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[KING COUNTY, Wash.] – (MTN) Three weeks after the vaccination mandate deadline passed for state, healthcare and education workers, the vaccination rate increased dramatically statewide and in King County. New cases continue to drift downward, with Eastern Washington showing the most improvement. Over 7 million Washingtonians now live in counties where at least 50% of all residents are fully vaccinated.
Within our coverage area, the northern half of Kirkland continues to have the third-lowest vaccination rate along the I-405 corridor.
Big Bird got “vaccinated” in front of the public for the second time since 1972, and it’s made some people very mad.
The land border between Canada and the United States reopened for the first time in 20 months. The happiest people in North America about the reopening live in Point Roberts who have ended more than 500 days of exile.
Vaccinations are available for children 5 to 11, and demand is far exceeding the supply. In Seattle, Seattle Public Schools have opened clinics at 54 locations.
Delta VUI-21 growth has slowed down in the U.K., but the variant under investigation continues to spread. Europe is now the epicenter for Covid-19 on the planet, with several Eastern European nations setting new records.
This update uses the latest data from the Washington State Department of Health (WSDOH), released on November 8, 2021.
Washington State Update for November 8, 2021
Washington state Covid-19 update
The Washington State Department of Health has updated the Covid-19 vaccination data, and there were significant increases statewide. Twenty-three of 39 counties have at least 50% of the total population vaccinated for COVID, representing 7.04 million people.
New case rates continue to drop in Eastern Washington three weeks after the vaccine mandate deadline for state employees, healthcare workers, and school employees.
Currently, the vaccination data does not include 5 to 11 years, which became vaccine eligible last week. We expect the reporting data to be updated in the coming weeks. There continues to be a significant drop in new case rates in counties where more than 70% of the eligible population are vaccinated.
|Percent of Total Population Fully Vaccinated||Total Population in Group||Average 14-Day New Case Rate|
|70.00% or above (3 counties)||2,343,250||203.7|
|60.00% to 69.99% (4 counties)||1,242,200||323.1|
|50.00% to 59.99% (16 counties)||3,454,700||351.1|
|40.00% to 49.99% (10 counties)||584,875||346.4|
|31.50% to 39.99% (6 counties)||151,850||342.2|
Through November 8, Washington’s statewide 14-day rolling average is 301.9 Covid-19 cases per 100K. Health officials would prefer to see these numbers drop lower as we move closer to the holidays.
Only Skagit County has a case rate between 600.0 to 799.9. Over the weekend, the case rate increased to 657.0. Klickitat was just under 600.
Asotin, Chelan, Douglas, Ferry, Garfield, Grant, Grays Harbor, 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.
Eleven counties have a 7 day moving average case rate under 100, and San Juan and Wahikakum counties were under 25.
The 7 day new case rate was up among adolescents and young adults, ages 50 to 64, and people 80 and above. Hospitalization rates drifted downward except for geriatric patients over 79 years old.
|Age Group||7-Day Case Rate||7-Day Hospitalization Rate|
|Ages 12-19||150.4 (up)||1.1|
|Ages 20-34||142.4 (up)||3.1|
|Ages 50-64||115.7 (up)||11.6|
|Ages 80+||81.2 (up)||26.5 (up)|
The USA Today COVID Tracker was not updated for Monday.
10 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine administered across Washington
The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) is pleased to announce another significant milestone has been reached in the state’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout. As of November 6, more than 10 million doses of vaccine have been given out across Washington since distribution began in mid-December 2020.
“Giving out 10 million doses of life-saving vaccine is something we should all be proud of here in Washington,” said Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH, Secretary of Health. “Knowing that younger kids can now be protected from the worst outcomes of this virus is an incredible relief, not just for parents and families, but for everyone. The more people vaccinated, the more community protection we have, and that’s good for us all.”
The achievement was reached thanks to the hard work of providers, local and private sector partners, DOH staff, community members, and countless others whose commitment to community health and safety has been vital to our state’s continued success.
Border between British Columbia and Washington reopens after 20 months
Cars lined up at the Peace Arch border crossing to enter Blaine, Washington, as the land border between Canada and the United States opened for the first time in 20 months. Traffic this evening was light after a flood of cars heading south entered Washington state.
No place on Earth was more relieved about the border reopening than the residents of Point Roberts.
Point Roberts is a small Washington town located on the tip of Canada’s Tsawwassen peninsula. It is surrounded by water on three sides and attached to land through Canada only.
