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Covid cases plummet as concern about a sixth wave grows – local, state, and national update for November 9, 2021

New COVID cases are down to early August levels in Washington, but concern is growing more people need boosters.

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[KING COUNTY, Wash.] – (MTN) Three weeks after the October 18 vaccine mandate deadline, new cases rates are plummeting statewide while the number of vaccinated residents increases. Additionally, hospitalizations have broken through a weeks-long plateau. It is safe to say that Washington is on the other side of the fifth wave.

The Department of Health reported that almost 80% of Washington residents 12 and older have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine on Thursday. Remarkably, that’s only good enough to put the state in fourteenth place nationally.

There was a massive decline in the number of acute care patients in the East Hospital Region, and the state is reporting more than 1,000 acute care beds available for the first time since early August.

The Bellevue School District has announced that schools will be closed on Friday due to low staffing levels, pending inclement weather, and Covid-19 protocols.

Despite the good news locally and statewide, there are growing signs that health officials nationally are growing more concerned about a looming sixth wave. Pfizer has formally requested booster shot emergency use authorization of its Covid-19 vaccine for anyone over 18 years old. In Colorado, state health officials have told all residents over 18 years old who are eligible for a booster to seek one. New Mexico health officials partially blamed waning vaccine protection for driving a growing surge in the state.

Emerald Robinson, the White House reporter for Newsmax has been suspended by the agency and permanently banned by Twitter for spreading Covid-19 disinformation. In contrast, Aaron Rodgers is being fined $14,650 by the NFL for attending a Halloween party.

Alaska officials believe the worst is over, however, 20 hospitals are still operating using crisis standards of care.

Howard Breidenbach of Myrtle Beach, Oregon was an anti-vaxxer and conspiracy theorist who spent 102 days at UW Medical Center in Seattle fighting for his life. He has long COVID and lost everything five years before retirement, and he is now begging others regardless of their politics to get vaccinated.

Finally, a Utah elementary school teacher has been suspended for teaching a lesson about Covid-19 disinformation, racism, and insurrection.

This update uses the latest data from the Washington State Department of Health (WSDOH), released on November 9, 2021.


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Washington State Update for November 9, 2021

Washington state Covid-19 update

New case rates dropped statewide indicating that the weeks-long plateau and the step down from last week are broken. After 82 days it is becoming increasingly clear the Delta surge in Washington state is coming to an end.

There remains a significant difference between lower-vaccinated counties and counties where at least 70% of the total population is fully inoculated.

Percent of Total Population Fully VaccinatedTotal Population in GroupAverage 14-Day New Case Rate
70.00% or above (3 counties)2,343,250188.2 (down)
60.00% to 69.99% (4 counties)1,242,200308.3 (down)
50.00% to 59.99% (16 counties)3,454,700327.6 (down)
40.00% to 49.99% (10 counties)584,875322.4 (down)
31.50% to 39.99% (6 counties)151,850300.3 (down)
14-Day New Covid-19 Cases per 100K average by Vaccination Rate for Total Population, Adjusted for Population by County

Through November 9, Washington’s statewide 14-day rolling average is 281.6 Covid-19 cases per 100K.

Skagit County remains above 600, with a new case rate of 627.8 per 100K residents.

Chelan, Douglas, Grant, Klickitat, Lewis, Lincoln, Okanagan, Pend Orielle, and Spokane counties have new case rates between 400.0 and 599.9. Cowlitz, Mason, Pend Oreille, and Stevens counties were just under 400.

Thirteen counties representing 3.1 million Washingtonians have a 7 day moving average case rate under 100.

The 7 day new case rate was down for all ages (just slightly for 80 and above) while hospitalizations were mostly unchanged.

Age Group7-Day Case Rate7-Day Hospitalization Rate
Ages 0-11130.2 (down)0.9
Ages 12-19133.9 (down)1.3
Ages 20-34127.8 (down)2.7
Ages 35-49127.5 (down)6.6
Ages 50-64103.2 (down)11.4
Ages 65-7971.6 (down)16.7
Ages 80+76.128.6 (up)
7-day case rate and 7-day hospitalization rate is per 100K within the age group – the target for 7-day case rate is <25.0, but there are other factors such as vaccination rates within the age groups, how many total tests within the 7-day period, and the positivity rate within each age group

The USA Today COVID Tracker reported 29 deaths on Tuesday.

