Tag Archives: Public Health – Seattle & King County

Cases Down Statewide, but Uptick in King County for COVID-19

by Sally James


State health officials sounded a familiar, late-stage refrain on COVID-19 Wednesday: Washington is seeing diminishing cases, but the pandemic is not over.

There has been an uptick in cases in King County, according to the Seattle & King County Public Health dashboard, which showed cases were up 42% — from about 175 to 250 daily cases — in the past week. 

Continue reading Cases Down Statewide, but Uptick in King County for COVID-19

The Morning Update Show — 1/24

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 — Monday, Jan. 24

LIVE — Katrina Johnson of WCPA | LIVE — Enoka Herat of ACLU | Police Accountability Bills in the State Legislature | LIVE — Brad Finegood of Public Health – S&KC | Fentanyl Overdoses in King County

Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 1/24

State Investigating COVID-19 Outbreak Linked to Wrestling Meets, County Ramps Up Vaccine Availability

by Sally James


The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) is investigating more than 80 cases of COVID-19 linked to four wrestling competitions across the state. Some of the cases included the new variant omicron.

Continue reading State Investigating COVID-19 Outbreak Linked to Wrestling Meets, County Ramps Up Vaccine Availability

Boosters Open Up for Wider Group, Vaccine Likely for Children 5–11

by Sally James


People who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to prevent serious COVID-19 disease are eligible to get a booster, even if they don’t fall into any high-risk category. The Washington Dept. of Health (DOH) included this announcement in their virtual press conference on Oct. 27.

National vaccine regulators approved booster doses of vaccine for people who received Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccines Oct. 20, but the recommendations differ depending on which vaccine a person originally took. Earlier this year, the Pfizer boosters were approved for people at high risk — from their age or occupation or an underlying medical condition. Regulators also approved only people at high risk, in the same categories, for Moderna boosters.

With the J&J vaccine, health officials urge all people, even those younger and with no extra risks, to come in and get a booster vaccine dose two months after their original shot of J&J. The reason for allowing boosters sooner for everyone with J&J is that a single shot seems to be less effective at protecting people than the other two-shot vaccines. The DOH estimates about 393,000 people in Washington state had a J&J vaccine.

Continue reading Boosters Open Up for Wider Group, Vaccine Likely for Children 5–11

COVID-19 Numbers Show We’re Not Out of the Woods Yet

by Sally James


Nothing about COVID-19 follows a predictable path. This week is no exception. In the past few days, there was a mixed bag of encouraging news and news of concern, both nationally and locally.

Overall, the state case rate continues to drop. According to the Washington State Dept. of Health (DOH) there are 234 cases per 100,000 people, and of those, 11 per 100,000 are in the hospital. Both numbers are down from earlier this month. 

But that good news is tinged with the reality that these are still close to numbers during the peak of last winter’s surge. Taking care of COVID-19 patients has forced hospitals to delay treatment for other patients, especially in Spokane. 

Continue reading COVID-19 Numbers Show We’re Not Out of the Woods Yet

As COVID Cases at Shelters Rise, Many Are Reluctant to Enter County Quarantine Sites

by Erica C. Barnett

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


An alarming increase in COVID-19 cases among people experiencing homelessness has been exacerbated in recent weeks, homeless service providers say, by rumors that if people enter a County-run isolation and quarantine site, they won’t be allowed to leave.

And even before these rumors began circulating widely, many unhoused people who tested positive for COVID-19 were reluctant to enter isolation and quarantine, for reasons that ranged from active substance use to the fear that if they left an encampment, they would lose everything they had — a not unreasonable assumption, given the recent uptick in encampment sweeps.

“The resistance, in my experience, has been across the board,” Dr. Cyn Kotarski, medical director for the Public Defender Association (PDA), said. “I haven’t met anyone so far who doesn’t have some fear and some resistance to go, and that’s mostly just because it’s overwhelming. It can feel pretty scary to think that you don’t know where you’re going or why, especially when you’re taking someone out of their own environment and their own community,” Kotarski said. The PDA is a partner on several efforts, including Co-LEAD and JustCAREare, to move unsheltered people into hotels during the pandemic.

Continue reading As COVID Cases at Shelters Rise, Many Are Reluctant to Enter County Quarantine Sites

Fall Sports Are Back: How to Safely Support Our Local Teams

by Mark Van Streefkerk


Fall sports have returned, but the rules are a little different this time around. For King County schools, sports like football and basketball were canceled for 2020, although a short football season took place in March of this year. Now student athletes are back for the fall season, with mask or testing requirements in some cases. For spectators, a new mandate from Public Health — Seattle & King County (PHSKC) means masking up in the bleachers while you cheer on your favorite teams. 

At this stage in the pandemic, health officials know more about COVID-19 transmission, and over 70% of eligible King County residents have been vaccinated. However, the number of confirmed cases has climbed since July, putting a strain on hospitals. Even outdoor gatherings that were once considered lower-risk activities have been sites for transmission, such as the 108 cases linked to the Northwest Washington Fair

In light of the increase in confirmed cases, PHSKC issued a new mask mandate that requires all people ages 5 and older to wear face coverings at outdoor gatherings of 500 or more, regardless of vaccination status. It’s also strongly recommended that all people wear face coverings at outdoor settings where they can’t maintain a social distance of 6 feet from non-household members. 

Continue reading Fall Sports Are Back: How to Safely Support Our Local Teams

As Cases of Delta Variant Rise in King County and State, Mask Guidelines Revised

by Andrew Engelson


With the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 causing a rise in case counts and hospitalizations in both King County and Washington State among those who have not been vaccinated, local health authorities have revised masking guidelines.  

On Monday, July 26, health officials from eight Puget Sound counties issued a joint statement recommending that all residents in those counties (including King, Pierce, and Snohomish) should wear masks in indoor public spaces.

“We recommend all residents wear facial coverings when in indoor public settings where the vaccination status of those around you is unknown,” the statement reads. “This step will help reduce the risk of COVID-19 to the public, including customers and workers, help stem the increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in many parts of the state, and decrease the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.”

Continue reading As Cases of Delta Variant Rise in King County and State, Mask Guidelines Revised

NEWS GLEAMS: South King County Vaccine Pop-Ups, Composting Classes, & 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! 


South King County COVID-19 Vaccine Pop-Up Schedule

If you haven’t yet been vaccinated for COVID-19, you can receive it free by contacting your doctor, or by visiting one of several south King County pop-up clinics run by Public Health – Seattle & King County:

Friday, July 9, 1:00–5:30 p.m.
Lutheran Community Services NW – Refugee, 12608 SE 240th St., Kent, (in partnership with Lutheran Community Services and Masjid Al-Quba)
Vaccine Offered: Pfizer

Monday, July 12, 11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
Multi-Service Center, 1200 S 336th St., Federal Way, (in partnership with Multi-Service Center / Medical Teams International)
Vaccine Offered: Moderna

Wednesday, July 14, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Multi-Service Center, UW Valley Medical Center, 515 W Harrison St. Kent.
Vaccine offered: Pfizer

For more information on getting a COVID-19 vaccine in King County visit, https://kingcounty.gov/depts/health/covid-19/vaccine/schedule.aspx or call 206-477-3977.

Continue reading NEWS GLEAMS: South King County Vaccine Pop-Ups, Composting Classes, & More!

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.”

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