When the U.S.-Canadian border closed in 2020, many Canadians were separated from loved ones, friends, and their homes in towns like Point Roberts. American residents were separated from the rest of the United States, having to endure financial and emotional hardship.
“We’re going to be thrilled to get our Canadians back because, like I said before, [they own] 75% of our properties and [contribute] 90% of our economy. We just hope that the Canadians will relax that unnecessary testing,” said Brian Calder, president of the Point Roberts Chamber of Commerce told KING 5 News.
On Monday, some Canadian families returned to the Washington town to winterize their homes.
Seattle Public Schools starts vaccination clinics for children ages 5 to 11
Seattle Public Schools (SPS) started running vaccine clinics today that will offer first doses of the Pfizer vaccine to children 5 to 11 at 40 schools during the day and 14 regional clinics on the weekend and evenings through November 23. Second dose clinics will be offered from November 29 to December 14.
SPS vaccine clinics are organized to prioritize families who face more barriers to vaccination while regional clinics are open to all SPS students who are 5 years and older.
Students do not have to be enrolled in that specific school. SPS vaccine clinics are organized to prioritize families who face more barriers to vaccination. Please attend the clinic in the area that is convenient to where you live.
There may be scarcity in vaccine supply in the first few weeks after approval but should stabilize after a few weeks and eventually, everyone will be able to get vaccinated. If a clinic needs to be postponed due to vaccine supply, we will re-schedule the clinic as soon as possible.
At the regional clinics, students under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
The Pfizer vaccination requires two shots. Students should plan to be available for both school clinic dates to receive both doses of the vaccine.
With new cases starting to decline statewide, we continue to hope the East Hospital Region travel advisory can end in the next 3 to 10 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 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!
Pfizer may seek clearance of Covid-19 booster for ages 18 and up
Pfizer and German partner BioNTech are expected to seek authorization for their COVID-19 vaccine booster shot for people aged 18 and above as soon as this week, according to a report in the Washington Post.
There were multiple reports three weeks ago the FDA and CDC were having talks about lowering the age for booster shots to 40 years old for people who got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Data out of the U.K. and Israel have indicated that boosters had a significant impact in reducing hospitalizations and deaths during their most recent surges.
A significant amount of data from the East Hospital Region was missing in the Monday report. We are not providing updated hospitalization data in today’s report.
On Sunday, the Washington State Department of Health reported 1,007 Covid-19 patients statewide with 159 on ventilators. Hospitalizations are drifting downward after increasing 7% from October 22 to October 29.
Back to School
|School District||Status||Less than 10 Active Cases||10 or More Active Cases|
|Bellevue||YELLOW||– Ardmore (1*)|
– Bennett (1*)
– Big Picture (1*)
– Clyde Hill (1*)
– Enatai (1*)
– Highland (5**)
– Lake Hills (1*)
– Sammamish (1*)
– Stevenson (2*)
– Tyee (1*)
– Woodridge (1*)
|Lake Washington||YELLOW||– 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)
|Northshore||YELLOW||– Arrowhead Elementary (7)|
– Bothell High School (10**)
– Canyon Creek Elementary (5)
– Canyon Park Middle School (1)
– Crystal Springs Elementary (4)
– East Ridge Elementary (1)
– Fernwood Elementary (8)
– Frank Love Elementary (9)
– Hollywood Hills Elementary (6)
– Inglemoor High School (16**)
– Kenmore Elementary (20)
– Kenmore Middle School (24)
– Kokanee Elementary (5)
– Leota Middle School (1)
– Maywood Hills Elementary (3)
– Moorlands Elementary (1)
– North Creek High School (6)
– Northshore Middle School (42)
– Ruby Bridge Elementary (5)
– Shelton View Elementary (3)
– Skyview Middle School (12**)
– Sunrise Elementary (1)
– Timbercrest Middle School (3)
– Wellington Elementary (6)
– Westhill Elementary (14)
– Woodin Elementary (1)
– Woodinville High School (5)
– Woodmoor Elementary (14)
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.
Highland Middle School in the Bellevue School District has five confirmed Covid-19 cases between faculty and students, which is the biggest change in the area schools.
The Northshore School District had a small surge of cases over the last two weeks that has run its course. The number of schools dealing with 5 or more cases dropped to three over the weekend.
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.
Vaccination rates for adolescents ages 12 and 19 in North King County continue to lag far behind the rest of the eastside.
