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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 e-news includes information on my recent visit to a new, affordable senior housing complex in Federal Way, Harborview Medical Center’s update on hospital capacity, the impending heat wave, a virtual open house for the South County Recycling and Transfer Station, health updates and more.

Washington Trivia

An American professional bowler who held 43 titles and six Player of the Year awards was born in Kent. Who was he?

(Answer is at the bottom).

Traditions of Federal Way Tour

Last week, I had an opportunity to tour the Traditions of Federal Way, a new affordable housing complex for seniors located across from the Federal Way Transit Center and Performing Arts and Event Center. This 55+ community is a great place and will provide walkability for its residents, with easy access to transit and the Federal Way downtown core.

With Community Director Charlene Thomas, Inland Construction Property Manager Jennifer Belew and Horizon Housing Alliance of WA Executive Director John Pilcher

Harborview Medical Center update

Harborview Medical Center (HMC) declared an internal emergency due to overcrowding, with more than 500 patients admitted due to various reasons, such as the surge of the COVID-19 Delta variant among unvaccinated individuals, pent up health care needs from the pandemic, staffing shortages, and difficulty discharging patients who no longer need acute level care but cannot be discharged into a suitable post-acute setting.

HMC began curtailing non-urgent procedures and is working with state leaders and the Health Care Authority to help find placement for difficult to discharge patients. HMC is also monitoring the heat wave, hoping it does not exacerbate the capacity issues in the coming days.

High temperatures expected to peak Thursday and Friday in western Washington

The National Weather Service (NWS) issued an Excessive Heat Warning until Saturday evening. Some areas could see temperatures near 100 degrees this week. King County Emergency News has a list of cooling centers in King County to help residents cope with the heat. Read more in the King 5 news article here.

Upcoming Virtual Open House: South County Recycling and Transfer Station

King County’s project team working on the design of the new South County station is holding a virtual open house on Wednesday, August 25, from 5-7 p.m. This live meeting will be open to the public in order to learn about the latest design, ask questions, and give your input on the design. Read more here.

King County, State and City of Seattle announce vaccination requirement for most employees, private health care and long-term care workers

King County, in coordination with the State of Washington and the City of Seattle, announced that 13,500 executive branch employees will be required to be vaccinated by mid-October. This aligns with Gov. Inslee’s emergency proclamation mandating that most state executive branch employees and on-site contractors and volunteers, along with public and private health care and long-term care workers, must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 18th. Read more here.

Canadian border reopens to Americans

The Canadian border has reopened for non-essential travel and now allows entry to American citizens and permanent residents who have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to entering and have a negative COVID test. Border restrictions for non-essential travel into the states from Canada or Mexico will continue through at least Aug. 21. Read more in the King 5 news article here.

Weekly King County Health Updates

Your child’s successful back to school transition

The upcoming school year will bring many positives including the benefits of in-person learning and socializing with friends. However, the transition may involve changes and stressors as children shift to a new setting, re-engage with their peers, and adapt to the COVID-19 protocols.

Families can help their children by preparing them in advance and monitoring for potential issues that may develop. Experts suggest that parents and guardians create more opportunities for informal play, talk to them about their worries, help them with accurate information, and establish predictable routines for sleep, healthy meals, and electronics. Families are not on their own – parents and guardians with concerns should connect with their student’s teachers and healthcare providers. The CDC and WA State Department of Health offer ways to support your student thrive this year.

CDC update on the Delta variant

Health officials want us to know that the Delta variant is a significantly different virus from the one at the start of the pandemic. Although the recent changes in COVID-19 guidance and protocols may be confusing and even frustrating, they are the best protection against a virus that can cause more serious illness in unvaccinated people and is nearly twice as contagious as previous variants.

The greatest risk of transmission is through unvaccinated people and although a small number of fully vaccinated people can become infected and transmit the virus, this does not mean that the vaccination is ineffective. Fully vaccinated people are infectious for a shorter period and are strongly protected against serious illness, hospitalization, and death. Preventing transmission, thereby more lethal variants, is key to a return to “normal” and the best strategy is a layered approach of vaccination, masking, and other health protocols. Read more about the CDC update.

King County COVID-19 Case Update

Today, Seattle – King County Public Health reported 858 new positive cases*, bringing the total in King County to 124,188. In addition, Public Health reported 0 new deaths, keeping the total in the county at 1,700

WA Department of Health is processing a large backlog of COVID test results. Although positive results are up to date, there remains a large number of negative test results that have not yet been reported from 7/28/21-8/10/21. Recent data may be incomplete. For more information, visit the King County 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

Stay Healthy. Stay Strong.

Pete von Reichbauer
King County Councilmember

Washington trivia answer:

Earl Roderick Anthony was a left-handed bowler who had various major titles including six Professional Bowlers Association national championships, two Firestone Tournament of Champions, and two ABC Masters (now USBC Masters).

Anthony was the first bowler to earn over $100,000 in a season and the first to reach $1 million in lifetime PBA earnings. He, along with Dick Weber, was widely credited for increasing the popularity of bowling in the United States and was voted into the PBA Hall of Fame in 1981 and ABC Hall of Fame in 1986.

Photo source: The News Tribune (Barry Sparks)

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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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