News from and about King County… from COVID-19 updates to community news affecting our daily lives.
Today’s e-news includes information on the rising violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, our recent virtual community forum, King County Library System’s upcoming reopening of some libraries, the Governor’s update on the state’s reopening plan, special enrollment for health insurance in Washington, health updates, and more.
The first Asian American general manager in NBA history graduated from Decatur High School – who is he?
(Answer is at the bottom).
Who will be next?
The recent series of random physical attacks on Asian-Americans should frighten every citizen of this country. As part of the Pacific Rim, Washington state has benefited more than other states by the contributions of Asian Americans to improving every aspect of our lives. Violence against one group of citizens is violence against all citizens.
Read The Times article on Asian American Attacks: What's Behind the Rise in Violence?
Virtual Good Eggs Community Forum
Yesterday, South King County community leaders had the opportunity to hear from King County Executive Dow Constantine on a virtual community forum. Dow took questions on a number of issues, from COVID-19 vaccinations to homeless housing and the region’s evolving transit needs. The only way to solve local problems is by coming together. You can watch the recorded version of the forum on my Facebook page.
With King County Executive Dow Constantine
With South King County community leaders
King County Library System will reopen some libraries in early March
Beginning March 3rd, King County Library System (KCLS) will reopen some libraries to the public with modified services, and in strict accordance with COVID-19 safety guidelines for capacity limits, social distancing, and mask-wearing. Muckleshoot, Fall City and Skykomish libraries will offer a hybrid of modified in-building and curbside to-go services, while Tukwila, Woodmont and Kent libraries will reopen with modified in-building service only. Read more here.
All regions remain in Phase 2 of the Healthy Washington reopening plan
Today, Governor Jay Inslee announced that all eight regions in the state will remain in Phase 2 of reopening as health officials continue to track COVID-19 case trends. As of February 11th, the eight regions had seen a decreasing trend in positive cases, hospital admissions and ICU occupancy rates. Read more in the King 5 article here.
Special enrollment for health insurance in Washington
With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging – and all of its impacts on jobs – many people suddenly need to get health insurance. From now until May 15th, there’s a Special Enrollment Period for free or low-cost insurance through the Washington Affordable Care Act health exchange – Washington Healthplanfinder, where the cost of insurance is based on your income and family size. Anyone who is currently uninsured is eligible to enroll. For more information and how to get assistance with enrollment, see this Public Health Insider blogpost.
Weekly King County Health Update: Heart Disease and Hypertension
Cardiovascular disease, also known as heart disease, is the leading cause of death in the U.S. and the second leading cause in King County. Specifically, one in four men and one in five women will die from cardiovascular disease. The most common form of heart disease, coronary artery disease (CAD), causes a narrowing of the inside of the arteries through the buildup of cholesterol and other substances in the artery walls. Ultimately, this narrowing decreases the flow of oxygenated blood to the heart muscle often resulting in chest pain, heart failure, or heart attacks.
Although you cannot change your risk factors such as age or family history, you can prevent or delay the onset of heart disease by modifying controllable risk factors such as high blood pressure, physical inactivity, tobacco use, obesity, diabetes, and high blood cholesterol.
A significant contributor to heart disease, high blood pressure (hypertension) damages blood vessels and strains the heart when the blood pushes too hard against the artery walls as it flows throughout the body. Hypertension often goes undetected, so it is important to regularly visit your healthcare provider for a checkup. They can recommend ways to improve your blood pressure such as limiting alcohol consumption, eating foods with less sodium, increasing physical activity, avoiding tobacco usage, maintaining a healthy weight, and reducing stress.
Seattle home prices rose 13.6% in 2020, second highest in US
Seattle home prices rose by 13.6% last year, the second highest in the U.S. next to Phoenix, Arizona, which saw a 14.4% increase. With low mortgage rates and people moving from urban apartments to houses in the suburbs, U.S. home prices surged at the fastest rate in almost seven years in December 2020. This worries real estate brokers as they have not seen the typical drop in winter, which will result in an even busier spring. Read more in the King 5 article here.
King County COVID Vaccination Update
As of today, there were 321,022 first dose and 159,684 second dose vaccines administered among King County residents, bringing the total of all administered doses to 480,706. This includes the 14,112 doses administered to South King County residents in the high-volume vaccination sites in Auburn and Kent as of Monday, Feburary 22nd. For more information, visit the King County COVID Vaccination Dashboard here.
Vaccine progress and strategy: In order to suppress the spread of COVID-19 and minimize the impact of the pandemic on our community, King County has formed Principles for Equitable Vaccine Delivery to efficiently and equitably vaccinate as many eligible King County residents as possible. See the King County Unified Regional Strategy COVID Vaccine Delivery Progress Report here.
Phase Finder: To assess your eligibility to receive COVID-19 vaccine, please visit the Washington Department of Health Phase Finder web form.
Register by phone: For assistance on registering by phone, call Washington state’s COVID-19 Assistance Hotline at 1-800-525-0127, then press # for help with registration by phone.
Other Vaccine Locations: Visit Washington Department of Health’s website or VaccineFinder.org for other vaccine locations in the state. If you have any questions, contact COVID.Vaccine@doh.wa.gov.
King County Case Update
Today, Seattle – King County Public Health reported 261 new cases, bringing the total in King County to 81,786. In addition, Public Health reported 8 new deaths, bringing the total in the county to 1,373.
Stay In. Stay Healthy. Stay Strong.
Pete von Reichbauer
King County Councilmember
Washington trivia answer:
Richard “Rich” Cho, an immigrant from Burma, moved to the United States with his parents in 1968 at the age of three years. The family settled in Federal Way, where he later attended Decatur High School. He then graduated from Washington State University with a mechanical engineering degree and worked as an engineer at Boeing before he left for law school at Pepperdine University School of Law to pursue his passion in professional sports.
While earning his law degree, Rich entered the NBA as an intern with the SuperSonics in 1995, and became the team’s part-time consultant in 1997, Director of Basketball Affairs in 1998, Assistant General Manager in 2000, and Vice President of Legal in 2005. Following the team’s move to Oklahoma in 2008, he oversaw the Tulsa 66ers, Thunder’s D-League affiliate.
Rich returned to the Pacific Northwest as the first Asian American General Manager in NBA history when he served as General Manager of the Portland Trail Blazers in 2010.
Compiled by Cyndee Navarro of my office.