COVID-19 Information & Resources

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Please note that King County Public Health should remain your primary source of information on the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. Please check out their COVID-19 Data Dashboards for the latest statistics. To see recent news on this page, click here.

For the latest Washington State-level COVID-19 health guidance, statistics and resources, visit Coronavirus.wa.gov.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 (formerly known as the “novel coronavirus”) is a new virus strain spreading from person-to-person.

How does COVID-19 spread?

  • Through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes
  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet)
  • By touching

Please note that King County Public Health should remain your primary source of information on the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. Please check out their COVID-19 Data Dashboards for the latest statistics. To see recent news on this page, click here.

For the latest Washington State-level COVID-19 health guidance, statistics and resources, visit Coronavirus.wa.gov.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 (formerly known as the “novel coronavirus”) is a new virus strain spreading from person-to-person.

How does COVID-19 spread?

  • Through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes
  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet)
  • By touching a surface or object with the virus and then touching the mouth, nose, or eyes

What are the symptoms?

People who have been diagnosed with novel coronavirus have reported symptoms that may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus. Those symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and/or difficulty breathing.

Who is most vulnerable?

People at higher risk include those:

  • Over 60 years of age
  • With underlying health conditions including include heart disease, asthma or other lung disease, or diabetes
  • With weakened immune systems
  • Who are pregnant

Anyone who has questions about whether their condition puts them at risk for severe COVID-19 illness should consult with their healthcare providers. Be sure to call your provider before going to the office in person.

What is the City of Sammamish doing?

On March 3rd, the City of Sammamish activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in response to the coronavirus outbreak and formed an internal COVID-19 Task Force. The operational objectives of the City were to:

  • Adopt and widely promote the below Non-Pharmaceutical Intervention recommendations (NPIs) from the WA State Public Health Agency; and
  • Update Continuity of Government/Operations Plan for pandemic response to ensure continuity of all essential government functions while protecting the health and welfare of City personnel; and
  • Provide clear public information that directs to or is consistent with State and Local Public Health messaging regarding the outbreak and protective actions.

On March 5, the City of Sammamish issued a proclamation of local emergency in order to support measures to be taken to protect public health, safety and welfare within the City. This declaration was approved by City Council at their March 10 meeting. The full proclamation is available here, and the press release can be found here.

The City of Sammamish Emergency Manager continues to participate in daily conference calls with the King County Office of Emergency Management, Public Health - Seattle & King County, jurisdictions from across the region, and community stakeholders, to facilitate the regional coordination of information and resources.

COVID-19 is an active situation that changes daily. The City of Sammamish is proactively working to mitigate the impacts from COVID-19 on our community. This portal will continually be updated to provide up-to-date information and resources to assist you through the coronavirus outbreak.

  • Emergency Manager's Report to City Council on COVID-19 | June 15, 2021

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    Good evening Mayor Moran, Councilmembers, and City Manager.

    I wanted to take this evening to reflect upon the City of Sammamish’s response to Covid-19 over the past year and a half and highlight many of the successes of those citywide efforts.

    Last February, roughly two weeks into new City management, the City of Sammamish began executing what would be its greatest exercise in the continuity of operations. Facing a never-before-seen deadly threat, and regulations and public health orders that seemed to change or evolve daily, City departments and divisions quickly came together to develop strategies and tactics that ensured that 100% of the City’s essential government functions were maintained without disruption. I would like to highlight just how rare that is. You have to remember that the U.S.’s response to COVID-19 began just north of Sammamish, and I would say that most jurisdictions in the area were directly impacted by the virus as outbreaks spread throughout their workplaces. However, due to the expedient nature of Sammamish’s response, the flexibility and competence of its staff and leadership, Sammamish was able to quickly enact workplace protections, enhance social distancing and environmental hygiene protocols, and develop a robust telework program that not only ensured that continuity of operations was maintained, but more importantly, not a single instance of workplace COVID-19 exposure was reported. The countless hours and effort put forth by every Sammamish employee to strengthen and ensure the city’s resiliency while facing this new and extremely dangerous threat should most definitely be celebrated by this council.

