What a year it has been! Many of us rediscovered home entertainment and home improvements, not to mention members of our own families. As we bid goodbye to a year like no other, I hope the challenges this year has brought us have inspired us to become better versions of ourselves – taking to heart the things we have learned, treasuring the moments we have closely spent with our loved ones and focusing on what we value in our lives. Happy New Year! Please enjoy this update.
How did North Bend get its name?
(Answer is at the bottom).
Auburn Valley YMCA Youth and Senior Recreation and Services Grant
Congratulations to the Auburn Valley YMCA for receiving a $25,000 King County grant to support recreation and services for youth and seniors in South King County. This month, Auburn Y Executive Director Jason Berry and I were able to discuss their ongoing response to the challenges brought by the pandemic, with a focus on providing critical services such as child care for children of essential workers and conducting well-being calls to seniors and vulnerable members of the community to help them avoid social isolation.
With Auburn Valley Executive Director Jason Berry
Governor extends COVID-19 restrictions to January 11th
Gov. Jay Inslee announced a one-week extension of the state’s COVID-19 restrictions that will now expire on January 11th instead of January 4th. An updated reopening plan is currently being developed to provide a pathway for businesses and workers impacted by this order to reopen safely. The updated plan will be released next week. Read more here.
Federal Stimulus for Unemployment and Washington Pandemic Relief Payments
On December 27th, Gov. Jay Inslee authorized the use of federal CARES Act funds to help Washington claimants whose Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits expired on December 26th and were waiting for federal legislation to extend the benefits. The Pandemic Relief Payment (PRP) Program from the state will provide a one-time payment of $550 for some recipients of PUA benefits. On the same day, federal legislation, which extends, expands and changes the CARES Act provisions for both Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), was signed into law. However, claimants eligible for the one-time Pandemic Relief Payment will still receive it. You can read more here.
A message from Public Health – Seattle and King County Director Patty Hayes
COVID-19 cases are off the charts at the moment, and our hospitals are beginning to feel the pressure of increased numbers of patients. However, there is also hope on the horizon. Starting this month, based on the FDA action this week, we will begin to receive a vaccine that experts believe is extremely effective. But I need your help now, because the rollout of the vaccine will be slow, and our residents need to keep protecting themselves and their loved ones in the meantime. So, please use this great "Swiss cheese" idea (below) to help keep our work focused while our hope on the horizon emerges.
This image illustrates that no single intervention is perfect, but when many are used together, we can go a very long way toward stopping the virus from infecting anyone. The virus is sneaky and very good at finding new people to infect, but we can stop the spread with our individual and collective behaviors. The more of these things you do, the less likely it is that you'll get sick or spread the illness to others.
Weekly King County Health Update: Resolve to Take Good Care of Yourself
If the holiday season has left you feeling overwhelmed, you are not alone. This year, many are experiencing increased stress regarding their physical and emotional health, financial situation, and social support. While some stressors are beyond our control, there are some steps we can take for better health as we head into the new year.
Keep Up Daily Healthy Habits – Stay active, take time to recharge, eat well, and sleep well every day. Consult with your healthcare professional in advance of any activity. The CDC offers this advice to promote healthy habits.
Acknowledge Your Emotions – Being apart from family and friends or losing a loved one can be especially hard during the holiday season. It is normal to feel sadness and grief. People experience stress differently, which is why the CDC offers tips on coping with stress.
Reach Out for Support – Anxiety, depression, and loneliness can hurt your health. Reaching out to friends, family, and other groups (religious, community, social) via text messages, calls, and video chats can be helpful. For more information on the range of emotions and helpful support resources, click here.
Learn to Say No – Maintain a reasonable workload and schedule whenever possible. Also, making choices to best keep yourself and your family healthy may be difficult but they free you from anxiety, stress, and illness in the long run.
Make a New Year Plan – Once the holiday season ends, reset for the new year by making a reasonable, sustainable plan for your and your families’ health.
‘God’s Christmas gift has been our UW students’: Medical school students volunteer at UGM clinic amid COVID-19
Several medical students from the University of Washington School of Medicine-Gonzaga University Regional Health Partnership have been delivering their gift of service for Union Gospel Mission’s free medical clinic, providing care every Saturday since mid-October. The first- and second-year medical students work in teams of two to conduct patient interviews and exams, overseen by a volunteer doctor or nurse practitioner. Under new protocols, the UW students do not see anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms and do not perform any COVID-19 testing. Read more here.
Alaska Airlines to stop allowing emotional support animals on flights
Yesterday, Alaska Airlines announced it will no longer accept emotional support animals in the passenger cabin on their flights beginning January 11, 2021. The change comes after the U.S. Department of Transportation determined airlines are no longer required to make the same accommodations for emotional support animals as they are for trained service dogs. With this change, Alaska Airlines will now only allow trained service dogs that perform tasks for the benefit of a qualified individual with a disability. Read more in the KOMO News article here.
King County Case Update
Yesterday, Seattle – King County Public Health reported 167 new cases, bringing the total in King County to 60,799. In addition, Public Health reported 10 new deaths, bringing the total in the county to 1,066.
Stay In. Stay Healthy. Stay Strong.
Pete von Reichbauer
King County Councilmember
Washington trivia answer:
Originally the ancestral home of the Snoqualmie Tribe, North Bend is located on the upper Snoqualmie Valley along the banks of the south fork of the Snoqualmie River.
According to HistoryLink, the townsite was called Snoqualmie, but the Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway asked William Taylor, who had platted the town, to change its name because a town four miles away already had the name Snoqualmie Falls. According to Wikipedia, the name was then changed to Mountain View, but the U.S. Post Office Department objected because a town with that name already existed in Whatcom County. Finally, the town was renamed North Bend because it was on a bend in the river.
Compiled by Cyndee Navarro of my office.