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COVID Vaccination – D1 Updates, 3 Week Forecast, and More; Winter Weather Information; West Seattle Bridge Update February 12; 2021 Neighborhood Matching Fund Deadlines, Workshops; Fire Code Update; Virtual Office Hours

COVID Vaccination – D1 Updates, 3 Week Forecast, and More

Public Health – Seattle & King County is tracking vaccine distribution by region, eligibility tier, and demographics, and sharing information via data dashboards – access them here.  The data shows that District 1 (included with South Seattle below) is doing relatively well in terms of overall vaccination rates compared to other regions – but lags behind in vaccinations for those 65+ and especially 75+ years old, who are at the highest risk of dying from Covid.

Next week, the City of Seattle is planning a District 1 popup site, working with community organizations serving vulnerable elders and the Latinx community.  This popup will use vaccine doses provided by Public Health – Seattle & King County.

As I wrote last week, the City of Seattle receives approximately 1,000 Covid vaccine doses weekly.  With that allocation, they are administering vaccines via Seattle Fire Department’s mobile vaccination teams.  Seattle Fire Department has now administered first doses to 100% of D1 adult family homes that are not served by the federal vaccination partnership with CVS/Walgreens, and began dose two administration this week.

Sites visited in District 1 include: Elders Care Home, European Care Home Inc., European Life Home Inc., Homecomings III Adult Family Home (AFH), Mileta TLC Home, Rose Provence AFH Co., Senior Bestcare Adult Family Home Inc., SHA – South Park Manor, The Right Place Homes LLC, TLC ADULT FAMILY HOME, TLC Adult Family Home Inc, SHA Westwood Heights, and West Seattle AFH.  The map of D1 locations as of today is below.

At my Tuesday Public Safety & Human Services committee meeting, we heard a presentation from Public Health – Seattle & King County, Seattle Fire Department, and the Mayor’s Office on local plans to vaccinate Seattle residents.  You can view the presentation slides, or watch the committee presentation (it starts at around 53 minutes in).

District 1 Mass Vaccination Site:  Planning continues for an eventual District 1 mass vaccination site operated by the City of Seattle, with initial capacity for 500 doses daily.  As I reported last week, the City has already begun purchasing and placing needed supplies, such as tents and lighting, in District 1.  This slide, shared by the City during my Public Safety & Human Services committee meeting on Tuesday, shows those plans.  As I’ve shared before, the City will launch this site within 2 days when we are receiving adequate vaccine supply from the state.

Vaccine supply forecast:  For the first time ever, the federal government has provided a forecast of the number of vaccines each state can expect to receive over the next three weeks.  This is crucial information that will allow the state Department of Health and vaccine providers to develop a multi-week strategy that will help with predictability, and make it easier to communicate what to expect to everyone anxious to receive vaccination.

Week of… # 1st Doses Statewide # 2nd Doses Statewide Total Doses Statewide
February 14th 113,800 92,325 206,125
February 21st 123,160 117,460 240,620
February 28th 128,560 113,800 242,360

Although the total number of vaccines for Washington State will steadily increase week by week, many are reserved for 2nd doses, which must be administered within a specific timeframe after the 1st dose.  This means that if you are still hoping to receive your 1st dose, you may not feel much of an improvement in the system in the short term.  However, with increased predictability, vaccine providers should slowly be able to open up more future appointments.

Vaccine supply will improve significantly over the next weeks and months.  Today, the Biden administration announced they had arranged to get 200 million more doses of vaccine by the end of summer, which amounts to a 50 percent increase.  Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, predicted that vaccine supply would significantly improve by April.  When vaccine supply is sufficient, hopefully by the summer, the City of Seattle will increase to providing 1,000 doses daily at the District 1 mass vaccination site, and launch additional mass vaccination sites.

In the meantime, I know it’s frustrating for everyone who is currently eligible but experiencing difficulty getting a vaccine appointment.  There is significantly more demand for vaccine than supply available throughout the country.  This situation will improve in the next weeks and months.  The best thing to do if you’re eligible is add yourself to vaccine distribution waitlists (starting with your healthcare provider, if you have one), monitor the news for updated information about vaccine distribution, and keep up COVID precautions such as wearing masks and social distancing.   Thank you for your patience, and for helping ensure that those in the most danger from Covid are first in line to receive vaccine.

Here are some vaccination resources:

  • The City of Seattle has a weekly vaccination newsletter – sign up here.
  • Public Health – Seattle & King County’s vaccination website has lists of vaccine providers, and information about the County’s Kent and Auburn COVID-19 Vaccination Sites, which are currently serving adults 75 years and older from the hardest-hit areas of south King County.
  • Not sure when or if you’re eligible? Check here.
  • Decisions about vaccination plans – including who is eligible in upcoming tiers – are made by the Washington State Department of Health (DOH). Read the vaccination rollout plan here, and provide feedback here.

If you are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine but are having difficulty scheduling an appointment, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) COVID-19 Assistance Hotline can help. Language assistance is available.

Dial 1-800-525-0127, then press #. If you can’t reach the hotline, please call the alternate number, 888-856-5816 (a Spanish option is available).

