by Sally James
Washington’s medical officials are bracing for the next few weeks in the latest surge of the COVID-19 pandemic. But they also offered a glimmer of good news at their Wednesday, Jan. 19, media event.
“The next several weeks will be very difficult,” said Umair Shah, M.D., M.P.H., secretary of health of the Washington State Department of Public Health (DOH). Even though case counts have leveled off in most of Western Washington, they are still rising in Eastern Washington. Hospitals are struggling with too many patients and barely enough room or staff to care for them properly. Gov. Jay Inslee has sent National Guard personnel to help several state hospitals.
Continue reading Western WA’s COVID Cases Level Off, Hospitals Brace for Surge, More Masks and Tests Available
by Ari Robin McKenna
When Seattle Public Schools’ (SPS) mass COVID-19 screening flagged seven of their coworkers last Monday, Kimball Elementary School staff knew they were in for a week. A tight-knit group who has a strong relationship with their Parents, Teachers, and Students Association (PTSA), Kimball’s staff braced themselves.
As the week progressed, Kimball — in Southeast Seattle and serving 75% students of color — was without one Instructional Assistant (IA) after another, as well as multiple teachers and an administrator. By the end of the week, Kimball was short six IAs. School staffs across Seattle have been worn down by factors including a national substitute teacher shortage, the challenges teaching students returning to in-person school after a such long break, and unrealistic pressure to “catch up.” Yet while the entire system is in crisis, throughout last week, Kimball staff approached its actual breaking point.
Kimball Music Teacher and Seattle Education Association (SEA) Union Rep KT Raschko, described staffs’ still-determined ethos in the hallways of the Van Asselt building, where Kimball is housed while its new building is constructed:
Continue reading Why School Was Cancelled at Kimball Elementary for the Past Three Days
by Sally James
The Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA) warned the public on Jan. 6 that rising cases of COVID-19, as well as staff shortages due to illness, are challenging the ability to provide care.
The group held a media event via livestream on Jan. 6. Later the same day, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) held a separate press event and explained how millions of home-testing kits for COVID-19 will be distributed beginning late next week.
Continue reading Hospitals, Medical Orgs Warn of Rising Crisis; Officials Promise Masks, Home COVID Tests
by Sally James
Some South Seattle school buildings will be offering COVID-19 vaccines this weekend for students in the district and their families.
Students do not have to attend the school where the clinic is offered.
Some of the clinics offer both first and second doses, and some offer only second doses. All students must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. If your child is receiving their second dose, please bring their vaccination card with you to the clinic to be updated.
Continue reading Seattle Public Schools to Offer Vaccine Clinics for Students This Weekend
by Sally James
As State officials predicted, three cases of the omicron variant were confirmed Dec. 4 in three different counties in Washington. Experts did not reveal details about the travel history of the patients. There was one patient each in Thurston, Pierce, and King counties.
Elsewhere in the nation, patients have been diagnosed with omicron who had no travel history, and infectious disease doctors predict that the new variant is likely already in many communities.
“We knew this day was inevitable, but the good news is we have more tools at our disposal to fight the virus than at any previous point in the pandemic, and we must continue to protect ourselves and our communities,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said in a statement.
Continue reading Omicron Variant Discovered in King, and Two Other Counties
The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Periscope, and whereweconverge.com.
We also post the Morning Update Show here on the Emerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.
Morning Update Show — Tuesday, Nov. 30
LIVE — Chef Trey Lamont | South King County Gun Violence | Omicron Variant Is on the Move | Barbados: The World’s Newest Republic | Sawant Recall
Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 11/30