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Inslee on discovery Omicron variant cases in Washington

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Inslee on discovery Omicron variant cases in Washington

Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement Saturday after public health officials confirmed three cases of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus in Washington state.

"We knew this day was inevitable, but the good news is we have more tools at our disposal to fight the virus than at any previous point in the pandemic, and we must continue to protect ourselves and our communities.

"There is still much to learn about this variant as scientists around the world continue to study it. It remains as important as ever to get vaccinated, get boosted, wear a mask and be safe. We cannot yield an inch to this virus.

"Be vigilant for any symptoms - such as fever or fatigue - and mask up in public settings. We all have the power to keep our communities safe."

FEMA Mobile COVID-19 Vaccination Unit Coming to Western Washington

Gov. Jay Inslee in partnership with the Washington State Department of Health, the King County Executive's Office, Public Health - Seattle & King County, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Washington State Emergency Management Division, and King County Emergency Management, announced today that FEMA is preparing to send a mobile vaccination unit to several western Washington communities to ensure life-saving COVID-19 vaccines are given out to the public quickly and equitably.

"This is great news in the ongoing fight against COVID. I am grateful for our strong partnership with the federal government, and these FEMA Family Mobilization Clinics coming to King County is a great result of that partnership," Inslee said last Thursday. "This is an innovative model that will help increase equitable access to vaccination for all Washingtonians."

The mobile site is scheduled to open Dec. 20th and will operate for about 30 days.

"We're grateful for President Biden's leadership, and for the partnership of the White House in keeping everyone in King County safe this winter, including one of the first Family Vaccination Units in the nation operating right here in south King County," said King County Executive Dow Constantine. "The free home tests and other new tools in President Biden's plan, paired with our vaccine verification program here in King County, will help keep families healthy during the holidays, schools open for our students, and ensure small businesses and restaurants can recover."

"We know vaccine demand is high in certain parts of our state, both for pediatric doses and for booster doses. I'm thrilled so many people are rolling up their sleeves to further protect themselves, their families, and their communities," said Dr. Umair A. Shah, DOH Secretary. "To end this pandemic, it is critical vaccines are widely available for everyone. Adding this mobile unit to our toolkit will help us speed up the vaccination process and reach families who have had a more difficult time finding appointments."

"Booster demand is strong in King County, because people know that they are safe, effective, and will give each of us added protection so our community can recover faster from the pandemic. This mobile vaccination unit from the federal government will help us expand our vaccination capacity as some are waiting for appointments and gives us flexibility to station vaccination resources where the need is the greatest. It's this kind of strong partnership among local, state, and federal partners that is key to our recovery," said Dennis Worsham, Interim Director for Public Health - Seattle & King County.

Inslee Issues 'Workforce Training Boards' Directive

Gov. Jay Inslee last Wednesday issued a Workforce Training Boards directive to ensure a system-wide focus on achieving equitable economic recovery for all, placing an emphasis on serving and tracking the impact of state partnerships on moving the most disadvantaged Washingtonians towards economic self-sufficiency.

The action directs executive agency partners responsible for administering workforce development programs, including relevant partners at the Employment Security Department and Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board, to work collaboratively on performance accountability measures that inform policymakers on the workforce system's impact serving these focus communities, and to develop tools for policymakers and partners to assess our progress over time. It further requests that other workforce development partners, including local workforce development councils that receive federal WIOA dollars through state workforce programs, assist in the implementation of this directive.

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