Almost 80% of Washingtonians 12 and above have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine

The Washington State Department of Health reported 79.6% of Washingtonians 12 and older have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, and 73.5% of the state is fully vaccinated.

According to the Mayo Clinic and through November 7, Washington state ranks tenth in the United States for children ages 12 to 17 fully vaccinated, ninth for adults 18 to 64, and eight for seniors 65 and older.

When you consider at least a single dose, Washington drops to 14th place for children ages 12 to 17, 14th for adults 18 to 65, and in a 32-way first-place tie for seniors 65 and older.

The red-blue political divide is also strong in the data. Among children 12 to 17 and adults 18 to 64 the first red state is Utah in 19th place. For seniors over 65, 32 states have achieved >99% vaccinated.

New case rates in Washington started to plummet 16 days after the October 18 vaccine mandate deadline passed for state, educational, and healthcare workers.

Travel Advisories

With new cases starting to decline statewide, we continue to hope the East Hospital Region travel advisory can end in the next 2 to 9 days. For now, we’re maintaining our recreational travel advisory to the region, including Adams, Asotin, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Wahkiakum, and Whitman counties. Acute care and ICU capacity remain limited.

Additionally, we are maintaining the travel advisory for the Northwest Hospital Region. The region includes Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap, and Mason counties.

We are adding Colorado to our list of states to avoid all nonessential travel. Last Sunday, Governor Jared Polis signed an executive order implementing crisis standards of care. We continue to strongly advise against all nonessential travel to Alaska, Idaho, and Montana. Alaska and the Idaho Panhandle are experiencing an extreme number of Covid-19 hospitalizations. Hospital resources in these regions are constrained, and you may receive inadequate care if you experience a serious medical emergency.

We are downgrading our travel advisory for Wyoming and recommend avoiding recreational travel at this time. The situation has improved significantly in the last two weeks.

Thank you

Thank you to our new subscribers and those of you who have made one-time contributions. On behalf of the entire team, thank you for helping us keep the lights on!

In August, King County Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin mentioned the N95 Project as a trusted source for N95 masks. A check on the website showed that a 50 count box of United States manufactured N95 masks are available for $40.00. We recommend wearing N95 masks indoors as they provide the best protection against COVID when properly fitted.

No promotional consideration has been given, or requested from the n95 project or any manufacturer of masks

Vaccination

Pfizer formally requests Covid-19 boosters for adults approved

Pfizer and BioNTech announced they’re formally seeking emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Emergency Use Authorization for a Covid-19 vaccine booster for all individuals over 17 years old.

The submission is based on the results of a Phase 3 trial involving more than 10,000 participants. The trial found boosters were safe and had an efficacy of 95% against symptomatic Covid-19 against the more transmissible Delta variant, which was the dominant strain during the study.

Get Your Booster

If you are eligible for a Covid-19 booster shoot Malcontent News strongly encourages you to not delay getting your second or third dose. It is fast, free, and easy. There is growing evidence that the half-life of Covid-19 vaccines is six to ten months, and the half-life for so-called natural immunity is 5 to 7 months.

If you’re supportive of vaccination, the biggest step you can take to help stop a sixth wave is get your booster shot.

King County, Washington is reporting over 89.2% of age eligible residents are vaccinated with at least one dose. The highest rates of positivity are in areas with low vaccination rates statewide. The FDA has provided full approval of the Pfizer vaccine for anyone 16 and over and EUA approval for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. The Pfizer vaccine has EUA approval for children 5 to 15 years old.

COVID vaccines and boosters are free for anyone 5 and older. Lyft and Hopelink provide free transportation, and KinderCare, the Learning Care Group, and the YMCA offer free childcare during vaccination appointments or recuperation.

For information on getting a vaccination in King County, you can visit the King County Department of Public Health website.

Malcontent News

Hospital Status

We continue to believe there is a problem with the state hospitalization data and that information is missing from the East Hospital Region. A more than 30% decline in total acute care patients over a weekend or the addition of almost 350 staffed acute care beds seem unlikely.

According to the DoH COVID Dashboard, 86% of all staffed acute care beds are occupied, and 13.3% of patients have Covid-19. Statewide, hospitals have the staff to support approximately 1,079 additional acute care patients.

ICUs are at 88.7% of capacity statewide, with 24.0% of ICU patients fighting Covid-19 – an estimated 287 patients with 46.4% on ventilators. The state has the staff to support approximately 133 additional ICU patients.

