News from and about King County… from COVID-19 updates to community news affecting our daily lives.
Today’s update includes information on the Governor’s announcement on changes to Healthy Washington reopening plan, COVID vaccine distribution in King County, new more contagious COVID-19 strain, open positions on the King County International Airport Roundtable, King County Road Services, and more.
How did Hunts Point get its name?
(Answer is at the bottom).
Governor announces two regions can move to Phase 2 of the Healthy Washington reopening plan as criteria eases
Governor Jay Inslee announced a revised plan allowing Snohomish, King and Pierce counties in the Puget Sound region and Grays Harbor, Pacific, Thurston, and Lewis counties in the West region to move to Phase 2 of the Healthy Washington reopening plan beginning Monday, February 1st.
Following conversations with public health leaders and the state’s increasing vaccination rates, regions will now be required to meet three of four health metrics to progress to Phase 2, instead of all four. The time frame on posting and evaluating the metrics have also been adjusted from a weekly basis (every Friday) to every two weeks. Read more in the King 5 article here.
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COVID-19 Vaccine Update
King County is working hard to rapidly vaccinate the 1.8 million adults who live in our region, starting with those at highest risk, with a goal of reaching 70%, or 1.26 million people, by the end of summer. The biggest constraint remains short supply from the manufacturers and the federal government. This week, King County providers are expected to receive only 22,250 first doses, which is dramatically lower than the number of doses received the previous week of 73,050 total doses (38,325 first doses and 34,725 second doses). This dose reduction was done at the same time as nearly 300,000 new King County residents become eligible for the vaccination.
Despite the difficult week ahead, planning for high-volume vaccination sites continues. The first high volume vaccination site will be opening next week with an additional one opening shortly after. These will be located in South King County where the disease burden is highest. Additionally, there are seven mobile vaccination teams in the field providing doses to high-risk seniors. These efforts will grow with the vaccine supply, in partnership with many business and health care providers across the county. You can learn more at the website: Getting vaccinated in King County.
Who says we don’t have something to look forward to?
As we continue to grapple with the social frustrations of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still things for us to look forward to. I’m wearing my Seattle Pilots throwback sweatshirt because the Seattle Mariners pitchers and catchers report to spring training on February 17th. This year will also be the inaugural season for the Seattle Kraken, who will have their expansion draft on July 21st, before their first game this fall. Go Mariners! Go Kraken!
New more contagious COVID-19 strain confirmed in Snohomish, Pierce Counties
It is worrisome, but not surprising, to learn that the new COVID-19 variant strain that has been reported in many U.S. states has now been detected in Washington state. On January 23rd, the state Department of Health and Snohomish Health District announced that UW Medicine Virology Lab detected two cases of the COVID-19 variant, known as B117, commonly referred to as the U.K. variant, in specimens collected from two Snohomish County residents. A day after this announcement, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department also announced that this U.K. variant has been found in an existing case in Pierce County.
As we confront this more contagious strain of COVID-19, here’s the important thing to understand: The variant strain spreads in the same ways as other COVID-19 strains – it is just more contagious. This means we need to get better at our countermeasures: wearing masks, practicing social distancing, keeping good ventilation and staying home when possible. “We need to fight smarter and harder to beat it,” said Public Health – Seattle and King County Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin. Read more in this Public Health Insider blog post.
King County International Airport seeks Roundtable representatives
King County International Airport-Boeing Field is looking for applicants to fill several open positions on the Airport Roundtable, an advisory board that makes recommendations to the airport’s administrators, the King County Executive, and the King County Council. Its membership includes representatives of aviation-related businesses and communities interested in airport issues. For more information, visit this website, contact 206-477-4993 or email email@example.com.
Road Services Updates
King County Road Services reminds unincorporated area residents and those who use county roads to stay informed about road conditions and closures, local weather forecasts, winter weather preparations and maintenance to ensure that roads are clear and safe for the travelling public.
My Commute | Snow and Ice | Local National Weather Service
Map and Records | 206-477-3633
24/7 Road Helpline | 206-477-8100 or 1-800-527-6237 (1-800-KC-Roads)
King County Case Update
Today, Seattle – King County Public Health reported 393 new cases, bringing the total in King County to 75,682. In addition, Public Health reported 1 new death, bringing the total in the county to 1,242.
Stay In. Stay Healthy. Stay Strong.
Pete von Reichbauer
King County Councilmember
Washington trivia answer:
Located on a tree-covered peninsula that extends into Lake Washington between Evergreen Point and Yarrow Point, Hunts Point was informally known as “Boddy”, which was after Francis Boddy, who had a dairy farm and a greenhouse south of the point.
In the late nineteenth century, Leigh S.J. Hunt bought the property on the northern tip of the point in order to cut down the tall evergreen trees that obstructed the view of Seattle from his home on Yarrow Point. Later, he named the peninsula after himself even though he never lived there.
Compiled by Cyndee Navarro of my office.