King County Public Health updated the vaccination rates by zip code, with the numbers improving throughout the region. The northern half of Kirkland continues to lag behind the rest of the eastside. Bothell and the Juanita-Finn Hill-Kingsgate regions of Kirkland remain below 90% vaccinated and below the King County average.
|Zip Code||Percent vaccinated, at least one dose, 12 and older|
Johns Hopkins University Cumulative Case Tracker reports 21,968 new cases and 119 deaths nationwide on Monday. Most states discontinued reporting Covid-19 related data over the weekend. The Monday report is missing large amounts of data.
Sixth wave watch Delta VUI-21
There is mixed news out of the U.K. and Europe about Delta VUI-21, the AY.4.2 variant of Covid-19. After new cases increased 60% a week for four weeks in a row, growth slowed down. Delta VUI-21 makes up 12% of cases in the U.K. and has been detected in 42 countries.
The variant was first identified in July and is slightly more transmissible than the Delta and Delta Plus variants (Delta AY.4.2 is commonly misnamed Delta Plus). The variant does not appear to be more vaccine-resistant or make people sicker. It may carry a higher viral load when someone is contagious, which is problematic for the unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, and immunocompromised.
The World Health Organization now says that Europe is the new global epicenter for Covid-19, and issued a warning to North American nations to not their guard down too soon. Russia is reporting almost 40,000 cases a day with a record number of deaths. Several oblasts have indicated they may impose even stricter restrictions, including shuttering businesses to try and slow the spread.
Greece, Croatia, Iceland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Austria, Germany, and Russia are at or have tied their peaks this week with Finland and Ukraine not far behind.
In contrast, Spain, which is 80% vaccinated, and Portugal, which is 88% vaccinated, have some of the lowest case rates on the planet.
The new surge in Europe is peaking in many countries during the same week airplanes full of international tourist travelers landed at U.S. airports for the first time in 18 months.
A Single dose of REGEN-COV monoclonal antibodies over 81% effective in preventing Covid-19 infections for up to 8 months
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals said Monday that a single dose of its antibody treatment reduced the risk of contracting COVID-19 by 81.6% for up to eight months, according to its late-stage trial. The company said the results could potentially pave the way for broader use in helping to protect certain people with weakened immune systems.
The monoclonal antibody treatment, called REGEN-COV, is currently available under an emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 and are at risk of developing severe symptoms. It has also received FDA emergency approval as a post-exposure preventive treatment for some people at high risk for developing severe COVID-19, are not fully vaccinated or are immunocompromised, and have known exposure to the virus.
Four subcutaneous injections of the monoclonal antibody treatment protected uninfected people from contracting COVID-19 by 81.6% during the follow-up period of two to eight months, up from 81.4% after one month. Four injections of the treatment are considered one dose.
Big Bird getting vaccinated makes Senator big mad
Big Bird ruffled some conservatives’ feathers this weekend by announcing that he had been vaccinated against COVID-19.
“My wing is feeling a little sore, but it’ll give my body an extra protective boost that keeps me and others healthy,” he wrote.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, decried Big Bird’s tweet as “government propaganda.”
Sesame Workshop, the production company behind the show which first aired in 1969 and helped launch the career of Jim Henson and beloved Muppets such as Kermit the Frog, moved from PBS to HBO in 2015. In 2020 the show moved again from HBO to the HBO Max streaming service.
It’s not the first time Big Bird was vaccinated as part of an educational campaign. In 1972, the fictional character was vaccinated for Measles on the show Sesame Street.
COVID misinformation is rampant in the United States
More than three-quarters (78%) of U.S. adults either believe or aren’t sure about at least one of eight false statements about the COVID-19 pandemic or COVID-19 vaccines, with unvaccinated adults and Republicans among those most likely to hold misconceptions, a new KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor report shows.
Nearly two-thirds (64%) of unvaccinated adults believe or are unsure about at least half of the eight false statements – more than three times the share of vaccinated adults (19%). Nearly half (46%) of Republicans believe or are unsure about at least half the statements, three times the share of Democrats (14%).
The findings highlight a major challenge for efforts to accurately communicate the rapidly evolving science about the pandemic when false and ambiguous information can spread quickly, whether inadvertently or deliberately, through social media, polarized news sources, and other outlets.
Alaska on Monday reported 53 more COVID-19 deaths, most of which happened in September, as well as 1,387 new infections logged over the weekend and a continued drop in hospitalizations, according to a report by Anchorage Daily News.
The new COVID-19 cases reported over the weekend follow a trend of decreasing case counts that Alaska has seen recently after several weeks of plateauing daily COVID-19 numbers, a state health official said.
