News from and about King County… from COVID-19 updates to community news affecting our daily lives.
Today’s e-news includes information on a recent visit to Harborview Medical Center, King County’s search for community members to serve on a new Community Investment Committee, Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine protections, health updates, and more.
A former Chicago Cubs professional baseball pitcher attended Thomas Jefferson High School. Who is he?
(Answer is at the bottom).
Harborview Medical Center
Last week, I met with Harborview Medical Center Interim CEO Sommer Kleweno-Walley to talk about the important role Harborview plays in our region as well as the upcoming capital improvements that were included in the November 2020 bond. Owned by King County and operated by University of Washington Medicine, Harborview is truly a one of a kind trauma center.
With Harborview Interim CEO Sommer Kleweno-Walley
King County seeks community members to serve on a new Community Investment Committee
King County is seeking residents of the Skyway/West Hill, North Highline/White Center, East Renton Plateau, Fairwood, and East Federal Way areas to serve on the new King County Urban Unincorporated Community Investment Committee and help in designing and carrying out a budgeting process for capital improvements in their communities. These capital funds can be used for anything that needs to be built or replaced, such as buildings, sidewalks, bike lanes, landscaping, signs, and play structures. To learn more or apply, visit https://kingcounty.gov/urbanchoices.
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Moderna COVID-19 vaccine lasts at least 6 months
A week after Pfizer’s announcement on how long its COVID-19 vaccine protections last, new research suggests that the protection the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine gives also lasts for at least six months. Both reports were based on follow-up tests in several people who received the shots during studies that led to the vaccines’ use. Those studies were done before new variants had emerged and started to spread, but Pfizer and Moderna are working to update their vaccines, or possibly design a booster shot, in case they are needed against variants. Read more in the KING 5 article here.
Health officials urge caution as COVID-19 cases surge in King County
COVID-19 cases in King County have been spiking since the week of March 23rd, with a 26% increase compared to the previous week. King County Public Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin urges the public to continue practicing COVID-19 safety precautions as concerns about a surge in cases arise. Officials warn of a possible fourth wave as more people begin to travel. Read more in the KING 5 article here.
More contagious and dangerous COVID-19 variants increasing in Washington
According to a report published by Washington Department of Health (DOH) last week, more contagious and aggressive coronavirus variants that were first identified in California (B.1.1429) and Brazil (P.1) are increasing, with the California variant potentially becoming the most common strain in Washington. King County had the highest numbers of the California strain and accounted for nearly all the Brazilian strain numbers. Read more in the KIRO 7 article here.
King County COVID Vaccination Update
As of today, there are 782,300 residents who received at least one vaccine dose and 468,155 fully vaccinated residents in King County, bringing the total of all administered doses to 1,221,984. For more information, visit the King County COVID Vaccination Dashboard here.
Vaccine Locator: To find COVID-19 vaccine appointments, visit Vaccine Locator.
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: 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 100 new cases, bringing the total in King County to 89,743. In addition, Public Health reported 3 new deaths, bringing the total in the county to 1,475.
Stay In. Stay Healthy. Stay Strong.
Pete von Reichbauer
King County Councilmember
Washington trivia answer:
Anthony “Tony” Barnette is a former professional baseball pitcher who played Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Texas Rangers and Chicago Cubs. Prior to his MLB career, he attended Thomas Jefferson High School and Arizona State University. He eventually played for the Sun Devils and was later drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 10th round of MLB Draft in 2006.
Tony signed with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows of Nippon Professional Baseball in 2010. He made his major league debut in 2015 with the Texas Rangers against the Seattle Mariners where he allowed two runs on 3 hits while getting his first career MLB strikeout in two-thirds of an inning pitched. In 2019, a stint with the Chicago Cubs was cut short by an injury and he retired in 2020. Tony is now in baseball operations and pro scouting for the Tokyo Yakult Swallows.
Compiled by Cyndee Navarro of my office.