    While continuing the day-to-day work of city governance, Sammamish also took on the responsibility of developing and managing community recovery programs. Staff worked directly with the WA Department of Commerce and Treasury to ensure that Federal Cares Act monies were spent efficiently and in a manner that would ensure the full reimbursable amount was achieved. It would also streamline the reporting requirements and provided the city with the flexibility to continue providing COVID-19 relief even after the federal timeline for spending CARES act funding had expired. Through these efforts, the City provided several rounds of small business and non-profit grants, greatly assisting those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the cascading consequences of state and county mandated restrictions. You may remember, that when the city developed its strategy for how its CARES Act funding would be spent, the WA Commerce Deputy Assistant Director, described it as one of the more intelligent ways he had seen a jurisdiction utilize the funding. I was not planning on providing a detailed report on any remaining funds this evening since I believe that you have an upcoming agenda item that further discusses any remaining CARES Act reimbursements and ARPA funding.

    The residents of Sammamish also overwhelmingly came together and adhered to the COVID-19 restrictions and mitigations. Over the past 15 months, Sammamish’s record for positive cases, hospitalizations, and deaths due to the virus were always some of the lowest per capita in the county. The vast majority of residents sought to comply with COVID-19 mitigations such as mask mandates and social distancing. They supported local businesses and restaurants through a variety of delivery options and by purchasing gift cards and donated to non-profits assisting in COVID-19 relief. While 14 Sammamish residents lost their lives to the disease, that number is a fraction compared to neighboring jurisdictions in the region. Without the whole community approach to combating and slowing the spread of the virus taken by most those numbers surely would have been higher.

    The will of Sammamish’s residents to overcome this pandemic and contribute to the greater public health good could not be made more evident by the vaccination rates seen across our community. While 70% of the population being vaccinated against COVID-19 has been seen as the benchmark for the nation and most communities, the majority of the City of Sammamish is sitting far above that figure. Over 95% of all residents aged 12 and older have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and roughly 85% of the same population has completed their entire series. This is a remarkable achievement that Sammamish residents should be extremely proud of.

    A strategic partnership consisting of the cities of Sammamish and Issaquah, the Snoqualmie Tribe, and Eastside Fire & Rescue undoubtedly contributed to the extremely high vaccination rates not only of Sammamish but of communities throughout the eastside.

    Saturday marked the final day of vaccine operations of the Snoqualmie Tribe Vaccine Partnership, a drive-through COVID-19 vaccination site located at Lake Sammamish State Park. Since April 8th, we delivered over 15,200 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to populations primarily residing here in the Eastside. Seeing where the patients came from, and the equity in which these operations were conducted was extremely validating and goes to show everyone that all the hard work that went into to establishing a mass vaccination site on the Eastside was well worth the effort.

    Along with the drive-through operations at Lake Sammamish, Eastside Fire & Rescue personnel delivered nearly 6800 vaccines at the Snoqualmie Casino and roughly another 1000 doses through our Mobile Vaccination Teams, targeting the most vulnerable populations in our service area. EFR conducted pop-up clinics are cultural centers, faith-based facilities, pedestrian shopping centers, and HOAs in both Issaquah and Sammamish. EFR personnel also assisted our local school districts with their vaccination efforts, serving as the post-vaccination medical observers for thousands of school-aged children. We worked with human services personnel to identify and schedule vaccination appointments for vulnerable populations and individuals who may have otherwise had difficulties navigating the traditional public health system and communications staff to help get the word out and share useful information on vaccine-related efforts. We also partnered with the business community to provide incentives and take-aways to our patients post-vaccination.

    For the past several months, dozens of EFR Firefighters contributed to the various vaccine operations that were simultaneously underway, working long days, and sometimes evenings, beyond their traditional shift work. Besides our staff, over 200 volunteers from eastside communities stepped up and contributed nearly 4,200 hours of their time to assist at the Lake Sammamish site, filling all the non-medical roles and responsibilities rain or shine.

    I want to personally thank everyone who was involved in supporting or contributing to these critical vaccine operations. It is a great feeling to know that while many would have been content to let others step up and fight this pandemic, we were not. From early on, all the partners involved rose to the challenge and proactively found solutions where others may have found dead ends.

