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Covid vax for kids 5 to 11 available – local and state update for November 2, 2021

The CDC approves Pfizer vaccine for 28 million children in the United States with doses immediately available.

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[KING COUNTY, Wash.] – (MTN) The CDC has approved the Pfizer low dose Covid-19 vaccine for children 5 to 11 years old and the first 5,700 doses were available today at Harborview Medical Center. New cases remain stubbornly high in Washington while the gap between the best and worst counties narrowed.

America’s Frontline Doctors aligned Dr. Ryan Cole is under investigation by the Washington State Medical Commission for undisclosed violations. A Covid-19 survivor returned to Harborview Medical Center to apologize and give thanks to the people who saved his life.

The Washington State Department of Health reported 73.1% of eligible Washingtonians are fully vaccinated as the state approaches 80% with at least one dose. Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal reported that the Eatonville School District has still not fired its unvaccinated staff, and is the only district in the state defying the October 18 vaccine mandate.

Dallas County, Texas reported its 5,000 COVID related death. 627 days have passed since the first confirmed Covid-19 case in King County, Washington. How do the two counties with similar populations compare almost two-years later?

Spokane Regional Health opened up new Covid-19 isolation services for people who need to isolate but don’t have the resources. Point Roberts, Washington is getting ready for the land border to open between Canada and the United States, bringing more than 600 days of isolation to an end.

This update uses the latest data from the Washington State Department of Health (WSDOH), released on November 2, 2021.


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Washington State Update for November 2, 2021

Washington state Covid-19 update

New case rates dipped to the lowest level in months, raising the question if the plateau is finally cracking or if this is an anomaly. Ten Washington counties are reporting 7 day moving average case rates below 100 and two counties, Columbia and San Juan are below 25. A new case rate under 25 indicates Covid-19 is endemic in those counties.

Columbia County is one of the least vaccinated in the state while San Juan County is the highest. Although both counties are remote, the population density in San Juan county is 13 times higher.

The inversion of new cases rates between counties 40% to 49.99% vaccinated and 50% to 59.99% vaccinated continued for the second day in a row. Okanogan, Skagit, and Spokane counties are driving this trend.

Increasing vaccination rates statewide are causing hotspots to form among unvaccinated groups. For example, counties 50% to 59.99% vaccinated contain some of the highest (Skagit) and lowest (Pacific) new case rates.

Percent of Total Population Fully VaccinatedTotal Population in GroupAverage 14-Day New Case Rate
70% or above (3 counties)2,343,250206.4 (down)
60.00% to 69.99% (4 counties)1,242,200346.7
50.00% to 59.99% (15 counties)3,433,900371.9 (down)
40.00% to 49.99% (9 counties)599,225355.2 (down)
31.20% to 39.99% (8 counties)158,300400.5 (down)
14-Day New Covid-19 Cases per 100K average by Vaccination Rate for Total Population, Adjusted for Population by County

Through November 1, Washington’s statewide 14-day rolling average is 317.6 Covid-19 cases per 100K – a significant drop from yesterday and the lowest rate since mid-August.

Four counties, Ferry, Klickitat, Lincoln, and Skagit, have a new case rate between 600.0 to 799.9.

Asotin, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, Lewis, Mason, Okanagan, Skamania, Spokane, and Stevens counties have a new case rate between 400.0 and 599.9. Pend Oreille, Cowlitz, and Yakima counties were just under 400.

The 7 day case rate was down across all groups, although the decrease for people 80 and older was statistically insignificant. Hospitalization rates were mostly unchanged except for those over 80, with the rate falling to the lowest level since we began tracking the data by age.

Age Group7-Day Case Rate7-Day Hospitalization Rate
Ages 0-11141.3 (down)0.5
Ages 12-19123.5 (down)0.9
Ages 20-34136.4 (down)3.8
Ages 35-49148.8 (down)7.7
Ages 50-64112.7 (down)11.9
Ages 65-7985.5 (down)18.3
Ages 80+76.820.3 (down)
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 31 deaths on Monday. We reported that on October 20, the Eatonville school board voted to take no action against unvaccinated staffers. The state indicated that the school was risking losing funding if it did not comply with the October 18 vaccine mandate.