On Tuesday, the 7-day rolling average hospital admission rate for new COVID patients was 109. The Department of Health reported 950 Covid-19 patients statewide on November 8, with 133 requiring ventilators.

Hospital readiness in the East Region has improved dramatically. However, there is no information to indicate there was a surge in staffing or resources to add so many beds over the previous weekend. We have submitted a question to the Washington State Department of Health. If the data is accurate, the travel advisory for the East Region will be lifted immediately.

Hospital RegionCountiesICU OccupancyICU COVID PatientsAcute Care OccupancyAcute Care COVID Patients
EastAdams, Asotin, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Wahkiakum, Whitman85.1%30.6%56.3%10.2%
NorthIsland, San Juan, Skagit, Whatcom72.3%34.8%80.6%15.3%
North CentralChelan, Douglas, Grant, Okanogan94.0%47.2%77.5%21.6%
NorthwestClallam, Jefferson, Kitsap, Mason85.5%26.1%94.7%15.2%
Puget SoundKing, Pierce, Snohomish92.4%20.3%95.5%12.1%
South CentralBenton, Columbia, Franklin, Kittitas, Walla Walla, Yakima90.8%24.9%84.4%18.1%
SouthwestClark, Cowlitz, Klickitat, Skamania72.3%20.9%87.6%14.5%
WestGrays Harbor, Lewis, Pacific, Thurston95.3%27.4%90.9%16.6%
Hospital status by region – ICU Occupancy should be below 80%, ICU COVID Patients should be below 20%, Acute Care Occupancy should be below 80%, and Acute Care COVID Patients should be below 10%

School Readiness

School DistrictStatusLess than 10 Active Cases10 or More Active Cases
BellevueYELLOW– Ardmore (1*)
– Clyde Hill (1*)
– Enatai (1*)
– Highland (5**)
– Lake Hills (2*)
– Sammamish (1*)
– Stevenson (2*)
– Woodridge (1*)
None
Lake WashingtonYELLOW– Alcott (19)
– Bell (24)
– Blackwell (5)
– Carson Elementary (10)
– Clara Barton (23)
– Eastlake High (66)
– Ella Baker (6)
– Evergreen Middle School (1)
– Finn Hill Middle School (5)
– Frost (5)
– Inglewood Middle School (13)
– Juanita Elementary (1)
– Juanita High (30)
– Kamiakin Middle School (5)
– Keller (6)
– Kirk Elementary (20)
– Lakeview Elementary (7)
– Lake Washington High School (7)
– McAuliffe (1)
– Northstar Middle School (12)
– Redmond High School (37)
– Renaissance Middle School (1)
– Rush Elementary (1)
– Sandburg/Discovery (9)
– Thoreau (5)
– Timberline Middle School (14)
– Twain Elementary (2)
None
NorthshoreYELLOW– Arrowhead Elementary (4)
– Bothell High School (11**)
– Canyon Creek Elementary (5)
– Canyon Park Middle School (1)
– Crystal Springs Elementary (8)
– Fernwood Elementary (5)
– Frank Love Elementary (6)
– Hollywood Hills Elementary (6)
– Inglemoor High School (13**)
– Kenmore Elementary (16)
– Kenmore Middle School (12)
– Kokanee Elementary (7)
– Leota Middle School (2)
– Maywood Hills Elementary (2)
– Moorlands Elementary (1)
– North Creek High School (7)
– Northshore Middle School (57)
– Ruby Bridges Elementary (14)
– Shelton View Elementary (5)
– Skyview Middle School (7**)
– Sunrise Elementary (6)
– Timbercrest Middle School (2)
– Wellington Elementary (5)
– Westhill Elementary (3)
– Woodin Elementary (1)
– Woodinville High School (4)
– Woodmoor Elementary (6)
None
Local Districts Scorecard – * indicates positive cases only ** indicates 5 or more confirmed positive cases

We redefined the school district statuses. Information for classroom and building closures has been a challenge to obtain, both for closures and reopening. We are adopting moving any school with more than ten active COVID cases reported into the red, and we’ve adjusted the third column to reflect this change.

There were no significant changes today.

We continued to encourage parents to request daily updates from the Lake Washington School District. We would also encourage parents to request the Bellevue School District include data on close contacts. These two changes would bring the three school districts we track into alignment.

Bellevue School District to close on Friday due to staffing shortages

The Bellevue School District (BSD) announced there would be no classes on Friday, November 12, due to staffing shortages, anticipated inclement weather, and Covid-19 restrictions. Athletics programming for Friday will run as currently scheduled while regularly scheduled afterschool activities are canceled.

