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King County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer
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Dear Friends:

Today’s update includes information on a mental health grant for the Ukrainian Community Center, upcoming King County COVID-19 vaccination programs, King County Metro’s open house for the RapidRide I Line, the new Healthy Washington reopening plan, health updates, and more.

Washington Trivia

How did Bothell get its name?

(Answer is at the bottom).

Ukrainian Community Center Mental Health Grant

I appreciated the opportunity to meet with Ukraine Consul General Dmytro Kushneruk, Honorary Consul Valeriy Goloborodko, Bishop Viktor Prokhor and Ukrainian Community Center Deputy Director Iryna Pylypchuk to present a $20,000 grant from King County to assist with mental health programs and services provided at the Ukrainian Community Center of Washington. The unprecedented challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic have overwhelmed many in our community and these programs and services are critical to those struggling during this difficult situation.

With Honorary Consul of Ukraine Valeriy Goloborodko, Bishop Viktor Prokhor, Ukrainian Community Center Deputy Director Iryna Pylypchuk, and Consul General of Ukraine Dmytro Kushneruk.

King County funds community COVID-19 vaccination programs to speed health and economic recovery

King County will allocate $7 million to create high-volume community vaccination sites and mobile teams to be able to vaccinate as many residents as possible. Public Health – Seattle and King County Director Patty Hayes said the county plans to launch two vaccination sites in hard-hit South King County as soon as February 1st.

The sites will serve people at highest risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 first and eventually be open to all members of the public as more vaccine supplies become available. In addition, five mobile strike teams will form to reach those who are not able to visit a healthcare provider or vaccination center. Read more here.

King County Metro RapidRide I Line Online Open House

King County Metro is bringing the RapidRide I Line to South King County to provide fast, frequent, and more reliable bus service to people in Renton, Kent, Auburn, and the surrounding areas. The I Line will upgrade the current Route 160, formerly Routes 169 and 180, between Auburn Station and Renton. To learn more about the RapidRide I Line and provide feedback on roadway changes and other projects that aim to make the service faster and more reliable, please visit the online open house before January 25th.

All regions now in Phase 1 of Inslee's new 'Healthy Washington' plan

Last Friday, January 8th, the Washington State Department of Health released a report that showed no region is ready to move to Phase 2 of the new Healthy Washington plan. All regions are in Phase 1 since yesterday, January 11th. In Phase 1, indoor social gatherings are prohibited. Indoor worship services, retail stores, and professional and personal services are limited to 25% capacity. A notable change from the state's previous reopening guidelines allows gyms to have appointment-based fitness and training sessions that last no more than 45 minutes and no more than one person per 500-square-feet. Indoor entertainment venues, such as aquariums, indoor theaters, and indoor concert halls, can offer private tours for individual households of no more than six people. General admission will still not be allowed. Read more in this King 5 article here.

Weekly King County Health Update: New COVID-19 Variants in the US

Viruses naturally change over time through mutations as they pass from one person to another. Not all of these new variants persist or affect clinical outcomes – they are solely regional markers used in contact tracing. For example, the GSAID Initiative (a global primary source for sharing clinical and epidemiological data associated with human viruses) has cataloged more than 12,000 mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) genomes. On the other hand, some new variants persist and significantly impact people’s health. Multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been identified in the United States and globally during this pandemic.

Currently, scientists are studying the more recently emerging variants from the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Nigeria. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with other public health agencies, is closely tracking these variants in the United States and reports that the United Kingdom and South Africa variants spread more easily and quickly but, at this time, do not appear to cause more “severe illness or increased risk of death” nor seem to change the effectivity of the current COVID-19 vaccines.

Although Washington state has instituted quarantine guidance for travelers from the countries and now states where these new variants are circulating, Dr. Jeffrey Duchin, Public Health – Seattle and King County Health Officer, stresses the importance of following the basics: wearing a face covering and limiting activities outside the home, socially distancing, and limiting gatherings to household members. Visit the CDC website for up-to-date information on COVID-19 variant transmission in the United States.

Click the map to show US COVID-19 Cases Caused by Variants

Green River and White River are forecast to enter Phase 2 flooding late today

The National Weather Service Flood Watch remains in effect for King County. An atmospheric river will continue to bring heavy rain through Wednesday. Snow levels are expected to rise to 6,000-8,000 feet today. Based on the current river forecasts, the Flood Warning Center is expected to open today at the King County Office of Emergency Management building in Renton. The Green River and White River are forecast to enter Phase 2 late today. Please visit the King County Flood Control District website or download the King County Flood Warning App to stay informed about possible flooding.

Here's how King County residents should prepare for an earthquake

The U.S. Geological Survey said there is a 15% chance the Evergreen State will be rattled by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake within the next 50 years. The likelihood of an earthquake under magnitude 8.0 in the next 50 years is around 40%. Below are some tips on what residents should do around their homes to prepare for an earthquake:

• Know what to do when the shaking starts
• Put together an emergency kit
• Know the location of your Community Emergency Hub
• Secure large items, including your hot water heater and wood stove
• Know how to turn off your utilities
• Consider retrofitting your home

Read more in the SeattlePi article here.

King County Case Update

Today, Seattle – King County Public Health reported 334 new cases, bringing the total in King County to 69,522. In addition, Public Health reported 7 new deaths, bringing the total in the county to 1,148.

Stay In. Stay Healthy. Stay Strong.

Pete von Reichbauer
King County Councilmember

Washington trivia answer:

Originally inhabited by Native Americans prior to the Puget Sound War in 1856, Bothell was later founded by loggers who filed land claims and built cabins. In the late 1880s, Canadian lumberman George Brackett purchased the first several parcels of timber and launched a logging operation called Bracket’s Landing. In 1885, Brackett sold 80 acres of his property to Pennsylvanian David Bothell who later built the Bothell Hotel, a two-story structure containing four stores, four apartments and 23 hotel rooms. Bothell also began selling off plots of his land and upon the opening of the post office in 1888, Postmaster Gerhard Ericksen, who was given the honor of naming the village, was quoted as saying: “There are so many Bothells in town and that’s a good name, so let’s call it Bothell.”

Compiled by Cyndee Navarro of my office.

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Contact me: pete.vonreichbauer@kingcounty.gov
206-477-1007, 800-325-6165, TTY/TDD 206-296-1024
Website: www.kingcounty.gov/vonReichbauer
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pete.vonreichbauer

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