Dr. Ryan Cole under investigation by the Washington Medical Commission

Dr. Ryan Cole, a derma-pathologist in Garden City, is under investigation by the Washington Medical Commission according to a report by KTVB. Cole received a physician license in Washington in 2007, and is licensed in several other western states.

He has drawn criticism from medical doctors and health officials for spreading misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic, including touting the use of the anti-parasite drug Ivermectin as a treatment for the virus, despite both the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control warning that it has not been proven effective against COVID-19. Cole has also opposed the COVID-19 vaccine, referring to it as “needle rape and a “clot shot.”

On September 25, Dr. Ryan Cole joined up to 4,000 protesters from Eastern Washington and Idaho. He was joined by extremists Matt Shea and spoke at the event hosted in part by Turning Point Faith.

On October 30, he spoke at the Alaska Early Treatment Medical Summit in Anchorage, Alaska. On America’s Frontline Doctors new Tik Tok channel, he has appeared with other AFL representatives.

Unvaccinated Covid-19 survivor returns to Harborview Medical Center to apologize and give thanks

Richard Soliz spent 28 days at Harborview Medical Center fighting for his life from COVID. The graphic designer told KOMO he had fallen down a social media hole, “after reading about side effects, claims of microchipping during the vaccination process and questions about government approval of the vaccines.”

“It’s emotional for us to see someone do well,” Dr. James Town, a pulmonologist and director of the medical ICU at Harborview Medical Center said. “Particularly when things are so dark.”

When Soliz made the rounds to thank the staff who saved his life, they were touched.

“Oh wow, you look great,” nurse Kimmy Siebens told him. “To see you alive is just amazing. You look so great.”

While it’s not unusual for trauma patients to return and thank the medical personnel who helped them, very few COVID-19 patients have done the same, according to hospital workers.

“We do put so much of our own heart into the care and worry,” Siebens said. “We never really get to see people get that much better. And so it’s amazing. It makes it feel like it’s definitely all worth it, you know?”

73.1% of eligible Washingtonians are fully vaccinated

The Washington State Department of Health reported 79.1% of all residents 12 and older have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and 73.1% are fully vaccinated.

Rates climbed statewide driven in part by a number of local, county, state, federal, and private employer mandates.

Eatonville School District fails to fire unvaccinated employees as deadline passes

KING 5 is reporting the school district still has not removed unvaccinated staff. According to Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal, Eatonville is the only district in the state challenging the mandate. The district has not released any information on how many employees could be impacted, but statewide the impact among teachers and administrators was negligible.

Eatonville is one of the only school districts in the state that was forced to move to remote learning when a spike of cases popped up at Eatonville Middle School.

The Eatonville School District appears to be headed toward a showdown with the state.

Dallas County, Texas versus King County, Washington two different approaches, two results

King County, Washington experienced the first Covid superspreader event in February 2020, the first death, and had the first mass casualty event at a hospital in the United States. A month later, Texas suffered its first Covid-19 death. Over the next 627 days King County implemented some of the strictest COVID rules in the nation while Dallas County took a more open approach.

So was there a major difference between approaches? King County has 2.30 million residents compared to 2.65 million residents. On November 1, Dallas County reported its 5,000 COVID-related death while King County reported 2,022. Simply put, 1 in every 530 residents of Dallas County has died of COVID since March 2020 versus 1 in every 1,137 residents in King County since February 2020.

Both counties have multiple regional hospitals, a major children’s hospital, and a Level 1 trauma center. In Dallas County, 88% of hospitalizations and 98% of fatalities were unvaccinated compared to 90% and 88% in King County. The number of vaccinated deaths in King County are higher due to the false data fallacy. In Dallas County only 60.7% of all eligible residents have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine compared to 88.6% in King County.

King County has maintained maks mandates, instituted vaccine mandates, followed the CDC back to school protocols, and was one of the last places in the country to fully reopen in spring 2021. Many large employers have maintained work from home rules for their employees. Additionally large scale testing centers were readily available through most of the pandemic and the county had specific outreach programs to BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and poor communities to increase vaccination rates.