    COVID-19 has been the greatest disaster of any of our lifetimes, with over 600,000 fatalities here in the U.S. alone, and 3.8 million deaths worldwide. And while this pandemic is nowhere near over, I do believe that we have most definitely reached a turning point where we no longer have to fear that things may once again turn drastically for the worse. We are beginning to see states lift COVID-19 restrictions, and it is widely expected that Washington with soon follow with reopening the state. This is welcome news and relief to many, who for the past 15 months have desperately sought for a return to normalcy. I do however urge caution and I request that we all remain vigilant and respectful to those populations who cannot yet be vaccinated. I hope that during this crisis my updates provided both you and the residents listening with useful information, and I would be happy to come back as needed if the situation warrants any additional updates.

    Thank you, and with that, I would be happy to address any questions you may have.

    Andrew Stevens, CEM | Emergency Manager, Eastside Fire & Rescue

  • King County completes 70 percent vaccination; mask directive to end June 29

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    King County has crossed the 70 percent threshold for residents age 16+ to complete the COVID-19 vaccine series, and is the largest county in the nation to reach 70% amongst adult residents. The Local Health Officer’s directive on mask use will end on June 29.

    You can read the rest of the advisory here.

  • Inslee announces two-week pause on phases

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    Gov. Jay Inslee today announced a two-week pause on movement in the Healthy Washington: Roadmap to Recovery reopening plan. Under the pause, every county will remain in its current phase. At the end of two weeks, each county will be re-evaluated.

    The decision was made in consultation with the Department of Health, and reflects current data suggesting Washington’s fourth wave has hit a plateau.

    “We are at the intersection of progress and failure, and we cannot veer from the path of progress,” Inslee said Tuesday. “Our economy is beginning to show early signs of growth thanks to some of our great legislative victories and we know vaccines are the ticket to further reopening — if we adhere to public health until enough people are vaccinated.”

    For the past several weeks, epidemiologists have been following the state’s fourth COVID-19 wave, which now appears to be leveling out. The fourth wave has been less severe and case counts and mortalities have not been tied in rates of increase as they have in the past.

    The changes in data throughout the fourth wave have been attributed to increasing vaccination rates, shortening hospital stays and lessening the severity of the illness. The state’s early vaccine prioritization has also been tied to improved data and decreasing mortality rates in the state’s most vulnerable populations.

    Vaccines are now available to all Washingtonians 16 and up. To find an appointment, visit VaccineLocator.doh.wa.gov.

    Read the rest of the story on the governor's Medium page.

  • Snoqualmie Tribe Vaccine Partnership to Supply Vaccines for Eligible Eastside Residents Living on Snoqualmie Tribal Ancestral Lands

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    The cities of Issaquah and Sammamish with Eastside Fire & Rescue have been working together for the past few months to bring COVID-19 vaccinations to East King County residents. Now, the establishment of the first community-based mass vaccination site on the Eastside is made possible through a partnership with the Snoqualmie Tribe. As a sovereign nation, the Snoqualmie Tribe is providing the vaccine necessary to turn the planned the mass vaccination site at Lake Sammamish State Park into a reality.

    The Snoqualmie Tribe’s Vaccine Clinic, which first opened on the Snoqualmie Tribal Reservation in February, will now operate at the Lake Sammamish State Park site. The mass vaccination site will be named the Snoqualmie Tribe Vaccine Partnership and will open on April 12, 2021.

    Vaccines will be available to individuals with an appointment only. Individuals must meet the current vaccine eligibility requirements as defined by Washington State Department of Health. Snoqualmie Tribal Members, Tribal Staff, and members of their household will continue to be eligible for appointments at the new clinic location. The mobile vaccination unit operated by Eastside Fire & Rescue will still be making visits to senior citizens and other vulnerable populations who may not be able to access the vaccination site.

    “The Snoqualmie Tribe is proud to be able to provide these vaccines to individuals living in the Snoqualmie Tribe’s ancestral lands. In the 1860’s, the Snoqualmie people and other Northwest Natives experienced great loss as white settlers adopted a smallpox vaccine policy that discriminated against Natives,” said Robert De Los Angeles, Snoqualmie Tribal Chairman. “Now, the Snoqualmie Tribe is exercising sovereignty through our Tribal values by caring for the people and communities living on our ancestral lands 160 years later during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

    “The Snoqualmie Tribe Vaccine Partnership is an amazing story of just that – a successful partnership,” said Issaquah Mayor Mary Lou Pauly. “Issaquah and Sammamish, along with numerous private and public partners, worked tirelessly to bring a community-based vaccination site to the Eastside. However, with vaccines in short supply, we had limited options. We are forever grateful for Snoqualmie Tribe’s partnership and care for our communities and look forward to educating our residents about the tribe’s deep history on these ancestral lands.”

