Tag Archives: Public Health – Seattle & King County

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

King County Vax to the Max Program Uses Art and Music to Ease Vaccine Anxieties

by Chamidae Ford


Employees at Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) were recently brainstorming about ways to increase vaccinations in the County while decreasing anxiety around the experience.

“The challenge was that it’s a very new event. It’s very scary. People don’t know what to expect, both for getting the vaccine but even going to these events themselves,” Karla Jimenez-Magdaleno, a communications specialist at PHSKC, said. “And I love music. I love events. I love feeling like there’s a party going on because I think that’s part of community building.” So the team decided to try to bring that energy to vaccination events.

Continue reading King County Vax to the Max Program Uses Art and Music to Ease Vaccine Anxieties

NEWS GLEAMS: SSC Vaccination Event, Fun Summer Workshops for Youth, & 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! 


Mayor Jenny Durkan announcing the vaccination site closures at the Rainier Beach location at Be’er Sheva Park. (Photo: Jack Russillo)

COVID-19 South Seattle College Vaccination Event, Seattle Vaccine Hub Updates, & King County Masking Directive

Community Vaccination Event at South Seattle College — From the host: “The Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, in collaboration with Fred Hutch and Public Health of Seattle & King County, will hold a COVID-19 Community Vaccination Event at South Seattle College’s Brockey Center on Thursday, June 3, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be offered at no cost to anyone 18 years and older.

“The vaccination event will be held on the South Seattle College’s Main Campus, located at 6000 16th Ave S.W., West Seattle, 98106. Visitors should enter campus at Entry 3 off 16th Ave S.W. and park in the South Parking Lot (parking is free). After parking, signs will direct visitors to the Jerry Brockey Center (JMB) for vaccination. Please view our campus map for more detail. 

“Participants are encouraged to schedule an appointment in advance at https://COVID19-vaccinessc.rsvpify.com/. Limited walk-up appointments will also be available. 

“Public Health Considerations: In alignment with State of Washington Higher Education guidance, please wear a face mask while on campus and maintain social distancing of six feet when possible. Seattle Cancer Care Alliance will perform a health screening with each individual before they are permitted to enter the Brockey Center for vaccination.”

Continue reading NEWS GLEAMS: SSC Vaccination Event, Fun Summer Workshops for Youth, & More!

Washington Vaccinations Still Short of Public Health Goal

by Ashley Archibald


Roughly 60% of Washingtonians aged 16 and above have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. That’s progress — but still short of the 70% goal, health officials said at a press conference on May 26.

Vaccines are the “road to the future,” said Umair Shah, Washington State’s secretary of health.

Continue reading Washington Vaccinations Still Short of Public Health Goal

PHSKC Issues Health Directive for Everyone to Keep Masks On in Indoor Spaces

by Carolyn Bick


Stating in no uncertain terms that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most recent masking recommendations are “uncoordinated and counterproductive,” Public Health — Seattle & King County Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin announced in a May 20 press conference a new local health directive for all King County residents. The directive — which is effective immediately, regardless of vaccination status — asks that everyone continue to wear a mask in public indoor spaces, such as grocery stores.

Continue reading PHSKC Issues Health Directive for Everyone to Keep Masks On in Indoor Spaces

Seattle and King County 12-15-Year-Olds Become Vaccine-Eligible

by Carolyn Bick


There was nothing but good news at the Public Health – Seattle & King County COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday, May 12.

Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin announced in the press conference that the data suggests that not only has the County started to “turn the corner” on its most recent surge of COVID-19 cases, but that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has officially approved the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer vaccine to be administered to young people aged 12-15.

Continue reading Seattle and King County 12-15-Year-Olds Become Vaccine-Eligible