The protocols, mandates, and rules have been hard on King County residents and businesses, but is there a price tag on 2,318 lives? To provide some contrast, 2,744 people died in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001.

Spokane Regional Health opens Covid-19 isolation services in cooperation with the Salvation Army

Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) has partnered with Salvation Army to provide isolation services for individuals in the community who test positive for COVID-19 and do not have the resources to isolate themselves at home.

Isolation is a crucial component in the fight against COVID-19. Throughout the pandemic response, isolation has been provided for members of the community whose living situation makes it difficult to isolate safely from others. This could be due to many reasons such as living in a multigenerational household or within a congregate setting.

Contracted through Spokane County, Salvation Army will provide isolation services within six of their studio apartments for the next 12 months. Two of the apartments are adjoining rooms to help assist larger families. Transition from the United Gospel Mission (UGM) facility took place yesterday.

Dr. Francisco Velázquez, SRHD health officer, explained UGM’s support was instrumental to ensuring isolation was provided at a time it was most needed when cases were rising. It gave SRHD time to find a long-term solution that meets the needs of Spokane County.

“Having Salvation Army as a long-term isolation partner is essential to our recovery efforts,” Velázquez said. “Salvation Army’s commitment to serve the community and support public health is invaluable.”

Washington state to provide no cost Covid-19 testing for Canadian citizens who own property in Point Roberts

A geographical anomaly isolated from the rest of the United States, Point Roberts has endured over 600 days of isolation from the rest of the world due to the land border closure of the U.S. – Canada border. On November 8, land travel will be permitted again for vaccinated individuals but for Point Roberts, there is a unique challenge.

Canadian citizens who own homes in Point Roberts will be able to check on their property for the first time in 18 months. Not only do they need to provide proof of vaccination, but to cross the border they also need a negative Covid-19 test in the last three days. That requirement goes both ways, mandating a second test to return to Canada.

Normally, foreign nationals in the United States would be required to pay for that test, which creates a significant barrier for those who need to move across the border. To add complexity, Canada won’t accept a rapid test, and PCR testing is only available in Port Roberts on Wednesdays and Sundays.

To support Canadians that own property in the U.S. enclaveve, Point Roberts has arranged for the state of Washington to pay for testing for Canadians who own property there but cannot afford the test or do not have private U.S. health insurance to cover the cost.

The Vancouver Sun reported Fire Chief Christopher Carleton defended the decision to provide the free testing.

“The majority of people coming in will be property owners and they already pay property taxes to the State of Washington,” he said. “Therefore to provide an international traveler that owns property in Point Roberts a test to go back home after coming into the community and seeing their home for the first time in 18 months, I think is the right thing to do.”

Travel Advisories

We are very encouraged by the hospital readiness data for the East Hospital Region and believe we can end the travel advisory in the next five to 12 days. For now, we’re maintaining our recreational travel advisory to the East Hospital 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 continue to strongly advise against all nonessential travel to Alaska, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. 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. Data out of Wyoming is encouraged and we may drop our travel advisory in the next 14 to 21 days.

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

CDC Director authorizes Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use in children 5 to 11 – vaccine is immediately available

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky gave the final approval required to make the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine available to children 5 to 11 years old in the United States.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the low dose version of the Pfizer vaccine in a 17-0-1 vote last week. Due to federal rules on distribution, the CDC is required to clear the FDA recommendation. The CDC Advisory Panel granted unanimous approval in a 14-0 vote, with Dr. Walensky granting final approval a few hours later.

The immune responses of children 5 through 11 were comparable to adolescents and young adults. In addition, the vaccine was found to be 90.7% effective in preventing COVID-19 in children 5 through 11. The vaccine’s safety was studied in approximately 3,100 children who received the vaccine and no serious side effects.

Health and Human Services purchased 28 million doses with regional distribution starting this week. KCPQ reported that 5,700 doses arrived at Harborview Medical Center today and the Seattle Times reported last week another 310,000 doses should be expected in the days to come.

King County, Washington is reporting over 88.6% 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.

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

According to the DoH COVID Dashboard, 91% of all staffed acute care beds are occupied, and 15.0% of patients have Covid-19. Statewide, hospitals have the staff to support approximately 654 additional acute care patients.