In an emailed statement Monday, Dr. Michael Savitt, chief medical officer at the Anchorage Health Department, wrote that the department is “cautiously optimistic,” about recent decreasing COVID-19 trends for the city, but that Anchorage continues to be in a “high-risk environment.”
“Hospitals remain at near capacity levels,” Savitt wrote. “We hope to see those numbers start to decrease soon as well.”
There were 128 people hospitalized with COVID-19 by Monday, state dashboard data showed, with about 13.6% of the state’s hospitalized patients considered to have active cases of the virus. That’s a decrease from recent weeks when often one in five patients had a case of the virus.
The first hospital in the state of Florida to treat a coronavirus patient is now celebrating another first: No COVID patients in its care since the pandemic began, Fox News reported.
“There’s been a lot of progress done in a very short period of time. So it’s a great thing for everybody,” chief nursing officer of Doctor’s Hospital in Sarasota, Todd Haner, said at a press conference on Friday. “I can tell you that the morale is much better.”
Doctor’s Hospital had the first COVID-19 patient in the state back in February 2020 and has been treating virus patients since. But last week, that all changed when the hospital reported not having a single COVID patient.
Idaho’s seven-day moving average of new COVID-19 cases fell below 700 per day for the first time since August, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare data showed Monday. The decline comes a month after caseloads hit a peak across the state, though health officials still reported more than 1,100 new cases and 34 deaths since Friday, according to the Idaho Statesman.
The moving average, which indicates how many cases have been reported each day on average over the past week, was 689 on Monday, the lowest it’s been since Aug. 26. That metric is nearly half of the moving average of 1,365 set one month ago, during the height of Idaho’s most recent surge.
Though recent data shows caseloads trending downward in Idaho, the state still reported 1,192 new COVID-19 cases since Friday. About 29% of those cases — 351 — were reported in Ada County. But the state’s most populous county saw its seven-day moving average for new cases fall to 196 per day on Monday, the first time it has been less than 200 since mid-September.
To date, Idaho has reported 297,140 cases and 3,678 COVID-related deaths. More than 500 of those deaths, or about 15% of the state’s total, were reported in the past 30 days.
There were 908 new COVID-19 cases reported Monday, Nov. 8 in Montana, with 7,815 total active cases in the state, in a report by KTVQ.
The number of people actively hospitalized due to COVID is 351, an increase from the 343 hospitalizations reported on Friday. The cumulative number of hospitalizations in Montana due to the virus is 9,154, with the state reporting 31 new hospitalizations since their last report. To date, roughly 1 in 20 (5.05%) reported COVID-19 cases in the state have resulted in hospitalization.
The number of active COVID-19 cases in New Hampshire is now at its highest level since January, before vaccines were widely available, according to WMUR.
According to the state Department of Health and Human Services, there are now 5,164 current COVID-19 cases, the highest total since January 29.
More than 26% of the newly announced cases are in children under the age of 18.
The state’s seven-day total test positivity rate has risen to 7.2%, which is the highest that rate has been since Jan. 7.
The number of current hospitalizations has moved up again and is at 212 as of Monday.
A North Dakota lawmaker and an organizer of a rally Monday to oppose COVID-19 vaccine mandates is infected with the coronavirus and won’t attend the event, KSTP Channel 5 reported.
Republican Rep. Jeff Hoverson posted on Facebook Sunday that he was “quarantining and each day is getting better.” The Minot lawmaker said he is taking the deworming drug ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment and has not checked into a hospital.
“Covid is real and like a really bad flu,” Hoverson wrote.
Hoverson, a pastor, told The Associated Press that was diagnosed last week.
“I’m feeling rough,” he said Monday. “But this ivermectin is keeping me out of the hospital.”
Ivermectin is designed to fight parasitic infections but conservative commentators have promoted it as a treatment for COVID-19, despite a lack of conclusive evidence that it helps.
Unvaccinated Texans died from COVID-19 at 40 times the rate of vaccinated Texans and were 45 times more likely to test positive for the disease in 2021, according to a new study from the Texas Department of State Health Services.
DSHS reviewed vaccination, death, and tests records from Jan. 15 to Oct. 1 to come up with the figures, according to WFAA.
“We have millions and millions of records that we had to go through for this analysis,” said Dr. Jennifer Shuford, DSHS’s chief epidemiologist.
According to the review, 7.7% of deaths and 3% of positive cases in the January – October time frame were in fully-vaccinated Texans.
“We know that there’s all these bad outcomes for actually getting COVID-19, but the complications from the vaccine are very few and impact very few people,” Shuford said. “What we hope is that people across Texas will understand the threat of COVID-19.”
Taking the night off
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