Tag Archives: Washington State Department of Health

Washington DOH Cautiously Optimistic About COVID-19, Urges Vigilance on Variants

by Ashley Archibald


Novel coronavirus vaccination efforts are ramping up in Washington State while hospitalization rates and deaths are declining statewide, but Washingtonians need to continue prevention strategies to keep the curve down and keep stress off the health care systems, Washington health officials said in an online briefing on Thursday.

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State Detects First Case of New Coronavirus Variant With Higher Vaccine Resistance

by Carolyn Bick


The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) today announced that it, along with Public Health – Seattle & King County and the UW Medicine Virology Lab — have detected yet another novel coronavirus (also known as SARS-CoV-2) variant in the state, in addition to the already-present B.1.1.7 variant. The new variant was detected in King County, the DOH said in a press release. At the same time, the DOH also announced on Tuesday that it has confirmed an additional 19 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant in the state.

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Delay of Vaccine Delivery a Concern, But Washington DOH Guardedly Optimistic About COVID-19 Cases

by Jack Russillo


Last weekend’s nationwide stormy weather affected vaccine shipments from the east coast to the west coast, meaning that Washington State health care providers will see delays in vaccine shipment arrivals.

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) estimates that more than 90% of this week’s allocation to the state will arrive late due to stormy weather across the country, DOH officials said in a virtual press conference on Thursday, Feb 18. Moderna vaccines have not shipped yet this week and Pfizer vaccines did not ship Monday, with only a limited number of vaccine shipments processed Tuesday and Wednesday. These delays caused the DOH to close its Kennewick and Spokane vaccination sites through the weekend, and others might follow suit. 

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While State COVID-19 Numbers Improve Slightly, Vaccination Inequities in BIPOC Communities Are a Concern

by Andrew Engelson

In an online press conference on Feb. 10, Washington State Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah said that while 940,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given in the state, challenges remain as federal supplies remain lower than demand, and inequities in vaccine distribution among communities of color are becoming apparent.

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Campy PSA From Queer and BIPOC Performers Promotes Washington Exposure Notifications to Help Prevent COVID-19 Spread

by Mark Van Streefkerk 


A new public service announcement promoting Washington Exposure Notifications (WA Notify) features campy content from queer and BIPOC performers, providing some much-needed levity as the pandemic drags on. With a cast of Seattle’s notable dancers, entertainers, and drag performers, new promotional videos shed light on how WA Notify helps prevent COVID-19 transmission, along with a catchy song-and-dance about how to wear a mask, maintain physical distance, and keep your COVID pod “Tight, tight, tight, t-tight!” 

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Good Vaccine News Overshadowed by Emergence of More Contagious, Possibly Deadlier COVID Variant in State

by Carolyn Bick


Though Washington State will be getting more doses of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, as well as specialized syringes that will be able to coax out one extra dose from every vial of Pfizer vaccine, the good news Gov. Jay Inslee shared during his press conference on Tuesday, Jan. 26 was somewhat overshadowed by the arrival of the significantly more contagious novel coronavirus variant in the state, the discovery of which was officially announced this past weekend in a Department of Health press release.

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A Hard Year for Those Without Shelter: Death Rates Rose and Pressures Increased for the Homeless During the Pandemic

by Ashley Archibald


In a video posted to YouTube, a woman in a blue surgical mask stands in the corner of a walled-off yard, a puffy, slate gray jacket zipped against the cold. To her right is a table draped with a white cloth holding 19 votive candle holders. Slowly, deliberately, the woman reads a list of names.

“Azhane Mitchell.”

“Charles Lingenfelter.”

“Christopher Mann.”

In the silence following each name, a man lights a candle.

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As Cases Rise Sharply Statewide, Virginia Mason, Amazon to Offer Pop-Up Vaccine Clinic This Sunday

by Carolyn Bick


Virginia Mason has partnered with Amazon to offer COVID-19 vaccinations for eligible individuals at Amazon’s South Lake Union campus in a pop-up clinic this Sunday, Jan. 24. The welcome news comes against sobering figures from the Department of Health, which show a sharp increase in cases statewide. 

Gov. Jay Inslee announced in a press conference on Jan. 21 that the pop-up clinic will be offering 2,000 vaccines. The clinic will be open from 8:30 a.m.–4 p.m., and while it is open to anyone deemed eligible under Phases 1A and 1B – Tier 1, signup for vaccination is required. People may determine whether they are eligible using the WA Phase Finder. All vaccines will be free, regardless of whether a person has insurance.

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State Moves to Accelerate Vaccination Timeline Against Backdrop of Frightening Spike in COVID-19 Cases

by Carolyn Bick


Washington State will be accelerating its vaccination timeline by moving into Phase 1B within the next few days, the state’s Department of Health (DOH) Health Secretary Dr. Umair Shah announced in a press briefing on Jan. 13. But this appears to hinge on some bad news: not only is the state’s case rate peaking again, DOH officials say the state is in “urgent need” of professionally licensed health care professionals, particularly nurses, to volunteer to help the state in its efforts against COVID-19.

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City of Seattle Will Roll Out Mobile Vaccination Teams in First Step of Vaccination Efforts

by Carolyn Bick


The City of Seattle has been approved to become a vaccine distributor, and, as soon as Thursday, Jan. 14, will start distributing vaccines to adults living and working in adult family homes via two mobile vaccination units staffed by the Seattle Fire Department. The fire department is the first EMS agency in the state to be approved to become a vaccine administrator.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan made the announcement in a press conference on Jan. 12, saying that the mobile units — which will specifically focus on residents and staff of adult family homes who are not covered by the federal program to vaccinate people living and working in adult family homes — are just the beginning of the City’s vaccination efforts. The vaccines will be provided at no cost to recipients.

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