Newest numbers. The Department of Health (DOH) reported a total of 237,165 confirmed cases as of 11:59 pm on Dec. 30. There have been 3,461 COVID-19 deaths in Washington.

For the most recent tally of cases by county, demographics, and more, visit the Department of Health’s dashboard and the state’s COVID-19 risk assessment dashboard.

Dec. 31, 2020 data note: The total case counts that day might include up to 750 duplicates and a backlog of cases not reported earlier. Negative test results from Nov. 21-30 are also incomplete. Therefore, testing numbers and case counts should be interpreted with caution. The Epidemiologic Curves tab is the most accurate representation of COVID activity and is updated daily as new cases are identified and duplicates are resolved.

The Washington State Department of Health did not update the DOH dashboard on Friday, Jan. 1.

COVID-19 vaccine distribution update from the Washington State Department of Health. The DOH continues to make progress with its COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration efforts.

Recently DOH updated phase 1A guidance, with the goal of expediting vaccine administration efforts across Washington state.

As of this week, 69,349 people in the state have received their first dose of vaccine. The DOH is expected to order second-dose allocations of the Pfizer vaccine soon. 

1A Vaccine Allocation Guidance now available. The DOH updated Washington’s 1A vaccine allocation guidance last Wednesday.

Some communities in Washington state have already completed or are very near to completing vaccination of their high-risk workers in health care settings as outlined in current DOH guidance. The agency will be adding a second tier to 1A that allows for the vaccination of all other workers in health care settings once high-risk workers are vaccinated.

DOH continues to work to finalize prioritization for 1B/1C and expects to release this guidance shortly.

December 30 COVID-19 response update media briefing recording available. A recording of this week’s COVID-19 response update media briefing with Washington state’s new Secretary of Health, Dr. Umair Shah, and leaders from the state COVID-19 response is available from TVW.

Inslee extends eviction moratorium. Last Thursday Gov. Jay Inslee formally issued an extension of the eviction moratorium, extending all existing provisions and making adjustments to provide additional support for landlords and property owners.

The eviction moratorium is extended through March 31, 2021.

Inslee announces one-week extension of statewide restrictions. Inslee last Wednesday announced a one-week extension of the “Stay Safe-Stay Healthy” proclamation, along with the statewide restrictions imposed. The extension of the statewide restrictions will now expire on Jan. 11. No changes were made in the proclamation aside from the expiration date.

Inslee issues, updates COVID-19 proclamations. Inslee last Wednesday issued a new proclamation delaying implementation of the Uniform Guardianship Act. Gov. Inslee also extended two proclamations related to shared work requirements and family emergency assistance. The extensions were approved by the legislature in a Dec. 28 letter.

Proclamation 20-58.8 and Proclamation 20-63.7 are both extended through Jan. 4.

Commerce awards Working Washington grants to more than 7,800 small businesses. The state Department of Commerce last Thursday announced that over 7,800 small businesses will receive a Working Washington grant. Inslee announced the new round of business assistance in November and approved $100 million for the grants.

Public health measures have disproportionately impacted certain industries such as full-service restaurants, fitness centers, and indoor entertainment venues, like bowling alleys. This recent round of grant funding prioritizes small businesses in those sectors that have less than $5 million in annual revenue.

Commerce awards second round of grants to 24 collaborative projects addressing childcare crisis in communities statewide. The Washington State Department of Commerce last Wednesday announced a second round of $1.8 million in grants to 24 organizations. The organizations are leading collaborative efforts to expand childcare capacity in communities throughout the state. Grantees will receive just over 38 percent of the award from state general funds administered by Commerce and a nearly 62 percent match from the donors who supported the Safe Start Fund for a Healthy Economic Transition and Recovery.

Access to affordable quality childcare has been a growing challenge for the past several years. The pandemic significantly exacerbated those problems.

Washington State’s Equity Relief Fund awards nearly $12 million to 358 nonprofits statewide. Recent data shows communities of color in Washington state are experiencing disproportionately higher percentages of COVID cases and economic impact. Several demographic groups have case and hospitalization rates from seven to 10 times higher than for white people, and death rates two to more than three times higher. Additionally, analysis by region indicates this is true across rural, urban, and suburban communities.

Bolstering ongoing efforts to distribute COVID relief funds equitably to the communities hardest hit by the pandemic, the Department of Commerce partnered with Philanthropy Northwest to award $11.85 million in grants from the Washington Equity Relief Fund for Nonprofits to 358 organizations statewide led by and serving Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities. Nonprofits provide the primary link to many crucial lifeline services in all communities, and many have been financially devastated by the pandemic.

Tracking Washington state’s economic recovery. Washington State Department of Commerce updated its Economic Recovery Dashboard. The tool uses a variety of data sources to track the state’s economic recovery and resiliency. It displays the latest available data on employment, businesses, government assistance programs, and consumer behavior, helping monitor the economic impact of COVID-19 across the state. The dashboard can be found at www.commerce.wa.gov/datadashboard.

Health insurers to waive copays and deductibles for COVID-19 vaccines. Most health insurers in Washington state have signaled their intent to immediately waive all cost-sharing for COVID-19 vaccinations. Policyholders will be covered regardless of where they receive the vaccination.

Resources

Find a COVID-19 testing location near you. To make it easier to find a test near you, the Department of Health has created a webpage to help people find COVID-19 testing locations throughout the state.

The state COVID-19 Assistance Hotline is a general information line related to COVID-19. If you need information or have a general question, call (800) 525-0127, then press # or text 211-211 for help. You can also text the word “Coronavirus” to 211-211 to receive information and updates on your phone wherever you are. You will receive links to the latest information on COVID-19, including county-level updates, and resources for families, businesses, students, and more.

Washington Listens helps people manage stress and anxiety they may be experiencing because of COVID-19. If you or anyone you know is having difficulties managing stress, call the Washington Listens support line at (833) 681-0211. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. TTY and language access services are available by using 7-1-1 or their preferred method. Resources and self-help tips are available on walistens.org.