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Over 90% of Washington teachers fully vaccinated – local and state COVID update for October 28, 2021

The good vaccination news comes as health and state officials worry about the start of a sixth wave.

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[KING COUNTY, Wash.] – (MTN) State Superintendent of Schools Chris Reykdal reported 90.4% of all teachers and almost 90% of all school employees were fully vaccinated on October 18. The numbers far exceed the statewide vaccination rate and less than 1/2% of employees are facing termination statewide.

New Covid-19 cases increased slightly statewide with Skagit County becoming a new hot spot. In a press briefing today, Governor Jay Inslee warned of a looming “sixth wave,” a concern echoed by multiple health officials yesterday and forecasted by Malcontent News on October 20.

Statewide, hospitals continue to slowly improve but remain highly stressed.

This update uses the latest data from the Washington State Department of Health (WSDOH), released on October 28, 2021.


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Washington State Update for October 28, 2021

Washington state Covid-19 update

New cases ticked upward across Washington with cases growing a little faster in the more vaccinated counties. The least vaccinated counties are experiencing 226% more cases per 100,000 residents than the most vaccinated.

Percent of Total Population Fully VaccinatedTotal Population in GroupAverage 14-Day New Case Rate
70% or above (3 counties)2,343,250213.3 (up)
60.00% to 69.99% (4 counties)1,242,200347.8 (up)
50.00% to 59.99% (14 counties)3,172,600391.8 (up)
40.00% to 49.99% (10 counties)860,525406.1
30.80% to 39.99% (8 counties)158,300482.1
14-Day New Covid-19 Cases per 100K average by Vaccination Rate for Total Population, Adjusted for Population by County

Through October 27, Washington’s statewide 14-day rolling average is 334.7 Covid-19 cases per 100K, an increase from yesterday.

No counties have a new Covid-19 case rate over 1,000 per 100K.

One county, Ferry, is between 800.0 and 999.9 with 872.3 new cases per 100K residents.

Three counties, Grant, Klickitat, and Skagit, have a new case rate between 600.0 to 799.9. Skagit County has crept up to 639.3 new cases per 100K despite a 58.4% vaccination rate. County officials expressed concern about the increasing numbers, particularly among the unvaccinated.

New cases were up in every age group except for people 80 and older. Hospitalizations were up for ages 50 to 79.

Age Group7-Day Case Rate7-Day Hospitalization Rate
Ages 0-11150.2 (up)0.5
Ages 12-19151.8 (up)1.1
Ages 20-34148.0 (up)3.7
Ages 35-49159.4 (up)8.4
Ages 50-64125.6 (up)13.6 (up)
Ages 65-7999.3 (up)20.5 (up)
Ages 80+92.4 (down)39.1
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 43 Covid-19 related deaths in Washington state on Wednesday.

90.4% of Washington teachers fully vaccinated

In a media briefing this afternoon at the Old Capitol Building in Olympia, State Superintendent Chris Reykdal announced that nearly 90% of Washington’s public K–12 school employees are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Our K–12 workforce really stepped up in a way that further protects themselves, their students, colleagues, families, and their communities at large,” Reykdal said. “With our adherence to safety protocols and nearly 90% our staff vaccinated, our schools remain one of the safest environments for our children.”

Vaccination rate in Washington state schools after the October 18 mandate deadline

In addition to those who are fully vaccinated, the data show that 0.5% of school employees have initiated vaccination but are not yet fully vaccinated, another 0.7% obtained a medical exemption, and another 9.6% obtained a religious exemption.

The data also show that 0.3% of school employees did not obtain a vaccination or a medical or religious exemption. This may include employees who resigned, retired, or were separated from service, with some separations and dismissals unrelated to the vaccination requirement.

Locally, the Lake Washington School District reported 97.5% of employees were fully vaccinated and approximately 100 had requested a religious exemption.

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 seven to 14 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.

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

No update

King County, Washington is reporting over 88.1% 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 are free for anyone over 12 years old, and no appointment is necessary at most locations. 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

The DOH adjusted numbers from yesterday after we reported that some of the hospitalization data appeared inaccurate. 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 634 additional acute care patients.

