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King County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer
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News from and about King County… from health updates to community news affecting our daily lives.

Dear Friends:

Today’s update includes information about my recent visit with the Federal Way High School boys’ basketball coach, the new King County Council district boundaries, free COVID-19 home test kits for residents, the Vets 4HIRE and Army Emergency Relief programs, an isolation and quarantine site in Auburn, King County’s temporary suspension of in-person jury trials, FEMA’s Mobile Community Vaccination clinic in Auburn, health updates and more.

Washington Trivia

This King County resident was the inspiration for the Nintendo video game character named Mario. Who was he?

(Answer is at the bottom).

Federal Way High School Boys’ Basketball

Yesterday I met with my friend, Coach Yattah Reed, who I watched play for the FWHS Basketball Team in the 1990s, and who is now teaching and coaching boys’ basketball at his alma mater. It was great to check out the new FWHS uniforms, which were funded by a local, private foundation. Go Eagles (unless you’re playing my alma mater, Clover Park High School)!

With FWHS Boys’ Basketball Coach Yattah Reed

New King County Council district boundaries now in effect

Following the redistricting process and public hearing conducted by the King County Districting Committee last year, the adopted plan map that shows the new King County Council district boundaries is now in effect. To check if your precinct, county council and city council voting districts have changed, visit Find My Districts and enter your address. For more information on the entire process of the redrawing of the King County Council Districts, visit https://kingcounty.gov/independent/districting.

King County, state purchase at-home COVID-19 test kits to expand testing

Yesterday, King County announced the purchase of an additional 400,000 COVID-19 home testing kits for King County residents, following last week’s purchase of an initial 300,000 kits. The first 100,000 kits are scheduled to arrive next week and the remaining shipments will follow soon after. Distribution of these testing kits will prioritize areas of the county and communities that are in the most need. Public Health is putting plans into place to get the tests to community-based organizations, community health centers, senior centers, libraries, and other congregate locations as soon as the supplies arrive. Read more here.

Gov. Inslee also announced that the state received 800,000 at-home tests with another 2 million expected this week. The plan is to make these test kits, as well as free masks, available through schools and local health departments. The state is also partnering with Amazon and CareEvolution and is creating a web portal to make it easier for families to order test kits directly to their homes. Read more here.

King County suspends in-person jury trials through January 14

On December 28th, King County Superior Court Presiding Judge Jim Rogers issued an emergency order, putting in-person jury trials on hold through January 14th, to minimize the number of people in the court buildings amid the challenges caused by the Omicron variant. Read more in The Seattle Times article here.

King County Vets 4 HIRE Program

King County is looking for veterans, or those currently serving active duty in the National Guard or any reserve component of the U.S. military who are creative problem solvers with a desire to serve the people of King County. Successful candidates will be placed in veteran fellowship positions where they will have an opportunity to immerse themselves into a challenging role at King County. The detailed descriptions can also be viewed at www.kingcounty.gov/Vets4HIRE under the “2022 Positions” tab as they become available.

Army Emergency Relief Program

The Army Emergency Relief (AER) is a private, non-profit organization that aims to help soldiers and their family members who are experiencing financial emergencies. They provide assistance to eligible soldiers in accordance with Army Regulation 930-4 and have programs for wounded warriors and surviving spouses and children of active and retired soldiers. For more information and to find your nearest office, visit https://www.armyemergencyrelief.org/assistance. If no installations are found, you may call the American Red Cross at 1-877-272-7337, select option 1 for AER assistance.

Isolation, quarantine site opens in Auburn as COVID-19 cases rise

In response to the rising number of COVID-19 cases linked to the Omicron variant, King County opened an isolation and quarantine facility in the former Auburn Clarion Inn, offering 100 rooms for people who are unable to isolate or quarantine at home, are in group living settings, do not have permanent housing or do not have a separate room where they can recover away from other household members. The site provides twenty-four-hour security, transportation and medical resources. Read more in the KING 5 News article here.

FEMA's Mobile Community Vaccination Clinic in South King County

Last week, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) began sending its Mobile Community Vaccination Center to South King County to provide free COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters to everyone ages five and older. The mobile clinic first opened at the Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center on December 29th through January 3rd. Yesterday, January 5th, it moved to the Auburn GSA located at 2701 C St. SW, Auburn, WA 98001, open daily from 2:00 – 9:00 pm. For more information and to register online, click here or call 1-800-525-0127.

Non-Profit Corner

Below are a couple places where your donations go a long way:

Auburn Food Bank
930 18th Pl NE, Auburn, WA 98002
Donations accepted in person Monday-Friday (8:00 am to 3:00 pm)

Auburn Valley Humane Society
4910 A St. SE, Auburn, WA 98092
1123 E Main St., Auburn, WA 98002 (Thrift Store)
To donate supplies, call 253-545-0314 Monday-Saturday (10:00 am – 6:00 pm), Sunday (11:00 am – 5:00 pm).

Bloodworks Northwest
1414 S 324th St., Suite B101, Federal Way, WA 98003
Whole blood and apheresis donations are accepted Monday-Tuesday (10:00 am to 6:00 pm), Wednesday, Friday-Saturday (8:00 am to 4:00 pm), and Sunday (9:00 am to 5:00 pm). To schedule a donation appointment, call 253-945-8660 or 800-398-7888 or visit https://schedule.bloodworksnw.org/DonorPortal/.

