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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 update includes news about a partnership between King County libraries and FEMA to aid individuals seeking COVID-19-related funeral assistance, a local pumpkin patch named one of the best in the nation, a community service award presented to a 6-year-old girl from Federal Way, upcoming Halloween events in South King County, the local health order on vaccine verification, and more.

Washington Trivia

This Auburn native helped blaze a trail for women in horseracing when she became the first licensed female jockey in the Pacific Northwest in 1969. Who is she?

(Answer is at the bottom).

KCLS and FEMA make registering for COVID-19-related funeral assistance easier

The King County Library System (KCLS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have teamed up to improve community access to the technology and resources needed to register for FEMA Funeral Assistance. If you incurred COVID-19-related funeral, burial, or cremation expenses on or after January 20, 2020, FEMA may be able to help you with some of those costs.

Individuals who need help submitting their paperwork can use KCLS library scanners, computers, fax machines and internet access to upload files. Library staff are available to assist with the process. This collaboration between KCLS and FEMA connects people with free community resources and expertise at libraries throughout King County. Click here for more information.

Carpinito Farms in Kent named one of the top pumpkin patches in U.S. and Canada

The Carpinito Brothers Farm was named one of the “Best Pumpkin Patches” across the U.S. and Canada by Yelp, a list that included only 26 locations. The family farm has been operating in the Kent Valley for more than 50 years and has grown from a roadside stand to more than 800 acres of harvested vegetables. Bring the family out to the farm to enjoy a Huskies vs. Cougars themed corn maze, hayrides, farm animals, and a fresh produce market. For more information visit their website here.

UW vs. WSU corn maze at Carpinito Brothers Farm located in Kent (Photo: Carpinito Brothers)

South King Firefighters Foundation presents community service award to 6-year-old girl from Federal Way

Arianna Graham, a 6-year-old girl from Federal Way, was presented with the 2021 Whitney Bellinghausen Community Service Award for her advocacy and positivity while promoting Down syndrome awareness in the community. Throughout October, you may have noticed small signs throughout Federal Way that feature a butterfly with information about Down syndrome, urging people to stop using outdated and inappropriate words to describe the syndrome. These signs were placed by Arianna, who was diagnosed with Down syndrome before birth, and her mother Andrea to promote Down syndrome acceptance. The award was presented by the South King Firefighters Foundation to honor an individual who has given their time and talent to make the community a better place. You can read the full story from the Federal Way Mirror here.

Arianna Graham with members of South King Fire & Rescue after being presented the 2021 Whitney Bellinghausen Community Service Award (Photo: Olivia Sullivan/The Mirror)

One of the great benefits of my job is working with young people from my district, including Agnes Wooters, a proud alum of Thomas Jefferson High School and Central Washington University. I met up with Agnes and her daughter Alexis at the weekend Farmers Market. Agnes was my chief of staff before going into teaching full time. She first came to America from Poland when she was 10 years old and is an incredible mother and mentor to others!

Vaccine verification goes into effect on Monday

Following the Local Health Order issued by King County Public Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin on vaccine verification, beginning this Monday, October 25th, people ages 12 and older will be required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result taken within the last 72 hours prior to entering certain indoor and outdoor events and establishments in King County.

Locations requiring proof of vaccination or negative test include: Restaurants and bars (does not apply to outdoor dining, take-out customers, and places not primarily used as indoor dining locations, such as grocery stores); Indoor recreational events or establishments such as sporting events, live music, movie theaters, gyms, conferences and conventions; and Outdoor events with 500 people or more. Click here for more information from King County on vaccine verification.

Outlet Collection of Seattle to hold 4th Annual Candy Crawl

The Outlet Collection of Seattle is partnering with local nonprofit REVIVE to host the mall’s fourth annual Candy Crawl, offering Halloween activities for both kids and adults on October 31st, from 3 pm to 5 pm. Kids can show off their Halloween costumes and trick or treat at most of the retailers in the mall. REVIVE will give out candy from local businesses, take character photos and offer games for kids and families. The Outlet Collection of Seattle is located at 1101 Outlet Collection Way, Auburn, WA 98001.

For a list of upcoming Halloween community events in Federal Way, click here.

Weekly King County Health Updates

Flu Season amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

Our cooler temperatures and rain signal the beginning of flu season in the Pacific Northwest. Unlike last year’s astonishingly low number of flu cases, health experts are bracing for a rebound in cases this season. Flu and COVID-19 share many similarities, but one marked difference is COVID-19 patients more often lose their sense of taste and smell.

While distinguishing between the flu and COVID-19 infection can be confusing, there are things you can do to help protect you, your family, and your community. Health experts stress that prevention is the best way to deal with the flu and COVID-19. You can do this by getting vaccinated for both and practicing effective health measures such as frequent handwashing, masking, social distancing, and staying home when sick. If you or a family member becomes ill, consult with your healthcare provider for recommendations for treatment and testing.

Bad Breath and Your Health

Approximately 30-50 percent of Americans have chronic bad breath (halitosis), but many have not known they have it until recently. While wearing a mask has been an effective tool against COVID-19 and the flu, it has also increased people’s awareness of how their breath smells. Although poor oral hygiene is the primary cause, halitosis can be a symptom of mouth tissue infections and disease, medication side effects, tobacco use, or health conditions including diabetes, respiratory infections, or cancer.

Halitosis prevention or treatment often includes twice daily tooth brushing and flossing, brushing gums and tongue, staying hydrated, eating healthy foods, and regular dental checkups. If you or your family and friends have noticed your bad breath or you are experiencing symptoms like dry mouth or a bad taste (especially metallic) in your mouth, read more here and seek care from a dentist or your healthcare provider.

King County COVID-19 Case Update

Today, Seattle – King County Public Health reported 576 new positive cases, bringing the total in King County to 160,976. In addition, Public Health reported 3 new deaths, bringing the total in the county to 1,967.

Recent data may be incomplete. For more information, visit the King County COVID 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:

Violet “Pinky” Smith grew up in Auburn riding horses since she was a child. In 1969, she became the first female jockey to be licensed in the Pacific Northwest and the sixth woman in the country to obtain a jockey’s license. That same year, she won the opening race aboard Dandy Way to become the first female jockey to win at Longacres. Violet would go on to start over 6,000 races, winning 669 times over the course of her career. She raced for the last time in 1988.

Violet Smith with her husband Richard and son Troy in 1969 (Photo: Spokane Daily Chronicle, 8/30/1969)

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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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