Tag Archives: Washington State Department of Health

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!” 

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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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Incarcerated People Won’t Receive Vaccine Until at Least April — But That May Not Be Set in Stone

by Carolyn Bick


Despite the close settings in which the state’s incarcerated population live, and the waves of outbreaks washing through the incarceration system, Washington State’s Department of Health (DOH) has decided that Washington’s incarcerated population will not receive the vaccine until Phase 1B-4, according to a vaccination plan the DOH announced at a DOH press conference on Jan. 6. 

Continue reading Incarcerated People Won’t Receive Vaccine Until at Least April — But That May Not Be Set in Stone

Governor Lays out Regional Plan for Some Businesses to Reopen, But COVID-19 Activity Still “Aggressive”

by Andrew Engelson


In an online press conference on Tuesday, Jan. 5, Governor Jay Inslee said that while there were encouraging signs in statewide numbers, “the current level of [COVID-19] activity, remains, unfortunately, very aggressive,” he said.

“We are not where we want to be today.”

Continue reading Governor Lays out Regional Plan for Some Businesses to Reopen, But COVID-19 Activity Still “Aggressive”

State Health Officials Cautiously Optimistic as COVID-19 Rates Hold Steady and Vaccination of Health Care Workers Continues

by Andrew Engelson


The day after Gov. Jay Inslee announced he was extending the state’s current COVID-19 restrictions by one week until Jan. 11, officials from the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) said during an online press conference on Wednesday, Dec. 30 that they are cautiously optimistic about statewide infection trends and that vaccinations for high-risk health care workers and residents and staff of long-term care facilities are ongoing.

“We are in a very precarious position,” said Dr. Scott Lindquist, state epidemiologist for communicable diseases. “This is the highest rate of cases in Washington State since the beginning [of the pandemic]. But we’re starting to see this downward trend. It’s all very encouraging.” Lindquist noted that while the results are still preliminary, the number of positive tests across the state have plateaued slightly in the past week. He also noted that post-Christmas hospitalization rates are down slightly, saying “I’m optimistic but cautious.”

Continue reading State Health Officials Cautiously Optimistic as COVID-19 Rates Hold Steady and Vaccination of Health Care Workers Continues

State Avoids Post-Holiday Surge, Won’t Share Personal Information With Federal Government in Vaccination Plan

by Carolyn Bick


Washington State has avoided a post-Thanksgiving surge in COVID-19 cases, but the state — particularly its hospital system — isn’t in the clear yet.

In a press conference on Dec. 16, Washington State Department of Health (DOH) Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy shared graphs from the DOH’s COVID-19 tracking dashboard that show case counts and hospitalizations, including ICU bed occupancy, are levelling off. The Emerald has shared these graphs below. But the trends aren’t yet level, and the state must go beyond just flattening the curve, DOH Health Sec. Dr. John Wiesman said.

Continue reading State Avoids Post-Holiday Surge, Won’t Share Personal Information With Federal Government in Vaccination Plan