seattle City officials announced that a mass vaccination site is in the works for Lumen Field (formerly Century Link Field). The site will be open to the entire region and officials anticipate that the site could administer 21,000 vaccinations daily. Click here for the Komo News article.

    Air travel proclamation updated. Gov. Jay Inslee updated proclamation 20-83 regarding quarantine requirements for air travel now requiring air passengers to obtain a negative viral COVID-19 test within 3 days of travel or to present proof of recovery from COVID-19. Read the full news release here.

    All Regions to Remain in Phase 2 - Rollbacks Paused. On February 25, the Governor announced that he was pausing any region moving back down to Phase 1, due in large part to how well the entire state is doing to bring the number of cases down. The State is in the process of answering how and when regions will move into the next Phase.

    March 5 Situation Report. For highlights and information from the 52nd week of the City’s response to the pandemic click here.

    Information for Businesses

    SBA prioritizes smallest of small businesses in the Paycheck Protection Program. The U.S. Small Business Administration are taking steps with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to further promote equitable relief for America's small businesses, offering PPP loans to businesses with fewer than 20 employees and sole proprietors only beginning Feb. 24 through March 10, 2021. Read more here.

    Employee screening tool for restaurants and other food businesses. Scroll midway down page to the 10 measures to help you comply with COVID-19 requirements for food establishments and select the first one for the employee screening tool now available in Chinese (Simplified), Korean, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese. Click here for the doc.

    Updated document/COVID-19 plan requirements for vendors and Farmers Markets. Click here for the document (also found on the main Farmers Market permit homepage).

    Reminders for safe building reopenings after COVID-19 closures. Low or no water use in vacant or underused buildings increases the risk to plumbing systems and potential for Legionella. Read the full news release here.

    Vaccine News

    Video: Why should BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) people communities trust these vaccines? Watch as Dr. Michele Andrasik, Senior Scientist in the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, discusses equitable inclusion of BIPOC people in the COVID-19 vaccine trials and emphasizes the importance of getting vulnerable communities vaccinated.

    King County COVID-19 Vaccine Data At-a-Glance. Page updated daily here.

    More than 70,000 COVID-19 vaccines given at state-led mass vaccination sites. Thanks to the hard work of DOH staff, the Washington National Guard, and local and private sector partners, 70,774 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered at the four state-led mass vaccination sites as of Feb. 27. Read the full news release here.

    Resources

    Isolation and Quarantine Calculator. If you test positive for COVID-19, do you know how long to isolate yourself to keep others safe from infection? What if you learn you are a close contact of someone who tested positive — do you know how long to quarantine? What date can you point to on your calendar that will signal the end of your isolation or quarantine? The Washington state Department of Health recently created an Isolation and Quarantine Calculator tool to take the guess work out of it. Visit www.doh.wa.gov/CovidCalculator and follow the instructions based on your particular situation.

  • Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

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    04 Mar 2021
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    FDA, CDC, and Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup approve Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

    On Wednesday, March 3 the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup joined the FDA and CDC in approving the Johnson & Johnson (J&J or Janssen) vaccine.

    The Western States Workgroup, comprised of vaccine experts from Washington, California, Oregon and Nevada, has met to review the data and analysis to ensure the safety and efficacy of all FDA-authorized vaccines.

    According to the CDC, the J&J/Janssen vaccine was 66.3% effective in clinical trials (efficacy) at preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 illness in people who had no evidence of prior infection 2 weeks after receiving the vaccine. People had the most protection 2 weeks after getting vaccinated. Additionally, the vaccine had high efficacy at preventing hospitalization and death in people who did get sick. No one who got COVID-19 at least 4 weeks after receiving the J&J/Janssen vaccine had to be hospitalized. The CDC also notes that early evidence suggests that the J&J/Janssen vaccine might provide protection against asymptomatic infection, which is when a person is infected by the virus that causes COVID-19 but does not get sick.

    CDC will continue to provide updates as we learn more about how well the J&J/Janssen vaccine works in real-world conditions.

    Click here for the CDC factsheet on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and here for more information on Operation Warp Speed a joint venture of the federal government and U.S. private sector in 2020 to accelerate the testing, supply, development, and distribution of safe and effective vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.

  • Educator and Licensed Childcare Workers Vaccination Directive

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    04 Mar 2021
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    DOH Statement on Federal School and Childcare Vaccination Plan.

    On Tuesday, March 2, the President announced a directive to all states to get every pre-K educator, K-12 teacher, and childcare worker at least one shot of COVID-19 vaccine in the month of March.

    The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) recognizes the importance of vaccinating educators, school staff, and childcare workers. School staff and childcare workers were already in the next group to become eligible for vaccines, and our state was moving to vaccinate them in a matter of weeks. This announcement represents a faster timeline than originally planned, and the department is engaging partners on a robust plan to support this directive.

    DOH is working quickly to get clarity from the Biden Administration to ensure roll-out in our state will result in ample vaccine supply through various providers and equitable access for education and childcare workers. Vaccine supply will likely primarily be delivered through the federal pharmacy program, and the directive indicates all vaccine providers should prioritize these workers.

    DOH remains committed to continued vaccination for older adults and others who are currently prioritized for vaccinations under the current plan. DOH also remains committed to vaccinating all Washingtonians as quickly and equitably as possible.

    DOH acknowledges these announcements may cause a mix of excitement, concern, and confusion for different communities. The department will share more information in the days ahead as DOH learns more from our federal partners.

    Visit the DOH newsroom for more or click here for the Governor's statement.