The Latest Coronavirus Covid-19 Updates Jan 2021

Gov. Jay Inslee today announced “Healthy Washington — Roadmap to Recovery,” a COVID-19 phased recovery plan. Beginning on January 11, the state will follow a regional recovery approach with every region beginning in Phase 1.

The Latest Coronavirus Covid-19 Updates Jan 2021

January 7, 2021

The eight regions are as follows:

  • Puget Sound: King, Pierce, Snohomish
  • East: Adams, Asotin, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Whitman
  • North: Island, San Juan, Skagit, Whatcom
  • North Central: Chelan, Douglas, Grant, Okanogan
  • Northwest: Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap, Mason
  • South Central: Benton, Columbia, Franklin, Kittitas, Walla Walla, Yakima
  • Southwest: Clark, Cowlitz, Klickitat, Skamania, Wahkiakum
  • West: Grays Harbor, Lewis, Pacific, Thurston

    Numbers recalculated every Friday to see if anyone can move to Phase 2, or once they reach phase 2, whether they have to go back to phase 1

What hasn’t changed 

The guidelines presented by Governor Inslee have not changed since our last Coronavirus update. The restrictions are set to expire January 4th, but were recently extended until January 11th. There is a chance they will be further extended, especially once we’ve seen the potential impacts from recent holiday gatherings. 

Here’s what the restrictions currently say:

  • No indoor gatherings with people outside your household unless a 14-day quarantine is carried out by every individual OR a 7-day quarantine alongside a negative COVID test result less than 48 hours before the gathering.  
  • Outdoor gatherings cannot exceed five members outside of your household. 
  • Restaurants and bars may not serve indoors. Outdoor and to-go dining are only permitted. 
  • Gyms and fitness facilities may not operate indoors. Bowling centers may not operate outdoors either. 
  • Movie theaters, museums, zoos, and aquariums are all closed for indoor services. 
  • Open houses for real estates are prohibited. 
  • Weddings and funerals must cap at 30 people. Indoor receptions, wakes, and other gatherings are prohibited. 
  • Indoor retail is at 25% capacity. 
  • Indoor religious services are limited to 25% capacity or 200 people, whichever is less and can accommodate 6-feet distancing between households. 

To read all of the rules and more in-depth explanations, check out the state’s Coronavirus resources. 

What’s changed?

While it can be a little disheartening to see that a lot of our Coronavirus updates have actually remained the same, that doesn’t mean there aren’t solutions in the works. In fact, we have some new updates to share regarding Washington’s Coronavirus situation. 

Vaccinations are rolling out 

High-risk prisoners and prison workers were among the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccination in Washington state. 

Additionally, the first shipment of vaccinations arrived at UW Medicine in mid-December. Frontline personnel working with COVID patients were the first to get vaccinated, along with environmental services staff and emergency medical responders. Following that will be nursing home residents and caregivers. 

The rollout will be slow. And the vaccination will require two doses for effectiveness, so we will have to be patient and cautious as a community until everyone can receive the vaccination. 

According to the Seattle Times, 356,650 doses of the vaccine have been delivered in Washington state. Most of these vaccine doses, however, have not been put to use. 

The health department announced that they are expanding the definition of the 1A risk category for vaccinations. This allows extra vaccines to be used by other healthcare workers, not just ones on the front lines. 

The numbers 

The daily numbers are always changing, but we are currently still facing more daily changes than we were in the summer. 

As of December 29th, the state totaled 242,330 cases and 3,420 deaths. This means that 1.4% of cases resulted in death. 

At the time of reporting, King County had about 61,500 cases. Spokane County had about 25,802. King County, Snohomish, and Pierce Counties are among Washington counties with the highest death and case totals

The good news with the numbers? The Washington State Department of Health noted that “COVID-19 transmission [is] flattening, but not enough to reverse skyrocketing trends from early November.”

Here’s are some highlights from their report:

  • 31 of 39 counties had rates higher than 200 cases per 100,000 people in the two weeks before this update. 16 counties had two-week rates that exceeded 500 new cases per 100,000 people.  
  • ICUs are still stressed, despite some progress. 
  • The most recent estimated percentage of residents with active COVID-19 infections was higher than the peak in late March. Estimates began flattening mid-November but are still much higher than they were at the beginning of October. 
  • Transmission is plateauing, but it’s not ideal yet. In early December, the best estimated reproductive number, which means how many new people each infected person will spread the virus to, was 1.03 in western Washington and 1.11 in eastern Washington. The state’s goal is to have a significantly declining reproductive number far below 1. 

Looking forward 

While the COVID-19 vaccination rollout is a promising next step, we have to be patient as the process carries out. Not only are the recipients staggered by risk category, but they also require two doses for the full immune response. This means COVID-19 immunity will not be a one and done scenario. 

Depending on how the numbers change in the upcoming days, we may find current restrictions extended. Again, we will just have to be patient and see what the next move is for our state. 

In the meantime, communities should continue to do their best to reduce transmission. This means:

  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly. 
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands. 
  • Wear a mask in public settings and when around others from outside your household. 
  • Maintain six feet of distance between you and others from outside your household. 
  • Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces. 
  • Monitor your daily health and follow CDC guidelines if you start to have symptoms. 

And when it comes to cannabis use, we have our own suggestions for staying safe and high throughout the Coronavirus. Here’s a quick recap:

  • Don’t sesh with people outside your household. If you’re not supposed to be within six feet of one another and without a face covering, you’re most certainly not meant to be sharing a joint. If you’re having a socially-distant outdoor hangout and this bums you out, go ahead and roll a small joint for everyone. 
  • Keep hand sanitizer and single-use wipes on you to easily clean your hands, mouthpieces, and other necessary tools when you’re on-the-go.
  • If you’re concerned about lung health, consider switching to edibles, tinctures, or other smoke-free options for the time being. 
  • Keep your stress under control. The more stressed you are, the more vulnerable you can become to sickness. 

Final notes 

We hope you’re all taking care during this extended period of uncertainty. Remember to take time for yourself, practice self-care, and pay attention to your body.

Need a little boost? Stop by Piece of Mind Cannabis today for all your needs. Whether it’s a joint to end the day, a bath product to soak in, or a sweet treat, we’ve got all the infused goodness right here in our shop. 

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