    “Our commitment from Sammamish is to continue the respectful partnership between our city and the Snoqualmie Tribe. We want to honor what the Snoqualmie Tribe has brought to our communities, not only in the form of vaccines, but also your culture, your history, your legacy, and your lands. We are so grateful to the Snoqualmie Tribe for this partnership, it will truly help save lives,” said Mayor Karen Moran of the City of Sammamish.

    “Eastside Fire & Rescue has been working with the Snoqualmie Tribe since 2015, when the Tribe contracted EF&R to provide fire and EMS services on the Snoqualmie Reservation. It is an honor to be able to partner with the Tribe on vaccination efforts for their community and now the broader Eastside,” said Fire Chief Jeff Clark.

    The mass vaccination site will be administered by Eastside Fire & Rescue personnel and trained volunteers and will follow all COVID-19 guidelines and protocols. The site is designed to accommodate two rows of cars with the potential of vaccinating up to 300 persons a day, depending on vaccine supply. There will be no walk-up or waitlists available at the site. More information, including appointments, eligibility, and how to volunteer is available at: snoqualmievaccine.snoqualmietribeweb.us.

    # # #

    About the Snoqualmie Tribe

    The Snoqualmie Indian Tribe is a federally recognized tribe in the Puget Sound region of Washington State. Known as the People of the Moon, Snoqualmie were signatories to the Treaty of Point Elliott in 1855 and hold reserved Treaty rights under the Treaty. Tribal enterprises provide over 1,700 jobs in the Snoqualmie Valley, and the Snoqualmie Tribe has donated more than $10 million to nonprofit organizations in Washington State since 2010.

    About Issaquah

    Issaquah, named Best Burb by Sunset, one of the Best Towns for Families by Family Circle and one of the Best Towns by Outside, is a great place for residents and visitors alike. Our community of more than 37,000 is conveniently located off the Interstate 90 corridor, just 16 miles east of Seattle. Issaquah — nicknamed Trailhead City — is centered within the Issaquah Alps (Cougar, Squak and Tiger mountains), and is a destination for countless outdoor enthusiasts, including hikers and paragliders.

    About Sammamish

    Sammamish is a vibrant bedroom community blessed with a well-preserved natural environment, and a family-friendly, kid-safe culture. From its expanding tree canopy, to its peaceful neighborhoods, to its multi-modal transportation resources, Sammamish captures the best of the past even as it embraces a burgeoning digital future.

    About Eastside Fire & Rescue

    Eastside Fire & Rescue proudly serves the communities of Issaquah, North Bend, Sammamish, Carnation, Preston, May Valley, Wilderness Rim, and Tiger Mountain. The Agency provides high quality fire, rescue and emergency medical services.

  • Inslee announces extension of eviction moratorium, expansion of vaccine eligibility, long-term care visitations may resume

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    Reprinted from Governor Jay Inslee's Medium page (March 18, 2021)

    Gov. Jay Inslee today announced that the statewide eviction moratorium will be extended through June 30, as well as upcoming vaccine eligibility expansion, including restaurant workers and Washingtonians 60 and older. He also announced that effective immediately, visitations at long-term care facilities and nursing homes may resume.

    In addition, the state Department of Health (DOH) today launched a new web tool to help people find open vaccination appointments near them.

    Eviction moratorium extension

    The governor announced that the statewide eviction moratorium will be extended through June 30, 2021. The moratorium, first put in place exactly a year ago today, has been vital protection for families struggling with the persistent economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “The pandemic’s economic toll continues to burden many Washingtonians, particularly tenants,” Inslee said during a press conference Thursday. “People need these supports right now. There is no other way to look at it.”


    Since the moratorium was first instituted, hundreds of millions of dollars have gone toward rental assistance — for both tenants and landlords. Additional rental assistance will be available through the recently passed American Rescue Plan Act from the federal government.