Some of the creative solutions we have provided in the past with staff shortages, will not work with the Covid-19 restrictions,” the statement from the District said. “For example, combining classes is not an option at this time.”

Although poor weather is forecasted for Friday, there is nothing in the weather models to indicate a significant wind event or freezing precipitation.

The District also addressed the issue of childcare.

“We recognize that this notice may result in the need for childcare for families. Right at School, our partner in providing childcare is on hand to assist those who wish to get quick access to their services.

Friday, January 28, 2022 will be the makeup day.

Schools were struggling with low staffing levels before the pandemic and in Washington over 97% of school staff got vaccinated or had an exemption approved.

Kirkland-Bellevue-Woodinville

No update

National Round-Up

Johns Hopkins University Cumulative Case Tracker reports 125,350 new cases and 1,207 deaths nationwide on Tuesday.

Pfizer CEO says people who spread COVID misinformation are “criminals”

People who spread misinformation on Covid-19 vaccines are “criminals” and have cost “millions of lives,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said Tuesday, in a report by CNBC.

Speaking with Washington D.C.-based think tank Atlantic Council, Bourla said there is a “very small” group of people that purposefully circulate misinformation on the shots, misleading those who are already hesitant about getting vaccinated.

“Those people are criminals,” he told Atlantic Council CEO, Frederick Kempe. “They’re not bad people. They’re criminals because they have literally cost millions of lives.”

Bourla’s comments come as millions of eligible adults in the U.S. have yet to get vaccinated even though the shots have been available to most Americans most of this year. Public health experts say misinformation is likely playing a large role.

Editor’s Note: We agree.

NFL opts for field goal for Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay Packers punishment

The NFL has concluded its review into the Green Bay Packers’ COVID-19 protocols implementation and fined the franchise $300,000 and quarterback Aaron Rodgers and wide receiver Allen Lazard $14,650 each for violations of the league and NFL Players Association protocols, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported Tuesday night.

Rodgers and Lazard’s fines are a result of attending a team-sanctioned Halloween party, Garafolo reported. As both are unvaccinated, they are prohibited from attending gatherings outside team facilities. Per the NFL/NFLPA protocol guidelines, gathering outside of the club facility in a group of more than three players is subject to a $14,650 fine.

Editor’s Note: Our take – Tom Brady and Colin Kaepernick have a lot to be angry about.

Newsmax reporter suspended for disinformation and banned from Twitter

Newsmax White House correspondent Emerald Robinson has been permanently suspended from Twitter for repeatedly violating the platform’s COVID-19 misinformation policy, a Twitter spokesperson confirmed to The Hill on Tuesday night.

The permanent suspension follows a temporary 7-day Twitter suspension Robinson received last week in the wake of false claims she made about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Last week, Robinson tweeted that the Covid-19 vaccines contained a bioluinescent marker called LUCIFERASE so you could be tracked, and claimed it was the mark of the Devil.

The tweet was deleted, and Newsmax suspended Robinson from her duties the same week. The Cheif Content Officer of the conservative news organization was forced to make a statement to minimize damage to the network.

Newsmax has been “a strong proponent that Covid 19 vaccines are overarchingly safe and effective,” said Elliot Jacobson, executive vice president and chief content officer for the network.

State Updates

Alaska

Hospital officials believe that the worst is over in Alaska while 20 hospitals continue to operate using crisis standards of care.

“It feels like we’re at a turning point,” said Jared Kosin, president and CEO of the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association, while speaking to the Anchorage Daily News.

“We’re feeling like the situation (in hospitals) is becoming manageable in a way that it hasn’t been in a long time,” he said.

There were 131 people hospitalized with COVID-19 by Tuesday, state dashboard data showed, with about 14.4% of the state’s hospitalized patients considered to have active cases. That’s a significant decrease from a high of more than 200 people hospitalized on average since September.

In Fairbanks, Memorial Hospital announced they were returning to contingency care.

Alaska’s new case rate, positivity, and ICU availability remain concerning, but the situation is clearly improving.

Colorado

If you’re 18 or older in Colorado, the state says you qualify for a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment says it continues to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation: “You should get a booster dose if you are 18 to 64 years old and at high risk because of where you live or work.”

