News from and about King County… from health updates to community news affecting our daily lives.
Today’s update includes news about the King County Council’s recognition of Ukraine National Day, new vaccination requirements for attending local sporting events, additional Sounder trains on Seahawk game days, a new county grant program to help cultural organizations and creative businesses impacted by the pandemic, a local traffic update, countywide vaccination summaries, a new mobile app from the Sheriff’s Office, and more.
This Decatur High School graduate made his Major League Baseball debut this week when he was named the starting pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels. Who is he?
(Answer is at the bottom).
Ukraine National Day Recognition
This week, the King County Council, joined by Honorary Consul of Ukraine Valeriy V. Goloborodko, recognized August 24, 2021 as the 30th Anniversary of Ukraine National Day, celebrating Ukraine’s independence from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1991. In recognizing Ukrainian independence, the Council made note of the many Ukrainian Americans living in King County who have enriched our region through their contributions in business, academia, government and the arts, and how these contributions have helped to strengthen our community.
There are over 70,000 residents of Ukrainian descent living in the Pacific Northwest and as of 2017, Ukrainian Americans ranked 8th among foreign-born populations in King County. In 2019, 71 percent of the immigrants to Washington state were from Ukraine. Each year, the Ukrainian American community shares its rich history, culture and traditions at the Northwest Ukrainian International Festival in King County, which is the largest Ukrainian cultural event on the West Coast.
With Honorary Consul of Ukraine Valeriy V. Goloborodko
Seahawks, Sounders, Mariners, Kraken, Cougars, Huskies to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for fans
Fans attending most college and pro sporting events in Seattle will soon be required to show proof they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19 or that they’ve tested negative for the virus. For a detailed look at each venue’s requirements, click here.
Sounder Seahawks game day trains start September 19th
Seattle Seahawks fans can save on travel time, parking, and gas by taking Sound Transit’s popular Sounder trains to the Seahawks 1:25 p.m. game Sunday, September 19th against the Tennessee Titans. Special Sounder service is in addition to regular Link light rail, ST Express, and King County Metro service to and from Lumen Field. Sounder trains will also be available for Seahawks games on October 31st, November 21st, December 26th and January 2nd. An online schedule of Sounder trains serving Seahawks games is available here.
King County launches $20 million in grants for cultural sector
King County has allocated $20 million in ARPA funding to support the reopening of the cultural sector including independently owned live music venues and movie theaters, as well as art spaces. This funding will support cultural organizations and creative businesses that have mass gatherings as part of their business model and have been gravely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. On September 13th, King County will open a cultural sector recovery fund which includes:
• $16.5 million to arts, culture, and heritage organizations with a pre-COVID 19 full operating season annual budget of more than $1 million
• $1.5 million to science organizations that promote science and nature conservation through education, exhibition, and other programs by public admission in King County
• $1 million to independently owned and operated live music venues
• $500,000 to independently owned and operated movie theatres
The full press release from the Executive’s Office can be found here.
Last week I had the wonderful opportunity to catch up with Shelley Ko of KO-AM TV. Shelley and the rest of the team at KO-AM do a tremendous job broadcasting programming for the Korean American community here in Western Washington!
S. 277th Street Traffic Shift
Traffic shifted to the north side of S 277th Street between West Valley Highway and 55th Avenue S yesterday, Sept. 8th and will remain through November 2021. The shift is needed to allow crews room to remove and replace the south half of the culvert under the road. S 277th Street will be reduced to one lane in each direction around the clock until the culvert bridge replacement project is complete. You can find more information on the entire project here.
King County COVID-19 Vaccination Summary
King County Sheriff’s Office launches new app aimed at easing public access to alerts and information
The King County Sheriff's Office has launched a new app that gives citizens easier access to public records, alerts and more. The app offers quick access to items of public interest and is easy to use. In just a few clicks, users can:
• Submit a tip
• File a report
• Meet the Sheriff
• Access COVID-19 resources
• Receive push notifications and weather alerts
• Connect to the organization’s social media platforms
• Read the latest news and updates
• Access inmate information
• Research sex offenders in the area
The app is available for both Android and Apple users by searching “King County Sheriff’s Office” in your app store.
Weekly King County Health Updates
Routine vaccinations may boost COVID-19 protection
Recently published research shows that prior Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) or Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis (Tdap) vaccination may reduce the risk of severe COVID-19 illness. In addition to protecting against the diseases for which the vaccines are named, the memory T-cells created by the MMR or Tdap also respond to other viruses including the one that causes COVID-19. Findings further suggest that these routine vaccinations may also contribute to greater and longer lasting protection than the COVID-19 vaccine alone. The researchers stress that the MMR and Tdap are not substitutes for the COVID-19 vaccination and that the COVID-19 vaccination is the best defense. King County offers COVID-19 and routine vaccination resources.
Influenza and COVID-19 vaccinations can be given at the same time
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommends the influenza (flu) vaccination for everyone 6 months and older who do not have contraindications for two reasons: an early and possibly severe 2021-22 flu season and the continued spread of COVID-19 respiratory illness. Although flu cases have been lower since last year, more in-person activities this fall coupled with reduced immunity to the flu may result in people becoming infected by both viruses at the same time leading to potentially more severe illness. Updated CDC guidance says the flu and COVID-19 vaccinations can be given at the same time. For more information, consult with your healthcare provider and read more about King County resident vaccine resources.
King County COVID-19 Case Update
Today, Seattle – King County Public Health reported 599 new positive cases, bringing the total in King County to 140,892. In addition, Public Health reported 11 new deaths, bringing the total in the county to 1,808.
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:
Janson Junk grew up in Federal Way and attended Decatur High School before spending three seasons playing college baseball at Seattle University. He was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 22nd round of the 2017 MLB draft. Junk was traded to the Angels in late July after spending four seasons in the minor leagues prior to his debut last Sunday against the Texas Rangers.
Photo source: Angels Baseball
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