    The governor signed two additional related proclamations yesterday; one relating to utility shutoffs and the other focusing on debt garnishment. Under the new proclamations, the utility shutoff moratorium is extended through July 31, and debt garnishment on federal pandemic payments is still prohibited.

    Find the extended eviction moratorium proclamation here.

    Please read the rest of the article here: https://medium.com/wagovernor/inslee-announces-extension-of-eviction-moratorium-expansion-of-vaccine-eligibility-long-term-635b34eb0ca

  • Emergency Manager's Report to City Council on COVID-19 (March 16, 2021)

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    Andrew Stevens, CEM - Emergency Manager, Eastside Fire & Rescue

    Good evening Mayor, Council members, and City Manager.

    I would like to focus my report this evening on the COVID-19 vaccine, its availability, and our continued efforts to provide greater access to vaccine for residents of Eastside communities.

    Right now, our only available metric for populations who have had access to the COVID-19 vaccine is through the statistical dashboards provided by King County Public Health, which can be broken down by zip codes. As of earlier today here is what those dashboards were telling us.

    • Among residents living in 98074 – 117.6% of those aged 75 and more have received at least one dose, 108% of those aged 65 and over have received one or more doses, and 26.8% of those aged 16+ have received one or more doses.
    • Among residents living in 98075 – 108.9% of those aged 75 and more have received at least one dose, 93.6% of those aged 65 and over have received one or more doses, and 28.4% of those aged 16+ have received one or more doses.
    • Among residents living in 98029, which includes Klahanie but also a large portion of Issaquah – 91.1% of those aged 75 and more have received at least one dose, 89.3% of those aged 65 and over have received one or more doses, and 26.8% of those aged 16+ have received one or more doses.

    As you can tell, there may be discrepancies in the statistics that are being reported, represented by those overages, or our current population is simply greater than the baseline numbers that the County is using. What I can say is that if you are 65 and over and have yet to access a vaccine please let Eastside Fire and Rescue know. Our mobile vaccination teams are still serving populations within our service area and while who we can directly schedule and deploy vaccine to is limited to only those populations the County approves, sometimes we are left with additional doses and we can put you on a stand-by list. If residents meet that criteria and would like to be placed on this list, please email COVID@esf-r.org.

    Regarding the establishment of a mass vaccination site here on the Eastside, I am happy to report that the site is fully constructed and ready to go over at Lake Sammamish State Park. Unfortunately, King County is still unwilling to provide a dedicated allocation of vaccines citing both vaccine availability and a focus on more vulnerable populations in other regions of the County.

    While I understand the limitations of the vaccine supply chain, our hope is that having a drive-through site capable of providing 500+ vaccines each day already built, funded, and staffed independent of County resources will encourage King County Public Health to provide vaccine as soon as more becomes available. With additional tiers of vaccine-eligible persons opening tomorrow, we are very aware that our residents who become eligible to receive a vaccine will most likely struggle greatly in their ability to access one or find that appointments are already booked out for weeks to come.

    With the State entering Phase 3 next week, we are also very aware of the fact that with restrictions lessening around restaurants, sporting events, and outdoor and indoor gatherings, there will be more and more chances for exposure both for those participating in these activities, but also the frontline workers at these venues, who, even if they are eligible to receive a vaccine as of tomorrow, will most likely be unable to for quite some time.

    Therefore, we are going to continue to pressure King County Public Health for a dedicated allocation of vaccines at the Lake Sammamish drive-through site so that all eligible Eastside residents have the same opportunity and access as residents of Seattle or southern King County. I believe it will take the continued advocacy of city leadership, elected officials, as well as our own residents to ensure that an Eastside mass vaccination site is supported. Hopefully, through those efforts, we will see the Lake Sammamish site operational and providing vaccines to our residents in the very near future.

    With that, I would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Thank you.

  • Inslee announces statewide move to Phase 3 of recovery plan, return to spectator events and Phase 1B, Tier 2 vaccine eligibility

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    Reprinted from Governor Inslee's Medium page:

    Gov. Jay Inslee today announced that Healthy Washington: Roadmap to Recovery will be transitioning from a regional approach to a county-by-county evaluation process. The governor also announced a new third phase of the Roadmap and a return for in-person spectators for professional and high school sports.