ICUs are at 88.3% of capacity statewide, with 25.0% of ICU patients fighting Covid-19 – an estimated 295 patients with 60.0% on ventilators. The state has the staff to support approximately 140 additional ICU patients.

On Monday, the 7-day rolling average hospital admission rate for new COVID patients was 107. The Department of Health reported 1,046 Covid-19 patients statewide on November 1, with 176 requiring ventilators.

The vast majority of hospitalized Covid-19 patients are unvaccinated and the number of patients won’t decline significantly until the number of new cases moves lower.

Hospital RegionCountiesICU OccupancyICU COVID PatientsAcute Care OccupancyAcute Care COVID Patients
EastAdams, Asotin, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Wahkiakum, Whitman88.1%33.7%89.9%19.8%
NorthIsland, San Juan, Skagit, Whatcom59.3%26.9%64.6%12.3%
North CentralChelan, Douglas, Grant, Okanogan89.5%57.5%77.6%24.3%
NorthwestClallam, Jefferson, Kitsap, Mason88.9%36.2%96.1%20.0%
Puget SoundKing, Pierce, Snohomish92.9%20.1%95.8%12.7%
South CentralBenton, Columbia, Franklin, Kittitas, Walla Walla, Yakima91.1%23.2%84.2%19.2%
SouthwestClark, Cowlitz, Klickitat, Skamania 73.2%22.4%89.2%13.7%
WestGrays Harbor, Lewis, Pacific, Thurston88.3%31.1%91.1%17.5%
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%

Back to School

School DistrictStatusLess than 10 Active Cases10 or More Active Cases
BellevueYELLOW– Bennett (1*)
– Cherry Crest (1*)
– Newport Heights (2*)
– Sammamish (2*)
– Stevenson (3*)
– Tyee (1*)
– Woodridge (1*)
None
Lake WashingtonYELLOW– Alcott (5)
– Bell (24)
– Blackwell (1* – see notes)
– Carson Elementary (6)
– Clara Barton (3)
– Eastlake High (48)
– Ella Baker (6)
– Finn Hill Middle School (6)
– Frost (5)
– ICS (4)
– Juanita Elementary (1)
– Juanita High (17)
– Kamiakin Middle School (25)
– Keller (6)
– Kirk Elementary (10)
– Lakeview Elementary (7)
– Lake Washington High School (7)
– McAuliffe (1)
– Muir Elementary (1)
– Redmond Middle School (1)
– Redmond High School (52)
– Rockwell (2)
– Sandburg/Discovery (4)
– Timberline Middle School (28)
– Twain Elementary (15)
None
NorthshoreYELLOW– Arrowhead Elementary (3)
– Bothell High School (15**)
– Canyon Creek Elementary (3)
– Canyon Park Middle School (1)
– Crystal Springs Elementary (11)
– East Ridge Elementary (3)
– Fernwood Elementary (5)
– Frank Love Elementary (13)
– Hollywood Hills Elementary (3)
– Inglemoor High School (23**)
– Kenmore Elementary (21)
– Kenmore Middle School (5)
– Kokanee Elementary (7)
– Lockwood Elementary (7**)
– Maywood Hills Elementary (2)
– Morelands Elementary (1)
– North Creek High School (9**)
– Northshore Middle School (12)
– Ruby Bridge Elementary (10**)
– Shelton View Elementary (8)
– Skyview Middle School (18**)
– Timbercrest Middle School (1)
– Wellington Elementary (7**)
– Westhill Elementary (18)
– Woodin Elementary (8**)
– Woodinville High School (4)
– Woodmoor Elementary (11)
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 was a parent confirmed Covid-19 case reported at Blackwell Elementary in the Lake Washington School District. Because LWSD updates data weekly, we add a footnote for parent-reported cases during the week.

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.

Kirkland-Bellevue-Woodinville

Kirkland Health Fair and Community Vaccination Event on November 6

The Kirkland Health Fair and Community Vaccination Event will be held on Saturday, November 6, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m at Juanita High School. Hosted by the City of Kirkland in partnership with Public Health – Seattle and King County, the event will provide Covid-19 vaccination, information, education, and more.