Bridging a Gap (BAG)
33313 1st Way S, Federal Way, WA 98003
Food donations can be dropped off at the following locations:
St. Luke’s Church - 515 S 312th St., Federal Way, WA 98003
Communities in Schools - 1825 S 316th St. Federal Way, WA 98003
Red Canoe Credit Union - 33616 Pacific Hwy S, Federal Way, WA 98003

Federal Way Senior Center
4016 S 352nd St., Auburn, WA 98001
To volunteer, please call 253-838-3604 or email director_fwsc@hotmail.com.

FUSION Décor Boutique
1108 S 322nd Pl, Federal Way, WA 98003
Donations are accepted Tuesday-Saturday (10:00 am to 6:00 pm)
Please call beforehand at 253-839-4045 with a description of the items.

Multi-Service Center Food Bank
1200 S 336th St., Federal Way, WA 98003
Donations may be dropped off at the warehouse Monday-Friday (8:30 am to 4:00 pm)

The Salvation Army
26419 16th Ave S, Des Moines, WA 98198
Open Monday-Thursday (9:00 am to 4:30 pm) and Friday (9:00 am to 12:00 pm)

In talking with Debbie Christian of the Auburn Food Bank and others, our local food banks need our help to keep their cupboards full. Please consider a donation of money or food so they can continue this valuable work.

King County Road Alerts

The recent winter weather has brought many challenges to residents, as snow and ice remain an issue. To stay informed about road conditions on county-maintained roads, visit King County Road Alerts. For more information about winter weather preparation, click here. To request assistance regarding road maintenance and traffic safety in unincorporated King County, contact 24/7 Road Helpline at 206-477-8100 or 1-800-527-6237.

Weekly King County Health Updates

Preventing cold weather medical emergencies

Spending time outdoors improves our physical and mental health. Among the most physically active people in the U.S., many Washingtonians are expected to spend even more time outdoors in the coming months due to restrictions on indoor activities. With a forecasted colder and wetter than average winter, stay safe by learning who is at risk of hypothermia (abnormally low body temperature) and frostbite (freezing of the skin and underlying tissues), and what to do when experiencing these medical emergencies.

CDC approves measures to increase access to additional doses of Pfizer vaccine

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) signed off on two measures, shortening the recommended interval to receive the Pfizer booster shot and recommending that kids ages 5 to 11 with moderately or severely weakened immune systems receive an additional dose 28 days after their second Pfizer shot. These decisions follow the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of booster shots for kids ages 12 to 15. Those who had an initial series of Pfizer vaccinations can now get their booster shot five months after the second dose instead of six months. Read more in the KING 5 News article here.

Long-term symptoms after COVID-19 illness affect all groups including young people

A University of Washington study found that approximately 30 percent of people who had COVID-19 illness later developed long-term symptoms including fatigue, difficulty thinking or concentrating, and shortness of breath. Furthermore, emerging data consistently report two striking findings about people who developed long-term symptoms:

- It did not matter whether they were asymptomatic, mildly symptomatic, or severely ill and hospitalized with COVID-19; and
- Risk factors including age, prior health or fitness, and underlying health issues in non-hospitalized people made very little difference.

In fact, clinicians across the country are stunned by the large number of young people (20s, 30s) who had mild disease and long COVID symptoms. The CDC and UW Medicine offer information on long-term/long-haul/post-COVID conditions. As of July 2021, “long COVID,” also known as post-COVID conditions, can be considered a disability under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).

King County COVID-19 Case Update

Today, Seattle – King County Public Health reported 5,694 new positive cases, bringing the total in King County to 224,610. In addition, Public Health reported 8 new deaths, bringing the total in the county to 2,184.

Recent data may be incomplete. For more information, visit the King County COVID Daily Summary Dashboard here.

Vaccine Locator: To find COVID-19 vaccine appointments, visit Vaccine Locator.

For King County residents: Register here to schedule your appointment at one of the high-volume vaccination sites in Auburn and Kent.

For in-home vaccination: Call King County COVID-19 Call Center at 206-477-3977.

Register by phone: Call King County COVID-19 Call Center at 206-477-3977 or Washington COVID-19 Assistance Hotline at 1-800-525-0127, then press #.

For veterans: Call 206-716-5716 or visit www.va.gov/health-care/covid-19-vaccine.

For more information, visit Getting vaccinated in King County.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 or Text TALK to 741-741

With best wishes,

Pete von Reichbauer
King County Councilmember

Washington trivia answer:

Mario Arnold Segale was an American businessman and real estate developer who was involved in many development projects in King County. Born to Italian immigrant parents, Mario attended Highline High School and started a construction company with a single truck in 1957. M.A. Segale Inc., his privately-owned asphalt and construction business, flourished and grew into a major regional contractor.

Mario and his son Mark were also involved in other ventures, including real estate investments such as selling the land rights to Emerald Downs in Auburn to the Muckleshoot Tribe. In 1981, the video game company Nintendo began renting one of Mario’s warehouses in Tukwila as their American headquarters. When they were coming up with a name for their video game character, who was then known as Jumpman of Donkey Kong, Nintendo employees thought Mario would be a perfect name for their character. Nintendo's Mario became, and remains, one of the most popular, influential, and beloved video game characters ever created.

Mario passed away on October 27, 2018 at his home in Tukwila, at the age of 84.

(Photo Source: Wikipedia)

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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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