    Effective March 22, the entire state will enter Phase 3.

    “Because of the progress we’ve made by decreasing our case rates and hospitalizations, as well as our tremendous efforts to get more people vaccinated, our reopening plan is once again based on counties, not regions,” Inslee said during a press conference Thursday. “We are excited to take this step and we will keep evaluating our progress, and the impacts of these changes, to determine how and when we reopen further.”

    Additionally, the governor announced that starting Wednesday, March 17, everyone in Phase 1B, Tier 2 will be eligible for their COVID vaccine. This includes workers in agriculture, food processing, grocery stores, public transit, firefighters and law enforcement, among others. Phase 1B, Tier 2 also includes people over the age of 16 who are pregnant or have a disability that puts them at high-risk.

    Metrics

    Under the updated plan, counties will be individually evaluated every three weeks. The evaluations will occur on Mondays with any possible changes taking effect Friday, with the first evaluation scheduled for April 12.

    In addition to being individually evaluated, large and small counties will have different sets of criteria. If any county fails one or more of the metrics below, that county will move down one Phase in the Heathy Washington plan.


    For large counties to remain in Phase 3, defined as counties with more than 50,000 residents, they must keep a 14-day average of new COVID cases at or below 200 per 100,000 residents, and a seven-day average of new hospitalizations per 100,000 at five or fewer.

    Smaller counties, those with populations of 50,000 or less, must maintain a 14-day average of new cases at 30 or fewer, and a new seven-day hospitalization average at three or fewer.

    If at any point the statewide ICU capacity reaches greater than 90%, all counties will move down one Phase. The Department of Health always maintains the ability to move a county forward or backward at their discretion.

    “We know there is enthusiasm around opening of schools and businesses and that advancing to Phase 3 is welcome news to many Washingtonians,” said Lacy Fehrenbach, Deputy Secretary for the Department of Health’s COVID-19 response. “We want to keep going forward together out of the pandemic, and our success hinges upon wearing masks, washing our hands, watching our distance, keeping social circles small — and of course, getting vaccinated when it’s our turn. These are the things that will help us suppress COVID-19, which is the key to our continued forward progress towards recovery.”

    Phase 3

    Sports guidance will change in Phase 3 to allow in-person spectators at events for the first time in a year. Spectators will be allowed to attend outdoor venues with permanent seating with capacity capped at 25%. The change affects both professional and high school sports, as well as motorsports, rodeos, and other outdoor spectator events. Social distancing and facial covering are still required.

    The new phase also allows for up to 400 people maximum to attend outdoor activities, as well as events in indoor facilities — so long as 400 people does not exceed 50% capacity for the location, and physical distancing and masking protocols are enforced. Larger venue events are capped at 25% occupancy, or up to 9,000 people, whichever is less, and must follow spectator guidelines.

    Additionally, Phase 3 will allow up to 50% occupancy or 400 people maximum, whichever is lower, for all indoor spaces. This applies to all industries and indoor activities currently allowed; restaurants, gyms and fitness centers and movie theaters, among others, may all increase their capacity.

    “Some of the hardest hit businesses in Washington will be able to return to 50% capacity as we continue on the road to recovery,” Inslee said. “On March 22, we make one more step to beating this virus and rejuvenating our economy.”

    A full list of industry-level changes for the new phase will be released next week.

  • Emergency Manager's Report to City Council on COVID-19 (March 2, 2021)

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    Andrew Stevens, CEM - Emergency Manager - Eastside Fire & Rescue

    Good evening Mayor, Councilmembers, and City Manager.

    Since my last update to Council, the United States surpassed a grim milestone in its fight against COVID-19, half a million deaths. The sheer magnitude of that number and the loss of life it represents is almost incomprehensible. Today, the U.S. is registering over 516,000 deaths, roughly a fifth of the global death total of 2.5 million. The US has had 27.8 million positive cases with daily case counts still averaging close to 70k new confirmed cases each day. This is a considerable decrease from the numbers experienced through the winter surge, but a strong reminder that high levels of community spread still exists in most pockets of the county.