ICUs are at 87.7% of capacity statewide, with 25.0% of ICU patients fighting Covid-19 – an estimated 295 patients with 50.5% on ventilators. The state has the staff to support approximately 146 additional ICU patients.

On Tuesday, the 7-day rolling average hospital admission rate for new COVID patients is 99. The Department of Health reported 1,117 Covid-19 patients statewide on October 27, with 149 requiring ventilators. The number of patients from yesterday was adjusted downward to 1,086 and the number of ICU patients was adjusted to 133.

Hospital readiness was statistically unchanged.

Hospital RegionCountiesICU OccupancyICU COVID PatientsAcute Care OccupancyAcute Care COVID Patients
EastAdams, Asotin, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Wahkiakum, Whitman87.8%33.8%90.5%19.9%
NorthIsland, San Juan, Skagit, Whatcom61.0%28.4%70.5%11.0%
North CentralChelan, Douglas, Grant, Okanogan95.4%55.1%78.9%26.7%
NorthwestClallam, Jefferson, Kitsap, Mason87.0%37.4%94.5%20.3%
Puget SoundKing, Pierce, Snohomish91.6%20.4%95.5%12.5%
South CentralBenton, Columbia, Franklin, Kittitas, Walla Walla, Yakima90.7%23.2%84.6%18.0%
SouthwestClark, Cowlitz, Klickitat, Skamania 72.7%22.8%89.1%15.7%
WestGrays Harbor, Lewis, Pacific, Thurston89.8%29.5%91.3%17.8%
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– Ardmore (2*)
– Bellevue (1*)
– Cherry Crest (1*)
– Lake Hills (1*)
– Newport Heights (2*)
– Sammamish (2*)
– Spiritridge (2*)
– Stevenson (3*)
– Woodridge (1*)
None
Lake WashingtonYELLOW– Blackwell Elementary (4)
– Carson Elementary (6)
– Clara Barton (4)
– Einstein (3)
– Eastlake High (11)
– Ella Baker (8)
– Finn Hill Middle School (6 + 1 see notes)
– ICS (4)
– Juanita Elementary (3)
– Kamiakin Middle School (20)
– Kirk Elementary (2)
– Lakeview Elementary (3)
– Lake Washington High School (27)
– Muir Elementary (1)
– Redmond Elementary (9)
– Redmond Middle School (64)
– Redmond High School (46)
– Timberline Middle School (45**)
– Twain Elementary (27)
None
NorthshoreYELLOW– Arrowhead Elementary (1)
– Bothell High School (30**)
– Canyon Creek Elementary (5)
– Canyon Park Middle School (7)
– Crystal Springs Elementary (14)
– East Ridge Elementary (4)
– Fernwood Elementary (3)
– Frank Love Elementary (29)
– Hollywood Hills Elementary (2)
– Inglemoor High School (13)
– Kenmore Elementary (7)
– Kenmore Middle School (21)
– Kokanee Elementary (6)
– Leota Middle School (1)
– Lockwood Elementary (8**)

– Maywood Hills Elementary (3)
– North Creek High School (11**)
– Northshore Middle School (17)
– Ruby Bridge Elementary (68)
– Shelton View Elementary (3)
– Skyview Middle School (13)
– Timbercrest Middle School (9)
– Wellington Elementary (15**)
– Westhill Elementary (8)
– Woodin Elementary (49**)
– Woodinville High School (7)
– Woodmoor Elementary (4)

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.

We received a parent confirmed report of an additional Covid-19 case at Finn Hill Middle School. The Lake Washington School District only updates data. We rely on confirmed parental reports to provide additional details.

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.

The Seattle Times reported that 316,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine for 5 to 11-year-olds will arrive in Seattle next week. At this time we do not know if vaccination for 5 to 11-year-olds will be available.

National Round-Up

Johns Hopkins University Cumulative Case Tracker reports 76,957 new cases and 2,141 deaths nationwide on Thursday.

State Updates

The Department of Health updated the Covid-19 dashboard after 5:30 p.m., delaying our time to press. Additionally, there are two breaking news stories tonight with the arrests in the Black Coffee firebombing and severe weather moving through our region. We hope to have our national round-up starting again tomorrow.

The situation in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming can best be described as lousy, terrible, dire, and getting worse, in that order.

Misinformation

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