But CDPHE said that almost everyone 18 or older in the state is at risk in the workplace or where they live, as an estimated 1 in 48 Coloradans is infected with COVID-19. “Because disease spread is so significant across Colorado, all Coloradans (ages 18+) qualify for a booster,” CDPHE said.

The state has also issued a public health order preventing any vaccine provider from refusing a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot to anyone who says they meet the qualifications.

Minnesota

The latest data from the Minnesota Department of Health added 7,173 new cases to the state’s pandemic totals and continued a trend of rising daily cases over the past two weeks, according to a report by the Star Tribune.

Over the weekend, however, the high volume of new cases meant that staffing wasn’t sufficient to review all the data, the Health Department said. The tally reported Tuesday is about 2,500 cases shy of the true count for the 72-hour weekend reporting period.

“That’s pretty alarming that they couldn’t process all the incoming cases,” said Dr. David Boulware, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Minnesota. “I’m becoming more concerned as our hospitalized cases are this high already preinfluenza and, as the weather turns colder, our cases may likely increase just like last year, further straining the limited number of hospital beds in Minnesota.”

More unvaccinated people need to get immunized, Boulware said, “as the majority of hospitalizations and deaths are occurring among the unvaccinated group.”

Across the Allina Health System on Tuesday, 222 out of 297 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 were unvaccinated — about 75% of the total. Unvaccinated patients accounted for 56 of the 61 patients with COVID-19 in intensive care units, Allina reported, and 53 of the 58 patients on ventilators.

New Mexico

New Mexico ranks fifth in the country for new COVID-19 cases per capita, according to the CDC and a report by KOB News in Albequerque.

“Even if you’re vaccinated, if you are in a sea of people who are unvaccinated and have COVID, COVID is just two times more transmissible, or contagious, than the original COVID,” said Dr. Laura Parajon, the deputy secretary of the New Mexico Department of Health.

From February through November, more than 80% of COVID-19 cases in New Mexico are from unvaccinated people.

Oregon

An Oregon man is alive and back home after 102 days at UW Medical Center in Seattle due to Covid-19. Howard Breidenbach of Myrtle Creek in southern Oregon admits he did not take the virus seriously.

“This is a conspiracy, just a flu they’re overinflating,” he recalled of his feelings prior to getting sick.

“I thought I was dead,” Breidenbach said. “Couldn’t remember my birthday, couldn’t remember my name.”

“We were set to retire within five years,” he said. “I lost everything.”

During his Zoom interview with KGW Tuesday, Breidenbach was still connected to an oxygen tank and could not suppress his coughing. “The COVID cough never goes away,” he said.

He is now fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and urged people to separate pandemic issues from politics.

Utah

An elementary school teacher in the Alpine School District is under investigation for teaching students an anti-vaccine, pro-insurrection, and racist lesson about the United States.

“As in previous years, schools are holding special flag ceremonies and assemblies to honor parents and grandparents of students who are veterans and to offer thanks to those who continue protecting our freedoms. An isolated incident that occurred on Monday at an elementary school is unfortunate, concerning, and is being investigated by school and district administration. District policy prohibits political advocacy,” the statement reads.

A Dry Creek Elementary parent who asked not to be identified said Larry Law made several references to fighting bullies, including Covid-19 vaccine mandates, and showed images of dictators of predominantly Asian descent as an example of what a bully looks like. The parent called it a “pro-fighting platform.”

“It was just basically full of anti-Asian rhetoric talking about how people getting free handouts like food from the grocery store is anti-American and for lazy people,” the parent said.

The parent also claimed Law expressed his support for the January 6 Insurrection, and that the “government telling us we should get vaccinated is the government being a bully and we need to fight back against the bullies.”

Law helps run an alternative medicine blog called Angie’s Option Grass Roots Movement. The most recent post, dated Tuesday and penned by Law, rails against the FDA’s recent approval of the Covid-19 vaccine for children.

Editor’s Note: Normally, we would not quote the Deseret News. They are a publication known for sharing disinformation, but this story is important. The antivax and antigovernment movement are intertwined, and many vocal antivaccination advocates are embedded in MLM and the supplement trade.

Disinformation

Taking the night off

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Vaccination for 5 to 11 year olds

When will you vaccinate your 5 to 11-year-old children to protect them against COVID-19?

Thank you for voting!

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  1. Pingback: FDA and CDC approve COVID vaccination boosters for all adults - Malcontent News

  2. Pingback: 2.6 million Washingtonians in need of Covid boosters as FDA mulls expanding eligibility - Malcontent News

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