At this time, organizers are not planning to provide vaccinations for children 5 to 11 years old, according to David Wolbrecht, Senior Neighborhood Services Coordinator with the City of Kirkland.

National Round-Up

Johns Hopkins University Cumulative Case Tracker reports 121,139 new cases and 1,201 deaths nationwide on Tuesday. The United States will break 750,000 COVID-related deaths since February 29, 2020 tomorrow or Thursday.

State Updates

Alaska

Alaska reported 196 Covid-19 patients in hospitals across the state and hospitalized and 499 new cases on Tuesday. Test positivity increased to 8.7% while the 7 day moving average for new cases dropped to 576 per 100,000 residents. The state had 25 ICU beds available. All of these are favorable signs that the situation in Alaska may finally be improving.

University of Alaska Interim President Pat Pitney says that Alaska’s higher education campuses, research sites, and contractors will need to be vaccinated for Covid-19.

“Without acting on this vaccine requirement, we could lose substantial federal contracts, and with them jobs that support more than 750 employees and their families,” said Pitney. “In addition, the ripple effect of the loss of these contracts would be widely felt as UAF’s research enterprise works with local contractors and suppliers across the state.”

The decision is in response to President Biden’s executive order (EO) 14042, Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors, which requires all employees paid by or supporting new or modified federal contracts to be vaccinated by early December. The order requires not only people directly paid by federal contracts but also anyone who works to support them or works in the same facility to get a COVID vaccine.

According to a report in the Daily Beast (a publication we reluctantly share, other sources are behind a paywall), roughly 1,200 attendees flocked to the Alaska Early Treatment Medical Summit on Saturday, the Anchorage Daily News reported. Organizers told the outlet that attendees paid $20 for tickets to hear from doctors who have been shunned from mainstream medical circles for pushing unproven drugs touted as miracle treatments to fight COVID-19 infection.

“I’m just here to tell you after a long dinner and meeting with these folks, this is the best science available,” Dave Bronson proclaimed during a nine-minute speech on Saturday at Anchorage’s ChangePoint Church.

According to a video of the event, posted by organizers from the Alaska Covid Alliance, Richard Urso, a Houston ophthalmologist who helped launch America’s Frontline Doctors and has defended using hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for the virus, told the crowd that Bronson had “helped organize a lot of what’s happening behind the scenes.”

Mayor spokesperson Corey Allen Young backpedaled on Monday, suggesting Bronson was not involved in any planning for the event. He also stated that Bronson nor any other city employee was compensated.

Idaho

State officials reported that hospitals are still operating at crisis standards of care today and 11.5% of Covid-19 tests are coming back at positive. The weekly update by Idaho officials had audio problems so hospitalization was not shared.

While the Panhandle has had no relief since early September, officials reported that 6 of the 7 counties with the highest case rates are now in Eastern Idaho.

Idaho recieved 11,400 doses of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 today, and expects another 12,000 doses later this week.

The Idaho State Board of Education on Tuesday approved a decision joining a federal lawsuit to block contractor requirements in President Joe Biden’s executive orders that include COVID-19 vaccine mandates, but colleges and universities will meanwhile abide by the order.

It’s not clear how many workers in Idaho would be affected by the order.

Montana

Montana reported 371 people were hospitalized, down significantly from two weeks ago, however with 1,100 new cases being added a day, 1% of Montanans are catching COVID every 10 days.

Hospitals will remain under a “crisis standards of care” designation for now, giving them the ability to ration health care as needed to deal with high numbers of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units and hospital beds.

The state’s positivity rate of new cases is still more than double the 5% goal set by the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, Shaw-Tulloch said. More than 1,000 new cases were reported to the state on Monday, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. More than 3,570 Idaho residents have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

New York

In 24 hours, 2,000 of the 9,000 vaccination mandate holdouts among New York City’s municipal employees got their first dose administered. City officials belief between completed vaccination and approved exemptions, less than 3% of all municipal employees will leave their jobs.

Much like in Washington state, dire predictions of massive staff losses have not come to pass.

Disinformation

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