    Locally, King County has registered 82,363 positive cases and 1,399 deaths. A survey of the most populated counties in the U.S. showed that King County had the second-lowest COVID case count, with only Oahu County having fewer. Sammamish is registering 1050 cases and 13 fatalities.

    Even with three FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines available, vaccine access and shortages continue to be a serious shortfall in the response efforts. Vaccine began being administered back in December, but as of today only 18.5% of King County residents have received one dose, and 10.7% have received both doses. King County has established vaccination sites in both Auburn and Kent, however, you must be a resident of South King County to schedule an appointment there. Seattle has recently announced that several sites will be available. The first two sites currently open are at Rainier Beach and West Seattle, are not open to the public for open registration, and are currently only administering 1000 doses a week. Later in the month, Seattle is hoping to stand up a larger mass vaccination site located at Lumen Field, which initially will be delivering 5,000 doses each week, with the expectation that these numbers will increase as vaccines become more available.

    Eastside Fire and Rescue has been continuing our mobile vaccination team program, targeting adult family homes, nursing homes, and low-income senior living housing. We have been working with human services personnel to identify and assist in scheduling the mobile teams, but we are currently restricted to serving only the populations identified and approved by King County Public Health. Our teams have also been assisting the Snoqualmie Tribe and are conducting mass vaccination support to weekly clinics inoculating tribal members.

    As you are aware, we have also been pursuing standing up a mass vaccination site here on the Eastside. We recently secured an agreement with WA State Parks to host the drive-through vaccination site at Lake Sammamish State Park. Later this week we will begin building out the location with the hope that King County Public Health will begin to dedicate an allocation of the vaccine as it becomes available. Discussions with the county lead us to believe that we will be provided vaccine for the location in early April. That being said, the site will be established and ready to operate if vaccine doses are secured earlier. Once operational, the site will be able to support 500 to 1000 vaccines each day.

    The County’s current strategy is to focus vaccine operations in geographic locations where COVID-19 infection rates were highest and greater numbers of vulnerable populations reside. The data for vaccines administered is provided by King County Public Health. However, King County Public Health’s data dashboards do not break down vaccine dose information by individual jurisdictions, and Sammamish is grouped together into the larger East King County data set. As of today, the percentage of East King County residents over the age of 75 who have received one dose is 76.2%, the percentage for eligible individuals over 65 equals 67.1%. The proportion of all residents aged 16 and over who have been inoculated in East King County is only 16.9% though, the fourth lowest number out of the 10 regions King County Public Health is tracking. Today, Governor Inslee announced that that PreK-12 educators, school staff, and licensed childcare providers are now eligible for the vaccine under Phase 1B1. While this is great news to those individuals, opening up additional categories of eligible recipients will most certainly add to the struggle of accessing vaccines for those who were able to receive a vaccination but could not secure an appointment.

    For residents seeking information on vaccine availability, state or local COVID-19 updates, or links to resources that may be able to provide additional assistance, I urge them all to visit the City’s Connect Sammamish COVID-19 portal. There you will find links to vaccine information and the WA Vaccine Location Map. Also, for those residents having trouble navigating the online system, King County has established a COVID Assistance Call Center which is open 8 am to 7 pm. That number is 206-477-3977.

    Lastly, I wanted to provide an update on COVID-19 expenses. To date, the City has spent roughly $2.15 million of the $2.9 million that was reimbursed to the City by the CARES Act, leaving roughly $750,000. That includes roughly $189K on internal COVID-19 expenses, $215K on expenses necessary to ensure continuity of government, $1,211,000 in two rounds of small business and non-profit grants, and $525K to support human service organizations assisting those impacted.

    With that, I would be happy to address any questions you may have. Thank you.

  • Emergency Manager's Report to City Council on COVID-19 (February 16, 2021)

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    Andrew Stevens, CEM - Emergency Manager - Eastside Fire & Rescue

    Good evening Mayor, Council members, and City Manager.

    I would like to take the first minute of this report to step away from COVID and touch on the fantastic response by the City’s Maintenance and Operations crews, who over the holiday weekend, worked around the clock to mitigate the impacts of the winter storm. I would also like to thank the City’s communications team for providing continual updates on road and weather conditions, as well as safety tips for winter driving and recreation. Lastly, I would like to thank the residents of Sammamish for limiting all unnecessary travel which assisted in the City’s ability to service the roadways. The storm did not result in any major incidents or damages, but it is a reminder to all that severe winter weather can certainly impact the region, and that preparedness for such events begins with the individual.

