Tag Archives: COVID-19 Vaccine

King County Will Require Proof of Vaccination at Outdoor Events, Indoor Restaurants

by Alex Garland


In late August, King County began reaching out to “cities, small businesses, chambers of commerce, labor unions, trade associations, sports teams, venues, community groups, and faith-based leaders throughout the county” to attempt an equitable arrangement on a vaccine verification policy for businesses and residents. 

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NEWS GLEAMS: Masks Required Again, Big Day of Play, $50K for Skyway/West Hill Youth, & More!

curated by Emerald Staff

A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!


A person wears a rainbow Black Lives Matter mask.
A person wears a rainbow Black Lives Matter mask. (Photo: Chole Collyer)

Mask Mandates a Thing (Again) & Public School Employees, Others, Required to Get Vaccine

Gov. Jay Inslee announced during an in-person-only press conference held in an Olympia elementary school Wednesday, Aug. 18, that he would reinstate the statewide indoor mask mandate — for those vaccinated and unvaccinated alike. Inslee said in a tweet immediately following the press conference that COVID-19 cases are “skyrocketing” due — in large part, he said — to the delta variant and that “the best way to protect everyone is to get vaccinated and wear a mask.” He also announced that vaccinations would be required not only for those working in K–12 schools but also in “most childcare and early learning” as well as in higher education. In his tweet, Gov. Inslee listed out highlights of the new vaccine requirements for workers.

Continue reading NEWS GLEAMS: Masks Required Again, Big Day of Play, $50K for Skyway/West Hill Youth, & More!

City Will Shift Virus Testing Responsibility Away From Seattle Fire Department

by Elizabeth Turnbull


As almost 80% of eligible Seattle residents are fully vaccinated, City officials announced on Wednesday that the University of Washington Medicine and other public health partners will take over COVID-19 testing and vaccinations efforts from the Seattle Fire Department (SFD).

“The mission of the Seattle Fire Department is to save lives and protect property and the environment,” Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins told the press Wednesday. “We never really know what that means from day to day, but I think the last 16 or 18 months has shown us that we’re capable of standing in the gap in many different places.”

Since June 2020, SFD has administered roughly 800,000 COVID-19 tests, and one in three Seattleites have used the free testing provided by the department, according to the City.

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PHOTO ESSAY: Community Gathers for Two-Day ‘Welcome Back’ Celebration at Hing Hay Park

by Ronnie Estoque


The Chinatown-International District Business Improvement Area (CIDBIA) and the City of Seattle collaborated to host a celebration of local culture and food at Hing Park on Saturday, July 17, and Sunday, July 18. The weekend was also the inaugural event of “Welcome Back Weeks,” which was organized by the City of Seattle with the goal of bringing small businesses, workers, and visitors back to the downtown area after nearly a year and a half of restrictions. As part of “Welcome Back Weeks,” over $300,000 has been invested into small businesses, artists, and nonprofits , which all have experienced significant hardship during the pandemic. 

The two-day event featured live music and performances from local artists from the community, which attracted sizable crowds. The event also offered attendees the opportunity to receive either a Johnson & Johnson or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, which was administered by representatives from the Seattle Fire Department (SFD). The CIDBIA will be hosting another Summer CID Food Walk from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on July 31. Events such as this have been planned to spur more community support for locally owned restaurants and businesses that are rebounding from the economic impacts of the pandemic.

This Saturday, July 24, “Welcome Back Weeks” will continue with an event starting at 10:30 a.m. at Pioneer Square, which will be followed up the next day at Westlake starting at 11 a.m. For more information about “Welcome Back Weeks,” visit the Office of the Mayor’s “Seattle’s Equitable Recovery” webpage.

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Latinos Face Risks Because of Lag in Vaccination Against COVID-19

by Sally James


Latino communities remain at higher risk of COVID-19 infection because of lagging vaccination rates, according to a new policy brief released by the University of Washington’s Latino Center for Health (LCH). The new numbers show that only 35% of Latinos are fully vaccinated in the state, with 6% partially vaccinated. 

“With the growing threat of the COVID-19 Delta variant in our region, it is imperative that we vaccinate as many Latinos as possible before the fall when schools reopen and cooler temperatures will drive infection rates higher,” said physician Leo Morales, the co-director of LCH and author of the policy brief, in a press release. Another brief LCH released a few months ago suggests that a lack of access to the vaccine as well as vaccine hesitancy are some of the biggest factors affecting Latino communities. Although a majority of those surveyed had positive views on the vaccine, many expressed concerns around side effects and safety, cost, and effectiveness.

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As State Prepares to Reopen, Some Communities Still Have Lower Vaccination Rates

by Elizabeth Turnbull


After over a year of pushing through the pandemic, state and county health officials are hopeful about declining COVID-19 cases and hospitalization rates. But at the same time, significant pockets of Washington State and King County residents remain unvaccinated as restrictions are set to be lifted statewide next week.

“We still have people that have not been vaccinated, we still have people who are unprotected, and we still have people that are going to be at risk for COVID-19,” said Dr. Umair Shah, the Washington Secretary of Health at a press conference on Wednesday, June 23. “We want to make sure that that message of vaccination continues to be there.”

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State Inches Away From Vaccination Rate Goal, P.1 Gains Traction

by Carolyn Bick


Though Washington State appears to be on track to eventually meet its goal of a 70% vaccination rate among people aged 16 and older, it does not appear that it will meet this goal before the planned state reopening date of June 30. The state is also experiencing an increase in the P.1 virus variant, rather than the recently identified Delta variant about which many other states are expressing concern.

As of this writing, the state sits at an exactly 68% vaccination rate among people aged 16 and older, State Department of Health (DOH) Sec. of Health Dr. Umair Shah said in a June 23 briefing. On June 9, the rate was 66.4%, so the state’s current rate represents just a 1.6% increase in vaccinations among people ages 16 and up. 

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King County Vax to the Max Program Uses Art and Music to Ease Vaccine Anxieties

by Chamidae Ford


Employees at Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) were recently brainstorming about ways to increase vaccinations in the County while decreasing anxiety around the experience.

“The challenge was that it’s a very new event. It’s very scary. People don’t know what to expect, both for getting the vaccine but even going to these events themselves,” Karla Jimenez-Magdaleno, a communications specialist at PHSKC, said. “And I love music. I love events. I love feeling like there’s a party going on because I think that’s part of community building.” So the team decided to try to bring that energy to vaccination events.

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With Vaccination Rate Rising, State Prepares to Reopen No Later Than June 30

by Carolyn Bick


Washington State is just a hair’s breadth away from reaching its goal of a 70% vaccination rate among people aged 16 and older, but Gov. Jay Inslee said in an afternoon press conference on June 9 that the state would essentially fully reopen on June 30, regardless of whether the state reaches its vaccination rate goal by that date. 

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WA DOH Host Panel Focuses on Misinformation with COVID-19 Vaccines

by Chamidae Ford


On Wednesday, June 9, the Washington State Department of Health will be hosting a virtual panel. “Stopping Misinformation that Hurts the Black Community” will focus on preventing the spread of misinformation and providing factual statistics and resources about the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Miriam McBride, the CEO of Truth Movement Innertainment, will be moderating the panel. The event will feature Chris Davis and Michealea Lemons, prevention and health coordinators at PCAF, and Korey Strozier, school board director (position 3) with Tacoma Public Schools, as a panelist. 

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