  • 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Friday
  • 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and observed state holidays

 

Winter Weather Information

Snow is arriving in Seattle, so here’s information about City and King County Metro snow response resources:

SDOT Snow Response Interactive Map of Arterials Prioritized for Clearing

Snow is forecast for the next several days in Seattle, so here’s information about SDOT’s snow response resources:  SDOT’s interactive map showing which roads have been treated or cleared in the last hour, three hours, and twelve hours. You can view it by neighborhood.

Here’s SDOT’s Winter Weather Response webpage. They seek to achieve bare and wet pavement on specified streets within 12 hours after a significant lull in a storm.

SDOT’s cameras map shows live road conditions.

SDOT’s winter weather response webpage has information in several languages. You can download a brochure with additional information.

Stay safe out there!

Severe Weather Shelter

The City of Seattle has opened severe weather shelters with 160 beds total for people experiencing homelessness, including:

  • Fisher Pavilion from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., through Sunday.
  • Bitter Lake (13035 Linden Avenue N, 98133) and Garfield (2323 East Cherry Street, 98122) Community Centers as 24-hour coed severe weather shelters starting Thursday, February 11, at 8 pm through the morning of Monday, February 15.

The City’s HOPE team is coordinating outreach and referrals to severe weather shelters, and distribution of cold weather supplies including handwarmers, emergency blankets, hats, and gloves.

King County has opened the Jefferson Day Center (420 4th Avenue, Seattle 98104) as a men’s only severe weather shelter that can accommodate 25 men. The temporary shelter opened Tuesday, February 9 and will remain open through Saturday, February 13 and is operated by The Salvation Army.

Garbage Collection in Inclement Weather

Snow and ice may affect scheduled collections. I encourage you to check out Seattle Public Utilities’ website here for up-to-date information about when garbage collections will occur.  I recognize it’s frustrating to not have your garbage collected on time (or at all), please understand that the safety of truck drivers and others is paramount, and I ask that you bear with the utility as we get through this storm.

Here’s information from Seattle Public Utilities about preparing, keeping pipes from freezing, and other useful links.

King County Metro Service

King County Metro’s winter weather webpage includes information about snow routes for buses, and  Metro’s Emergency Snow Network. Depending on how much snow there is, Metro may enact its Emergency Snow Network.

You can sign up for alerts there as well. The Service Advisories page will have updates on bus times, and cancellations. Known canceled trips are shown in the Next Departures tool in Metro’s online trip planner, or by texting your stop ID to 62550, Metro’s Text for Departures tool that requires no sign-up or download.


 

West Seattle Bridge Update February 12

The West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force met on Thursday, and received several updates from SDOT.

West Seattle Bridge Repair Update

SDOT has reached an important benchmark this week towards beginning the bridge repair.  The West Seattle Bridge repair is at  a preliminary 30% design and they have shared the design with partner agencies, including the Port, and utilities, to ensure there are no conflicts.

This will inform the final 30% design milestone. After that, SDOT will release a Request for Qualifications for a construction contract in late February or early March:

30% design in considered the ”baseline” for setting cost estimates, and the schedule. The pre-30% design for both the high and low bridges is noted below, with a note it will be updated after 30% design is complete:

Lower Bridge Access Update

There are important updates about traffic on the lower bridge.

First of all, SDOT has been compiling daily traffic counts, and found that traffic has decreased since the start of camera enforcement, by 25% from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., and 17% overall.

Traffic counts from January 25-31 are shown below in both directions, by date and time of day. The red line is the threshold set for number of trips; it is higher in the morning, since there are fewer bridge openings.

As I reported in last week’s blog post, when I learned that the planned opening of Terminal 5 had been delayed, I immediately requested that SDOT consider allowing additional access to the lower level bridge because increases in truck traffic had been expected in April, but now the opening has been delayed until 2022. This means additional capacity is available (as shown in gray above).  In addition, I have supported community member requests asking SDOT to consider allowing additional access during, e.g. earlier times of weekends, when traffic levels are showing as lower.

In response to these requests, SDOT confirmed that they are working on how to allow additional access, and they are working with the Lower Bridge Subcommittee, which has been meeting for several months.

On-call Health Care Provider Access

SDOT has worked with health care providers and Seattle Municipal Court to set up a process to allow bridge access for health care providers who live in West Seattle, are contractually required to be available on-call and receive a call-out notification to a hospital east of the Duwamish.

In these circumstances, to cancel a citation received, the vehicle owner can submit what is called a Declaration of Non-Responsibility, and documentation from the workplace.  SDOT is working for a long-term solution, but it was important that a short-term solution be implemented in the meantime.

SDOT has been in touch with healthcare institutions to guide longer-term policy:

Reconnect West Seattle 2022 projects

SDOT is asking for suggestions from residents and businesses for Reconnect West Seattle projects for 2022, to help address the closure of the West Seattle Bridge. You can submit project proposals to WestSeattleBridge@seattle.gov.  Project ideas are due by March 31, 2021.

