by Kevin Schofield
Last month, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) released an updated “Washington Environmental Health Disparities Map” for the state. It calculates the environmental risks for communities throughout the state, in terms of the potential negative impacts to their health.
Continue reading Weekend Reads | Mapping Environmental Health Disparities
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, March 22
Ketanji Brown Jackson Confirmation Hearing | LIVE — Ballet Dancer Destiny Wimpye | LIVE — Ballet Dancer Rosalyn Hutsell | LIVE — Dr. Conrad Webster of WA Department of Health | A Look Back at Dangriga, Belize!
Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 3/22
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
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
by Sally James
Washington State Department of Health (DOH) Director Umair Shah told reporters on Wednesday, Sept. 29, that hospitalizations from COVID-19 have continued to level off, but he warned that the public should not breathe a sigh of relief just yet.
“The numbers remain high. Too high,” Shah said during a virtual press conference. He compared the full hospitals and tired hospital staff members to a rubber band that is doomed to fail at some point if stretched for too long.
Continue reading Hospitals Still Straining Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
by Sally James
Latino communities remain at higher risk of COVID-19 infection because of lagging vaccination rates, according to a new policy brief released by the University of Washington’s Latino Center for Health (LCH). The new numbers show that only 35% of Latinos are fully vaccinated in the state, with 6% partially vaccinated.
“With the growing threat of the COVID-19 Delta variant in our region, it is imperative that we vaccinate as many Latinos as possible before the fall when schools reopen and cooler temperatures will drive infection rates higher,” said physician Leo Morales, the co-director of LCH and author of the policy brief, in a press release. Another brief LCH released a few months ago suggests that a lack of access to the vaccine as well as vaccine hesitancy are some of the biggest factors affecting Latino communities. Although a majority of those surveyed had positive views on the vaccine, many expressed concerns around side effects and safety, cost, and effectiveness.
Continue reading Latinos Face Risks Because of Lag in Vaccination Against COVID-19
by Andrew Engelson
After a record heat wave earlier this summer, Seattle is bracing for a West Coast wildfire season that’s now well underway. More than 300 fires are burning in British Columbia, a 150,000-acre forest fire is raging in south-central Oregon, and new fires are sparking in California and Idaho. In response to drought conditions, Gov. Jay Inslee last week declared a state of emergency and issued a statewide ban on most outdoor burning.
With memories of last year’s intensely smoky skies still fresh, residents of South Seattle are preparing for what could be another hazy — and hazardous — summer.
Continue reading Preparing for Wildfire Smoke in South Seattle This Summer
by Carolyn Bick
Though Washington State appears to be on track to eventually meet its goal of a 70% vaccination rate among people aged 16 and older, it does not appear that it will meet this goal before the planned state reopening date of June 30. The state is also experiencing an increase in the P.1 virus variant, rather than the recently identified Delta variant about which many other states are expressing concern.
As of this writing, the state sits at an exactly 68% vaccination rate among people aged 16 and older, State Department of Health (DOH) Sec. of Health Dr. Umair Shah said in a June 23 briefing. On June 9, the rate was 66.4%, so the state’s current rate represents just a 1.6% increase in vaccinations among people ages 16 and up.
Continue reading State Inches Away From Vaccination Rate Goal, P.1 Gains Traction