News from and about King County… from health updates to community news affecting our daily lives.
Today’s update includes news about this year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Medal of Distinguished Service recipient, the King County Ventilation & Indoor Air Quality Assistance Program, information about donation hours for local non-profits, winter weather road safety tips, troubling statistics about drug overdoses during the pandemic, health updates and more.
This Federal Way High School graduate is currently in his first season as the head coach of the University of Montana women’s basketball program. Who is he?
(Answer is at the bottom).
Pastor Gordon Banks Awarded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Medal of Distinguished Service
I would like to congratulate Pastor Gordon Banks on being named the recipient of this year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Distinguished Service Award. Every year, each King County Councilmember honors a community leader answering Dr. King’s call “what are you doing for others?” Pastor Banks has responded to Dr. King’s question with a commitment to uplift others, spread love throughout the region through his actions, and by helping people push past adversity towards a better life. Since becoming the pastor of Overcomer Covenant Church in Auburn, he has dedicated the organization to humanitarian aid in the community and abroad. Pastor Gordon Banks’ exemplary dedication to the service of others embodies Dr. King’s call to action.
Presenting Pastor Gordon Banks with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Distinguished Service Award at Overcomer Covenant Church in Auburn
King County Ventilation & Indoor Air Quality Assistance Program
As we continue to resume routine activities, improving ventilation and indoor air quality are important steps to take to continue to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission and improve general health and well-being. If you need technical assistance to improve your business's ventilation and indoor air quality and see if you may qualify for receipt of a HEPA air filtration unit, please complete this form. Applications are due by November 30, 2021. For information on how you can improve ventilation and indoor air quality please click here.
As the holidays roll around, many of us are looking for ways we can help others. Below are a couple places where your donations go a long way:
The Salvation Army
26419 16th Ave S, Des Moines, WA 98198
Open Monday-Thursday, from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm, and Friday from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Auburn Food Bank
930 18th Pl NE, Auburn, WA 98002
Donations accepted in person Monday-Friday, from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm
1414 S 324th St., Suite B101, Federal Way, WA 98003
Whole blood and apheresis donations are accepted Monday-Tuesday, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm; Wednesday, Friday-Saturday, from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm; and Sunday, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Call 800-398-788 to schedule a donation appointment or click here to make an appointment online.
Sounder Seahawks game day trains November 21
Seattle Seahawks fans can save on travel time, parking and gas by taking Sound Transit’s popular Sounder trains to the 1:25 p.m. game this Sunday, November 21 against the Arizona Cardinals. For more information, visit soundtransit.org/seahawks.
Winter Weather Road Safety Tips
With another La Nina winter expected in the Pacific Northwest, rain will turn to snow and ice as the temperature begins to drop. According to research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, winter storms, bad weather, and sloppy road conditions are a factor in nearly half a million crashes and more than 2,000 road deaths every winter. Here are some tips to make sure you and your family are prepared for driving in snowy and icy conditions:
• Keep a bundle of cold-weather gear in your car, such as extra food and water, warm clothing, a flashlight, and blankets
• Make certain your tires are properly inflated and have plenty of tread
• Always keep at least half a tank of fuel in your vehicle
• Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage
• Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface
• Only go out if necessary, to avoid unnecessary risks
• Drive slowly and always adjust your speed down to account for lower traction when driving on snow or ice
For more information regarding winter driving tips, click here.
Drug overdoses have surged amid COVID-19 lockdowns; King County follows troubling national trend
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 100,000 Americans died from drug overdoses during the twelve months following the COVID-19 lockdowns, the most overdose deaths ever recorded in a one-year span. That represents a jump of 28.5% from the 78,056 deaths during the same period one year before.
Experts say the drug overdose deaths spiked as people felt isolated, lost jobs, or struggled with the emotional toll of loved ones afflicted with COVID-19. King County is also on track to see the largest single-year increase in deaths linked to drug and alcohol overdoses in more than a decade, having already surpassed the 24% increase in deaths reported in 2020 during the third quarter of 2021, based on data released by the King County Medical Examiner (see picture below). Read more about the troubling statistics nationwide here.
Weekly King County Health Updates
To isolate, quarantine, or not?
Getting vaccinated, combined with masking and other health practices, effectively prevents or reduces the severity of COVID-19 infection, but health experts are still concerned about how easily the Delta variant is spreading to unvaccinated people and those at high risk of severe COVID-19 illness. If you test positive for COVID-19, have close contact with someone with COVID-19, or have COVID-19 symptoms, help protect your family and community by following isolation, quarantine, and testing protocols. Public Health-Seattle & King County offers more information and a tool to figure out what you should do.
Carbon Monoxide – the silent killer
As we head into winter and stormy weather increases, so does the risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Cooler temperatures and power outages often see us turning to our furnaces, generators, stoves, grills, and fireplaces - alternative sources of heat and power which also produce CO in their fumes. CO is an odorless, colorless gas that is produced when fuels such as gas, oil, kerosene, wood, or charcoal are burned. It is particularly dangerous because it often goes undetected as it quickly builds up indoors and in other poorly ventilated areas. Common symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, and confusion. Breathing high levels of CO can lead to unconsciousness, brain damage, and death especially if a person is sleeping or intoxicated.
The good news is that CO poisoning is preventable. Start by correctly installing CO detectors and regularly checking their batteries. Avoid idling your car in the garage, even if the door is open. Professionally service and maintain fireplaces and any fuel burning appliances while using them only for their intended purposes – never indoors and never in poorly ventilated spaces. Public Health-Seattle & King County offers these additional important tips for preventing CO poisoning.
King County COVID-19 Case Update
Today, Seattle – King County Public Health reported 359 new positive cases, bringing the total in King County to 170,720. In addition, Public Health reported 1 new death, bringing the total in the county to 2,065.
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:
Brian Holsinger was born in Republic, Washington and is a 1994 graduate of Federal Way High School. He played one season of college basketball at Pacific University before graduating with dual degrees in biology and chemistry from Western Washington University in 1999. His first coaching job was as an assistant coach at The Master’s College in Santa Clarita, California, where he spent six seasons. Holsinger spent the next two years in his first role as a head coach at Montana Tech, prior to making the jump to Division I basketball when he joined Washington State’s staff prior to the 2007-2008 season. During his seven seasons with the Cougars, he was elevated to associate head coach before joining the coaching staff at Oregon State. During his five seasons with the Beavers, they made the Sweet 16 twice and the Elite 8 once. Holsinger was named to his current position as the head coach of the Montana women’s basketball program in April 2021. He is married to his wife Stacey and they have two daughters and a son.
(Photo Source: Montana Sports Information)
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