Tag Archives: PHSKC

Helping Under-Served Communities Navigate Health Barriers During the Pandemic

by Ben Adlin


A year into a pandemic that has killed half a million people in the U.S. and magnified deep inequities in the country’s core institutions, it’s extraordinary that Vicky Navarro and Thyda Ros aren’t more exhausted. 

A typical week might find Navarro crisscrossing King County with boxes of face masks and public health pamphlets in three different languages — English, Spanish, and Tagalog — while Ros plans a socially distanced dinner dropoff of deep-fried fish and green mango salad to a Khmer community elder. Then it’s off to the next webinar, the next worried call from a neighbor, the next social media rumor to bat down.

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King County, With Second-Lowest COVID-19 Rate in U.S., Still Needs More Vaccines

by Jack Russillo


Acquiring additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine is the main constraint for getting King County residents vaccinated, King County Public Health Director Patty Hayes said at a virtual Town Hall on the evening of March 3. 

The virtual Town Hall event came less than a week after New York Times analysis showed that, of the top 100 most populous U.S. counties, King County has the second-lowest COVID-19 infection rate in the entire country, after Honolulu County in Hawai‘i. Snohomish County to the north has the third-lowest rate in the country while Pierce County to the south has the sixth-lowest rate. King County is seventh on the list for the lowest number of deaths from the virus. As a state, Washington has the fifth-lowest COVID-19 case rate despite being the country’s epicenter of the pandemic more than a year ago.

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Elders of Color Face Major Hurdles Getting COVID Vaccine

by Carolyn Bick


Every day, Lynda Greene and her fellow staffers at the SouthEast Seattle Senior Center field about 30–45 phone calls from community elders trying to schedule an appointment to get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus.

Most of these callers are crying. Most of them are Black.

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South King County Residents 65 and Older Eligible for Vaccination at Mass Vaccination Sites

by Carolyn Bick


South King County residents aged 65 and older are now eligible to be vaccinated at Public Health — Seattle & King County’s two South King County mass vaccination sites starting today, March 1.

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BREAKING: King County Jail System to Begin COVID Surveillance Testing on Incarcerated Adults

by Carolyn Bick


The King County Jail system will begin surveillance testing of its incarcerated adult population starting as soon as tomorrow, Jan. 13, according to an internal Jan. 12 email shared with the Emerald

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King County Commits $7 Million to Increased Vaccination Efforts, Won’t Change Jail COVID Protocols

by Carolyn Bick


King County will be committing $7 million to ramp up vaccination efforts to prevent against COVID-19, with two high-volume vaccination sites slated for South King County in the near future, King County Executive Dow Constantine announced in a public health briefing on Jan. 8.

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BREAKING: Four New COVID Cases Detected at King County Jail

by Carolyn Bick


Four new cases of COVID-19 have been detected at the King County Jail in downtown Seattle, according to an internal email shared with the Emerald on Jan. 4.

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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. 

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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.

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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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