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King County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer
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News from and about King County… from COVID-19 updates to community news affecting our daily lives.

Dear Friends:

Today’s e-news includes information on a grant for the Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center, Moderna’s vaccine trial for children, the CDC’s recommendation on Spring Break travel, King County Metro and Sound Transit service changes, our upcoming virtual town hall, health updates, and more.

Washington Trivia

A Grammy and Academy Award nominee attended Kent-Meridian High School. Who is he?

(Answer is at the bottom).

Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center receives a $25,000 grant

The Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center (PAEC) has been a place to enjoy and learn about the arts. I recently met with the Chair of the PAEC Foundation, Mary Gates, and PAEC General Manager Brian Hoffman to discuss how $25,000 in King County funding will be used to maintain operations and expand cultural programs. As our region starts to reopen, I am looking forward to small and large shows in 2021 at the PAEC.

With Mary Gates and Brian Hoffman

Moderna begins COVID-19 vaccine trial for young children

Today, Moderna announced that it has started a mid-to-late stage COVID-19 vaccine trial for children under the age of 12. In collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, the study aims to test if the vaccine will protect children ages 6 months to less than 12 years from getting sick with COVID-19. Read more in the King 5 article here.

CDC recommends avoiding Spring Break Travel

As current projections predict the largest number of travelers this spring since the pandemic began, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns the public that travel increases the risk of getting and spreading COVID-19, and recommends not to travel at this time as some destinations have specific health risks that everyone should be aware of. Read more here.

King County Metro Service Changes

King County Metro is restoring and revising transit service on Saturday, March 20th, as part of its regular spring service change. More trips will be added to 15 routes where there is high ridership demand, while individual trips will be suspended on 10 peak weekday routes due to low ridership and financial reasons. For more information, call 206-553-3000 between 6:00 AM and 8:00 PM, Monday through Friday, or visit Metro’s website here.

Sound Transit Updates

Sound Transit is offering free Link light rail service to vaccination appointments and is reminding riders of the upcoming service changes this spring.

Ride Link for free to your COVID-19 vaccine appointment
In an effort to help people who will travel to and from their vaccination appointments at Lumen Field Event Center and the city-run site in the Rainier Beach neighborhood, Sound Transit began offering free round-trip service last Saturday, March 13th, to people who have appointments at one of these locations, as well as to volunteers who are working a shift at one of the vaccination sites. Read more here.

Upcoming Spring Service Changes
Sound Transit’s March 2021 service changes for Link light rail and ST Express bus routes operated by King County Metro will begin on Saturday, March 20th, on Sunday, March 21st, for ST Express bus routes operated by Pierce Transit or Community Transit, and on Monday, March 22nd, for Sounder train and Tacoma Link light rail. Visit Sound Transit’s website for more information.

Save the Date: March 29th Virtual Town Hall

On Monday, March 29th I will be hosting a Virtual Town Hall from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM on Zoom. The meeting will bring together Peter Rogoff, the CEO of Sound Transit, and Terry White, the new General Manager of King County Metro, to discuss the evolving modes of transportation and to answer your questions.

If you are interested in attending this virtual event, please email my Chief of Staff, Tyler Pichette, at tyler.pichette@kingcounty.gov for the Zoom information. Alternatively, you can follow along on Facebook live at www.facebook.com/vonreichbauer.

Weekly COVID-19 News: Spring brings hopeful news

Although winter may not be entirely over, our early blooming flowers remind us that beautiful weather is just ahead. All of us have been living through a particularly difficult year caused by the pandemic, but recent news may be fostering another thing to bloom – hope that we are closer to beating this pandemic. Vaccination capacity is increasing, and the King County Council continues to work for equitable support for its residents

Though there are variants that are still present in our region, viruses are known to constantly change as they pass from person to person, and not all the resulting variants negatively affect people’s health. Those that do are called variants of concern (VOC) because they can spread more easily, and current vaccines may be less effective against them.

Now that all three VOCs have been found in King County, Dr. Jeffrey Duchin, Public Health Officer for Seattle and King County, reminded us in a recent article that we can take steps to limit the damage of these variants by practicing the same precautions that have helped us drive down case counts in the past - wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, washing hands often, asking healthcare providers about getting vaccinated, and avoiding crowds, travel, and unventilated indoor spaces.

King County COVID Vaccination Update

As of today, there were 508,860 first dose and 278,434 second dose vaccines administered among King County residents, bringing the total of all administered doses to 787,294. For more information, visit the King County COVID Vaccination Dashboard here.

Phase Finder: To assess your eligibility to receive COVID-19 vaccine, please visit the Washington Department of Health Phase Finder web form.

For eligible South King County residents: Public Health – Seattle and King County has high-volume vaccinations sites in Auburn and Kent. Register here.

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

For veterans: Call 1-800-698-2411 and press 8 for COVID information or visit www.va.gov/health-care/covid-19-vaccine.

For more information, visit Getting vaccinated in King County.

King County Case Update
Today, Seattle – King County Public Health reported 113 new cases, bringing the total in King County to 84,416. In addition, Public Health reported 4 new deaths, bringing the total in the county to 1,441.

Stay In. Stay Healthy. Stay Strong.

Pete von Reichbauer
King County Councilmember

Washington trivia answer:

Kyle Townsend is a three-time Grammy Award and two-time Academy Award nominee, who was born and raised in the Central District neighborhood in Seattle, Washington. As the choir director at the church his family attended, his mother introduced him to music, leading him to play the piano at age 6 and installing him as organist at their church at age 7. At age 11, he was able to perform with Reverend Timothy Wright, a Grammy Award-winning gospel recording artist.

Kyle graduated from Kent-Meridian High School and later pursued his music career in Los Angeles, with a focus on production. He produced records for Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson, Ariana Grande, Jessie J, Lady Gaga, Fifth Harmony, Diane Warren, David Foster, and many others, as well as the title song for the film Silver Linings Playbook.

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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