West Marginal Way SW

As noted last week, SDOT is hosting a Virtual Open House on projects for West Marginal Way SW on Thursday, February 18 from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

You can use this link to join: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88433928185. If you prefer to just watch the open house, you can view it on YouTube.

To request an interpreter or accommodations for persons with disabilities, please call 206-400-7511 or WestSeattleBridge@seattle.gov at least 3 days prior to the meeting date.

SDOT’s West Marginal Way SW website has more information, including a Virtual Walking Tour.

The confirmed projects include an interim pedestrian signal and painted crosswalk at the Duwamish Longhouse, and a new pedestrian pathway on the west side of West Marginal Way SW between the Duwamish Longhouse and SW Idaho St. These projects have wide support. A walk led by the Duwamish Tribe my office attended a year ago showed the clear need for a pedestrian pathway in this location:

Two project areas are listed for potential projects: a separated bike lane in section 1 shown below, with build/no build options; for section 2,  options include a bike lane, on-street parking, or removing on-street parking.

The SDOT Director has authority over use of city streets.

Here’s a link to the slide deck from Community Task Force meeting regarding West Marginal.

It has 27 slides and a lot of information,  including options, vehicle and truck volume data, and crash data, and estimates of travel times and freight impact (SDOT estimates the project would have negligible or no impact on travel times and freight; some at the task force didn’t agree; there was both support and opposition to the proposal).
 

2021 Neighborhood Matching Fund Deadlines, Workshops

Seattle Department of Neighborhood’s Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF) has announced its 2021 funding programs and schedule. Its two funds – the Small Sparks Fund and the Community Partnership Fund – support grassroots projects that build stronger communities, with an increased emphasis on projects led by or impacting Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities.

The Community Partnership Fund provides funding up to $50,000 with two opportunities to apply this year. The deadlines are April 5 and September 13. This fund provides opportunities to create large and lasting impacts in your community by supporting community organizing, public art projects, park improvements, cultural events, design and construction of community facilities, and more.

The Small Sparks Fund provides funding up to $5,000 per project, and applications are accepted on a rolling basis through October 29. This fund is perfect for small community activities such as neighborhood clean-ups, block parties, community art projects, workshops, and more.

Neighborhood Matching Fund staff are hosting three workshops for those interested in applying to the fund. Each workshop will provide an overview of the Neighborhood Matching Fund, the qualities of a strong application, and the review process. Neighborhood and community groups interested in the fund are invited to attend.

Workshop dates and times are as follows:

February 20, 2021, 10-11:30am
Register / Join Online: http://bit.ly/NMF_2-20-21
Join by phone:
+1-206-207-1700 United States Toll (Seattle)
+1-408-418-9388 United States Toll
Access code: 146 771 5906

March 4, 2021, 10-11:30am
Register / Join Online: http://bit.ly/NMF_3-4-21
Join by phone:
+1-206-207-1700 United States Toll (Seattle)
+1-408-418-9388 United States Toll
Access code: 146 502 6604

March 17, 2021, 6-7:30pm

Register / Join Online: http://bit.ly/NMF_3-17-21
Join by phone:
+1-206-207-1700 United States Toll (Seattle)
+1-408-418-9388 United States Toll
Access code: 146 993 7073

Get more information and begin your application at http://www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/nmf.

If you have questions, please contact program staff at 206-233-0093 or NMFund@seattle.gov.

More than 5,000 projects have occurred across the city since this program began in 1988. To learn more about the Neighborhood Matching Fund and its support to community-initiated projects, visit seattle.gov/neighborhoods/neighborhood-matching-fund.
 

Fire Code Update

As I wrote about last week, the Council adopted two bills to update the Building Code. In addition, the Fire Code is typically updated along with the building code to ensure consistency in development standards. The Fire Code was last updated in 2016 and is usually updated every three years.  Last year, both the Building Code and Fire Code updates were delayed due to the public health emergency.

The proposed changes were presented by the Seattle Fire department, and while changes are relatively minor the code plays an important role in public safety. Changes included are:

  • Allowing alternative fuel vehicles on display inside buildings to maintain their battery connection in order to keep their safety systems active.
  • New integrated testing requirements for high-rise buildings to assure fire protection and life safety systems work together as intended and are tested at least every 10 years.
  • Allow mobile fueling of vehicles in designated areas such as parking lots that meet certain requirements.
  • A new chapter to address the installation of large electrical energy storage systems that are more prevalent and unregulated by the previous Fire Code.

 

Virtual Office Hours

On Friday February 26, I will be hosting virtual office hours between 2pm and 6pm, with the last meeting of the day beginning at 5:30pm.

Due to the nature of virtual office hours, you will need to contact my scheduler Alex Clardy (alex.clardy@seattle.gov) in order to receive the call-in information and schedule a time.

Additionally, here is a list of my tentatively scheduled office hours which will continue as virtual office hours until indicated otherwise. These are subject to change.

  • Friday, March 26, 2021
  • Friday, April 30, 2021
  • Friday, May 28, 2021
  • Friday, June 25, 2021
  • Friday, July 30, 2021
  • Friday, August 20, 2021
  • Friday, September 24, 2021
  • Friday, October 29, 2021
  • Friday, December 17, 2021
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