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 recognition for a South King County leader, an updated local directive on indoor masking, free rides to COVID-19 vaccine appointments, transit and health updates, and more.
An award-winning American jazz singer and pianist grew up in Auburn. Who is she?
(Answer is at the bottom).
Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to make remarks at a Council meeting about what our flag meant to me. As I made those remarks, the words I kept coming back to were service and sacrifice. On Memorial Day, we remember and honor the men and women who have served and those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
Recognizing Estela Ortega
This month, the King County Council is recognizing leaders in our communities. For District 7, I am honored to recognize Estela Ortega, Executive Director of El Centro De La Raza. El Centro de la Raza opened up a new location in Federal Way last year to expand their services in South King County. Estela, thank you for your leadership and commitment to our community and your mission to serve all people.
Free rides to and from vaccine appointments
Hopelink Mobility offers support in finding rides to and from vaccine appointments in King County. For more information, visit bit.ly/vaxride or call 425-943-6706 (Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.- 4 p.m. Dial 5 for interpretation).
In partnership with the White House, Uber and Lyft will also continue to provide free rides to and from COVID-19 vaccination sites through July 4th.
King County Health Officer issues directive urging continued use of face masks
Last week, King County Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin issued an updated Local Health Officer Indoor Masking Directive that strongly urges residents to temporarily continue wearing a face mask in indoor public settings, whether or not they are vaccinated, to slow the spread of COVID-19. Public Health – Seattle and King County recommends that businesses who serve the public continue policies to ensure customers and employees wear masks indoors.
ORCA cards now free for youth riders
Beginning June 1st, Puget Sound area youth (ages 6–18 years) will be able to get their first ORCA card at no charge, waiving the previous $5 fee for a blank ORCA card. Youth cards provide riders with reduced fares on services operated by ORCA agencies, including Community Transit, Everett Transit, King County Metro, Kitsap Transit, Pierce Transit and Sound Transit. Visit https://reducedfare.kingcounty.gov/ for more information.
Washington state traffic forecasts for the Memorial Day weekend travel
Traffic analysts at Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) have put together forecasts for how many cars they expect to be on the roads for the holiday weekend. Traffic charts are available for May 27th through June 1st for Highway 2 between Skykomish and Stevens Pass, I-90 between North Bend and Cle Elum, and I-5 between Lacey and Tacoma. Read more in the Seattle Times article here.
Sound Transit extends deadline for input on transit-oriented development in Kent/Des Moines
Sound Transit has extended the deadline for the Kent/Des Moines transit-oriented development survey until June 7th. Once the Federal Way Link Extension opens in 2024, nearly 4 acres of land will be available for transit-oriented development. For more information and to take the survey, visit Sound Transit’s website here.
Weekly King County Health Update: Oral health is linked to overall health
Oral health is much more than a bright smile; as a leading health indicator, it can signal larger medical issues including nutritional deficits, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, problems in your mouth such as periodontitis (gum disease) may contribute to heart issues, premature birth, and pneumonia. Dentists encourage regular check-ups, daily oral hygiene, a healthy diet, and avoiding tobacco use. The CDC and my health resource guide offer tips for better oral and overall health.
Photo source: https://www.stlawrencedentistry.com/blog/oral-health/oral-health-can-affect-your-general-health/
King County COVID Vaccination Update
As of yesterday, there are 1,428,968 residents who received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 1,174,354 residents who are fully vaccinated in King County, bringing the total of all administered doses to 2,525,284. For more information, visit the King County COVID Vaccination 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.
King County Case Update
Today, Seattle – King County Public Health reported 251 new positive cases, bringing the total in King County to 109,196. In addition, Public Health reported 10 new deaths, bringing the total in the county to 1,588.
Note: The change in graphs is due to evolving reporting measures which now include data on positive antigen test results. Recent data may be incomplete. For more information, visit the King County COVID Daily Summary Dashboard here.
Stay In. Stay Healthy. Stay Strong.
Pete von Reichbauer
King County Councilmember
Washington trivia answer:
Diane “Deedles” Schurr is an American jazz singer and pianist who grew up in Auburn. Her premature birth resulted in her total loss of vision, but that did not stop her from learning to play the piano by ear. She was inspired by her parents’ collection of Duke Ellington’s and Dinah Washington’s records.
Over the years, Diane has released more than 20 albums and performed at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the White House. She won two Grammy Awards for best female jazz vocal performance in both 1986 and 1987, and has been nominated for three other Grammys.
Diane Schuur at the White House in 1995 (http://www.dianeschuur.com)
Compiled by Cyndee Navarro of my office.
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