Tag Archives: Washington Department of Health

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.”

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Inslee: Increased Vaccinations, Eligibility Umbrella, Plus Creation of Private-Public Vaccine Partnership

by Carolyn Bick


Washingtonians aged 65 and older and, additionally, those aged 50 and older who live in “multigenerational households” are now eligible to be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus under Phase 1B — Tier 1 effective immediately, Gov. Jay Inslee announced in a press conference on Jan. 18 (“multigenerational household,” per the schedule update, was not immediately defined). He also announced a slew of other vaccination schedule changes, including statewide mass vaccinations that will begin as soon as next week and the creation of a private-public partnership, in order to ramp up to administering 45,000 vaccines per day as quickly as possible.

Inslee said that allowing people aged 65 and older as well as those 50 and older — specifically those 50 and older who are living in what was referred to during the press conference as “multigenerational households” — to get the vaccine sooner than originally planned is meant to reflect a more equitable distribution of vaccines. That said, all persons wishing to learn their vaccination eligibility should go to the State’s online vaccine eligibility assessor, called Phase Finder, and fill out the questionnaire. (Note: As of this publication, the website seems to be experiencing some technical difficulties.)

Inslee also said that once roughly half of people eligible to get the vaccine under Phase 1B — Tier 1 have gotten vaccinated, the State’s vaccine providers will be allowed to offer vaccines to people deemed eligible in Phase 1B’s Tiers 2, 3, and 4, in order to increase efficiency.

Continue reading Inslee: Increased Vaccinations, Eligibility Umbrella, Plus Creation of Private-Public Vaccine Partnership

What We Know About How Unhoused People Can Receive COVID-19 Vaccines

by Chetanya Robinson 


Medical workers, staff, and residents at long-term care facilities are starting to receive their doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as King County and the State roll out the first phase of their vaccination plan. Next in line is a group that includes residents and staff at shelters, as well as school staff, essential workers, people in jail, emergency responders, and more.

Public Health — Seattle & King County is considering multiple ways to get the vaccine to everyone, whether or not they are homeless, and plans could change at any time, said Jody Rauch, who works as the clinical quality lead for the agency’s Healthcare for the Homeless Network (HCHN).

There’s not a lot of detailed, specific guidance from the CDC or the State Department of Health on what the next phases of vaccination will look like, Rauch said — including, for example, in what phase all unhoused people will be vaccinated.

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“We Should Probably All Stop Socializing For the Next Several Weeks”: Health Officials Deliver Grim COVID Data, Warnings

by Carolyn Bick


The basic precautionary measures that public health experts have been asking Washingtonians to take throughout the novel coronavirus pandemic are now “the only thing[s] standing between us and disaster,” Tacoma-Pierce County’s Dir. of Public Health Dr. Anthony Chen said in an urgent COVID-19 press briefing on Nov. 10. It’s because people haven’t been taking them that the state is now poised to suffer a sharp — potentially exponential — increase in deaths and hospitalizations.

“I know there are lots of tensions. Everyone’s tired. But this is not the time for argument,” Chen said. We’ve got to … put politics aside, put personalities aside. We’ve got to work on this together.”

Chen and a slew of other public health officials spoke during the briefing, each of them sharing grim statistics. At the core of their concern is the real potential for the state’s healthcare system to become overwhelmed, which would likely force the state to institute more aggressive approaches to slowing down the spread of the disease. These approaches appear to include another lockdown.

Continue reading “We Should Probably All Stop Socializing For the Next Several Weeks”: Health Officials Deliver Grim COVID Data, Warnings

Declining Marine Health Threatens Traditional Subsistence Fishing for Tribes

by Frances Lee

The Seattle Globalist was a daily online publication that covered the connections between local and global issues in Seattle. The Emerald is keeping alive its legacy of highlighting our city’s diverse voices by regularly publishing and re-publishing stories aligned with the Globalist‘s mission. 


Melissa Watkinson recalls a time in the past when she could go crabbing at the end of the dock in the Puget Sound and catch a great deal of crab. She can’t do that anymore. These days, she has to go on a boat into deeper waters to catch any. 

“My nieces won’t know what it’s like to be able to throw a pot at the end of a dock and catch some crab,” Watkinson said. 

Continue reading Declining Marine Health Threatens Traditional Subsistence Fishing for Tribes