    Regarding COVID, I think the topic on everyone’s mind is the lack of access to vaccine. Over the past several weeks, I know that many of you have been personally contacted by individuals who qualify to receive a COVID-19 vaccine but cannot secure a reservation. While I understand the frustrations of every single one of those individuals, I would like to highlight that this is not a problem specific to Sammamish, King County, or even WA. This is a global problem of extremely high demand for an extremely limited amount of available vaccine. While it will not bring comfort to those still seeking vaccine, I would like to highlight that while the State of WA has administered over 1 million COVID-19 vaccinations, there are 130 countries that have yet to administer a single dose. That is a huge concern because this is not an American problem but a global pandemic.

    While the vaccine availability is not what many expected, the numerous public and private partners involved in these efforts are all forging ahead and making progress, and every day more vaccines are finding their way into the arms of the most vulnerable. As I briefed two weeks ago, the County has also begun operations of two mass vaccination sites, in the cities of Auburn and Kent. These sites are delivering roughly 500 vaccines per day and can scale up to accommodate greater capacity as time goes on and access to vaccine becomes greater. Another site stood up by a public-private partnership of hospitals and Microsoft recently opened and is targeting Medicaid home-care clients, their caregivers, and other highest-risk older adults who have previously not been able to secure a vaccination.

    Eastside Fire has established mobile vaccination teams that have been operational for the past two weeks to adult care homes and senior living facilities in Sammamish and Issaquah. We are also working with the human services personnel from each jurisdiction to identify and schedule the mobile teams once they are authorized by King County Public Health to move beyond these adult care facilities.

    Unfortunately, the planning for a mass vaccination site which was to be held at Issaquah High School has stopped. This was due to multiple reasons, but primarily because our partners in Swedish hospital had their allocation of vaccines cut due to statewide shortages and Issaquah School District was hoping to return some student extracurricular activities to the location.

    We have made considerable progress towards the establishment of a mid-volume, drive-through vaccination site. Right now, we are working with WA State Parks to secure the site location, have begun obtaining quotes for the necessary logistical requirements, and have drafted an agreement between the City of Sammamish, the City of Issaquah, and Eastside Fire and Rescue to cover the operational costs of this venture. While the agreement is still in draft form and being reviewed by all parties involved, Chief Clark has expressed to me that Sammamish’s cost share would equal roughly $450K - $500K. We have also been in frequent contact with our county and state partners, coordinating our efforts to establish this vaccination site and hoping to secure a dedicated line of vaccines once the regional supply increases. Our goal, if the vaccine is obtained, is to have the site open for operations in early March.

    While it is expected that the City would be able to seek FEMA Disaster Assistance reimbursement for vaccine-related operational expenses, I wanted to also ensure that I provided an update as to the remaining balance of CARES Act reimbursement that the City had earmarked for ongoing COVID-19 response and recovery. To date, the City has spent roughly $2,138,000 of the $2.9 million that was reimbursed to the City. That includes roughly $187K on internal COVID-19 expenses, $215K on expenses necessary to ensure continuity of government, $1,211,000 in two rounds of small business and non-profit grants, and $525K to support human service organizations assisting those impacted.

    For residents seeking information on vaccine availability, state or local COVID-19 updates, or links to resources that may be able to provide additional assistance, I urge them all to visit the City’s Connect Sammamish COVID-19 portal.

    With that, I would be happy to address any questions you may have. Thank you.

  • Update from the Vaccine Community Partnership (February 8, 2021)

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    Eastside Fire & Rescue’s mobile vaccination teams have delivered vaccines to every adult family home (long term care facilities) in Issaquah, and nearly all adult family Homes in Sammamish last week. EF&R will deliver vaccines to one more remaining adult family home in Sammamish this Wednesday, February 10. In all, over 100 doses will have been administered by EF&R to adult family homes in Issaquah and Sammamish. EF&R receives all its vaccine supply for King County Public Health, which has restricted the very limited supply to only adult family homes.