Tag Archives: DOH

Campy PSA From Queer and BIPOC Performers Promotes Washington Exposure Notifications to Help Prevent COVID-19 Spread

by Mark Van Streefkerk 


A new public service announcement promoting Washington Exposure Notifications (WA Notify) features campy content from queer and BIPOC performers, providing some much-needed levity as the pandemic drags on. With a cast of Seattle’s notable dancers, entertainers, and drag performers, new promotional videos shed light on how WA Notify helps prevent COVID-19 transmission, along with a catchy song-and-dance about how to wear a mask, maintain physical distance, and keep your COVID pod “Tight, tight, tight, t-tight!” 

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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

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

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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COVID-19 Vaccine May Come Available Soon, But Not Before Hospitals Will Have to Start Implementing Surge Plans

by Carolyn Bick


Aside from starting to cancel non-emergent surgeries and other procedures, there doesn’t appear to be much else healthcare professionals can do to make way for what many see as an inevitable surge in COVID-19 cases and associated hospitalizations, following Thanksgiving and the December holidays.

Continue reading COVID-19 Vaccine May Come Available Soon, But Not Before Hospitals Will Have to Start Implementing Surge Plans

If State Does Not Curb COVID Trend, Healthcare Workers Will Have to Start Making “Painful Choices,” Experts Warn

by Carolyn Bick


Already, Dr. Nathan Schlicher has lost a patient to a heart attack, due to the patient’s inability to get timely and appropriate care at the hospital. This delay was caused by the skyrocketing rate of COVID-19 cases — a rate Gov. Jay Inslee called “almost vertical” — and associated hospitalizations throughout the state, as hospitals begin to delay certain forms of care, in order to keep up with the increase.

Continue reading If State Does Not Curb COVID Trend, Healthcare Workers Will Have to Start Making “Painful Choices,” Experts Warn

New Test Site to Open in Highline, As Cases in South King County Skyrocket

by Carolyn Bick


A new, free walk-up COVID-19 testing site will open in South King County’s Highline College, Public Health – Seattle & King County announced in a press release on Nov. 19.

Continue reading New Test Site to Open in Highline, As Cases in South King County Skyrocket

“We Admitted 10 Patients in Five Hours”: State, Hospitals Rapidly Approaching Critical Case Counts and Hospitalizations

by Carolyn Bick


The dire warnings the state’s top health officials shared with the public just last week appear to be coming to pass. 

In a Washington State Department of Health (DOH) COVID-19 briefing on Nov. 18, DOH Health Officer Kathy Lofy shared several charts that show what Lofy called a “dramatic,” exponential growth rate in cases of COVID-19 and “sharp increase” in hospitalizations in Western Washington. She also said that the effective reproductive number — also known as the R-naught or R0 number, which is the number of people one person will infect — has continued to rise. It now stands at 1.7 in Eastern Washington, and 1.8 in Western Washington.

Continue reading “We Admitted 10 Patients in Five Hours”: State, Hospitals Rapidly Approaching Critical Case Counts and Hospitalizations

Gov. Inslee Institutes New Restrictions to Curb COVID Spread, Announces $50 Million Fund for Struggling Businesses

by Carolyn Bick


Gov. Jay Inslee has declared a series of new restrictions for the state of Washington, in light of rapidly escalating numbers of new COVID-19 cases. These restrictions will last for a minimum of four weeks. He also announced the state has found an extra $50 million to support struggling state businesses.

In a virtual press conference on the morning of Nov. 15, Inslee said that these new restrictions will begin to take effect at 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 16, and last until 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 14, after which point the state will reassess the situation. When the Emerald followed up after the press conference with Inslee’s office to ask whether there will be any penalties imposed on individuals who do not follow these new restrictions, the office said that the question of enforcement is a job for local law enforcement.

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State Reaches Record One-Day High of COVID-19 Cases

by Carolyn Bick


The state has now reached its all-time COVID-19 case one-day high, standing at 2,147 new cases of the disease today alone, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) reported in a press release late in the day on Nov. 13.

“Just two weeks ago, we announced 1,000 new cases in a day for the first time since mid-summer. And, each day this week we have reported over 1,000 new cases per day. This rapid escalation is extremely alarming,” the press release reads.

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