Tag Archives: Covid-19

State Health Officials Cautiously Optimistic as COVID-19 Rates Hold Steady and Vaccination of Health Care Workers Continues

by Andrew Engelson


The day after Gov. Jay Inslee announced he was extending the state’s current COVID-19 restrictions by one week until Jan. 11, officials from the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) said during an online press conference on Wednesday, Dec. 30 that they are cautiously optimistic about statewide infection trends and that vaccinations for high-risk health care workers and residents and staff of long-term care facilities are ongoing.

“We are in a very precarious position,” said Dr. Scott Lindquist, state epidemiologist for communicable diseases. “This is the highest rate of cases in Washington State since the beginning [of the pandemic]. But we’re starting to see this downward trend. It’s all very encouraging.” Lindquist noted that while the results are still preliminary, the number of positive tests across the state have plateaued slightly in the past week. He also noted that post-Christmas hospitalization rates are down slightly, saying “I’m optimistic but cautious.”

Continue reading State Health Officials Cautiously Optimistic as COVID-19 Rates Hold Steady and Vaccination of Health Care Workers Continues

Ten Non-Profits Receive Grants From Port of Seattle’s South King County Fund to Improve COVID-19 Economic Recovery

by Jack Russillo


Nearly $1 million in grants from the Port of Seattle will be dispersed to ten organizations to help lead equitable economic recovery from the impacts of COVID-19 in South King County.

The move comes after the Port of Seattle Commissioners approved a recommendation at their meeting on December 15. The funds will be dispersed by the end of January.  

Continue reading Ten Non-Profits Receive Grants From Port of Seattle’s South King County Fund to Improve COVID-19 Economic Recovery

State Avoids Post-Holiday Surge, Won’t Share Personal Information With Federal Government in Vaccination Plan

by Carolyn Bick


Washington State has avoided a post-Thanksgiving surge in COVID-19 cases, but the state — particularly its hospital system — isn’t in the clear yet.

In a press conference on Dec. 16, Washington State Department of Health (DOH) Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy shared graphs from the DOH’s COVID-19 tracking dashboard that show case counts and hospitalizations, including ICU bed occupancy, are levelling off. The Emerald has shared these graphs below. But the trends aren’t yet level, and the state must go beyond just flattening the curve, DOH Health Sec. Dr. John Wiesman said.

Continue reading State Avoids Post-Holiday Surge, Won’t Share Personal Information With Federal Government in Vaccination Plan

Even With Incoming Vaccine, PHSKC Warns Against Relaxing Masking, Social Distancing Practices

by Carolyn Bick


Though a vaccine is on the way, the COVID-19 situation throughout the state, including in King County — particularly in South King County — appears as though it is going to get much worse, before it gets better.

In a press conference on Dec. 11, Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin laid out the increasingly bad situation the County is facing. Over the past seven days, he said, the County has seen an average of 650 new cases of COVID-19 per day. The number of COVID-19-related deaths per day have ceased to gradually rise, and instead are rapidly rising, currently standing at seven deaths per day. This is up from two deaths per day in September. 

Continue reading Even With Incoming Vaccine, PHSKC Warns Against Relaxing Masking, Social Distancing Practices

State Expects First Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine By Next Week, But Most Washingtonians Won’t Get Vaccine Until Mid-2021

by Carolyn Bick


Though roughly 62,000 first doses of a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 will be available starting next week, it will only be available for highest risk healthcare workers, Department of Health officials said in a press briefing on Dec. 9. And even though health officials expect the state to get a total of 400,000 combined doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine — if Moderna’s vaccine gets emergency authorization approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration — this number only represents the first dose of the vaccine, which requires two doses to be effective.

The state projects that the first round of doses will be administered by mid-January, Department of Health (DOH) Acting Assistant Secretary Michele Roberts said. She said that this includes highest risk healthcare workers and first responders, as well as long-term care facility residents and staff. She said that these first doses will be matched with the same number of second doses for these same people.

Continue reading State Expects First Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine By Next Week, But Most Washingtonians Won’t Get Vaccine Until Mid-2021

BREAKING: 16 Inmates at King County Jail Test Positive for COVID-19

by Carolyn Bick


King County Jail’s downtown Seattle location has confirmed 16 new cases of COVID-19, according to a press release sent to reporters on the afternoon of Dec. 7.

The press release said that an inmate at the jail “reported flu-like symptoms” on Dec. 6. This person had been at the jail for more than a month, and initially tested negative, when they were first jailed, the press release said. 

This means that this person caught the novel coronavirus and developed COVID-19, while they were in jail.

Continue reading BREAKING: 16 Inmates at King County Jail Test Positive for COVID-19

WEEKEND READS: How Nonprofits Are Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic

by Kevin Schofield


This week’s “Weekend Reads” include a big, important breakthrough on protein folding, a look at how Washington nonprofits are responding to the COVID-19 crisis, and King County’s analysis of where people are being exposed to COVID-19.

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State Officials Encourage Use of New COVID App, Share Good Vaccine News

by Carolyn Bick


As the state braces for the potential infection fallout of those who chose to gather for Thanksgiving, Gov. Jay Inslee in a Nov. 30 press conference encouraged Washingtonians to download or activate a new app that anonymously alerts users if they have been in close contact with someone infected with COVID-19. He also shared that the first shipments of a vaccine will be available by mid-December, with more on the way.

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WEEKEND READS: Why Older People Tend to Have More Serious Cases of COVID-19

by Kevin Schofield


This week’s “long reads” has just one topic, but two related papers worth reading. Scientists now have a very good idea why older people tend to have more serious cases of COVID-19. And there are some very important implications of this, which we can take action on today.

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COVID-19 Cases Surging in King County, With South End Continuing to Be Hardest Hit

by Andrew Engelson


In an online press briefing on Friday, Nov. 20, Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health — Seattle and King County (PHSKC) reported that cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations across the county have spiked in the past two weeks. In response, the County’s top health official made an urgent plea to residents to strictly limit social gatherings in advance of Thanksgiving and the holiday season.

Continue reading COVID-19 Cases Surging in King County, With South End Continuing to Be Hardest Hit