Gov. Jay Inslee, along with the Washington State Department of Health (DOH), announced Monday morning the launching of WA Notify, a simple, anonymous exposure notification tool to help stop the spread of COVID-19. By adding WA Notify to their smartphones, Washington residents will be alerted if they spend time near another WA Notify user who later tests positive for COVID-19.
WA Notify uses privacy-preserving technology jointly developed by Google and Apple and works without collecting or revealing any location or personal data.
"Secure, private and anonymous exposure notification technology is an important tool for Washington," Inslee said. "We've deployed WA Notify in 29 languages so as many Washington residents as possible can protect themselves, their loved ones and their communities. I encourage everyone to start using WA Notify today, so we can continue to work together to contain this virus."
WA Notify is free and can be enabled in iPhone settings or downloaded as an app from the Google Play Store for Android phones. Users can opt out at any time. Several states including Virginia, New York and Colorado are using this tool. Countries successfully using this technology include Ireland, Canada and Germany.
to Surge and Surge
As of 1 pm (EST) Monday, the United States had 13,421,114 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 267,080 total deaths, and globally there were 62,953,556 cases and 1,463, 349 deaths. The USA had already recorded 38,000 cases of Covid on Monday at 1 pm (EST).
Cases in Pacific County have jumped from 122 (11/4/20), to 159 (11/10/20), to 246 (11/18/20) and to 415 (11/25/20).
New infections appear to finally be falling in the Dakotas, two of the worst-hit states in the country. But the novel coronavirus is still spreading rapidly in most of the country, and even after new infections peak nationally, deaths will likely keep rising for weeks.
The United States is now averaging more than 1,500 deaths each day, and with the national case count still climbing, that toll is expected to get much worse over the holidays. Those deaths do not fall equally across the country. The virus is killing Asian, Black, Hispanic and Indigenous Americans at a rates far higher than for White people -- sometimes striking down multiple generations in the same family, and devastating communities of color.
Winlock High School has a new program this year, Family and Consumer Sciences, basically home economics with a twist. Kaylene Kenny is the new educator who will be teaching this new cool class.
With COVID this year, the Walk n Knock is taking on a different look than years before.
Toledo Food Bank
As many of you know, Walk n Knock is held on the first Saturday of December every year to bring in food and money for people right here in our community.
Christmas decorations are starting to go up and the season of giving has kicked off. This year is the 5th year for the Derik Nissell Toy Drive. Beginning in November each year, the toy drive gives people a chance to help out local children who all need a brand new toy to unwrap for Christmas.
The Derik Nissell Toy House was set up to honor lifelong South Bend resident Derik S. Nissell who passed away in his mid-twenties on February 29, 2016. Derik enjoyed donating toys to kids in need while he worked for the Westport Shipyard. The toy house continues this tradition.
"We were unable to hold any of our fundraisers this year due to COVID, which has impacted the number of toys that we have been able to purchase," said Joyce Kidd, Derik's mother. "We are hoping that the community will continue to support this event with toys or monetary donations. We have no overhead so every penny donated goes to purchase toys for our local kids. Even though times are tough, we want to continue to share Derik's wish that every child has a gift on Christmas morning."
Drop off locations
If you need your donation picked up, call Joyce at 360-875-6473. Toys are picked up from the drop off locations by Thursday, December 10.
Last week the COVID-19 case count rose to 415 cases since the beginning of the pandemic. There are currently 197 active cases being monitored by public nurses. The current cases bring Pacific County to an average case rate of 1076.7 per 100,000 population over the past 14 days.
On Tuesday, November 24, 55 additional positive COVID-19 cases were reported to the Pacific County Public Health and Human Services. On Wednesday an additional 20 COVID cases were reported. Ten of the current cases have been hospitalized with all other individuals isolating at home. Case investigations and contact tracing are on-going.
"Pacific County has one of the highest rates in the state right now," said PCDOH Director Katie Lindstrom. "With our surge, we are close to 1000 cases per 100,000. It is really, really high. We figured that 1 in 100 people in the county are currently positive. More in certain areas than others. The majority can be tied to either workplaces or social gatherings."
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